Student Life

Maine Maritime Academy is committed to the belief that learning takes place both in and out of the classroom. Accordingly, the college is structured to maximize the potential for such learning.

Maine Maritime Academy has an average student population on its Castine campus of 950 full-time undergraduate students. In addition to these students, approximately 100 students are enrolled in the A.S. degree program at Bath Iron Works.

A unique feature of student life at Maine Maritime is the mix of students who live a traditional college lifestyle and those who participate in the Regiment of Midshipmen. Although students who become midshipmen wear military-style uniforms, Maine Maritime is not a military academy, and there is no military obligation after graduation. Traditional and regimented students live in the same residence hall, attend many of the same classes, and are eligible to participate in all campus clubs, activities, and athletics.

Students are often active in the Castine community. MMA students have opportunities to volunteer for the local fire department, the Adams (Elementary) School, sports clinics for local youth, and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, are among the many options. The local churches, clubs, and historical society welcome students and provide an opportunity to become a part of a small but vibrant community. Bangor and Ellsworth, both about 55 minutes away by automobile, are the closest cities. Acadia National Park is just over an hour’s drive away, and ski areas are two hours distant.

The Regiment of Midshipmen

All candidates for a U.S. Coast Guard unlimited license as a Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer are required to be members of the Regiment of Midshipmen. The majors leading to an unlimited license, and thus requiring regimental participation, are Marine Transportation Operations, Marine Systems Engineering (License Track), Marine Engineering Technology, and Marine Engineering Operations. For all other majors, membership in the Regiment is an optional but valuable experience that can help students to build job-related skills regardless of career path.

Although modeled after Navy and Coast Guard traditions, the purpose of the Regiment is not to produce military officers, but to provide leadership and management training for students desiring careers as licensed U.S. Merchant Marine officers as well as for those pursuing the fields of engineering, management, science, and transportation. The Regiment encompasses a structured training environment where students develop time management skills and self-confidence, enhance their personal value system, and are instilled with the Regiment’s core values of honor, loyalty, and devotion to duty. Students seeking their U.S. Coast Guard unlimited license must meet the requirements governing physical condition, citizenship, and prior preparation, as outlined in the Admissions section.

The Regiment is a leadership program with a disciplined lifestyle designed to positively affect all aspects of a student’s life at Maine Maritime Academy. Members wear military style uniforms, learn professional customs and courtesies, and become familiar with shipboard life within a few days of reporting for first-year orientation. This rigorous lifestyle is challenging and rewarding particularly as students learn principles of followership as they develop their own leadership style; all while building lifelong friendships with their new peers. Over the four years, midshipmen are given more and more responsibility until, as seniors, they comprise the bulk of regimental leadership positions.

During the academic year, academics receive first priority alongside fulfilling requirements related to their U.S. Coast Guard License and preparing to sail aboard Academy and commercial vessels. Although busy, Midshipmen do have ample time for personal study and research, recreational activities including varsity and club sports and campus clubs. Many students find time to volunteer with local organizations. Weekends are usually free, unless the student is assigned to a watch or a maintenance responsibility aboard the training ship. Immediately following the first- and third-year spring semesters, cadets in the license programs participate in a summer training cruise* aboard a dedicated maritime academy training vessel – Training Ship State of Maine (TSSOM). These are exciting times as the students cruise the Caribbean or European waters, making several ports of call while receiving hands-on training in all aspects of ship operation. During the summer following the sophomore year, cadets in these programs are assigned to merchant vessels* to further familiarize them with shipboard procedures.

*Students not in good academic standing (Academic Probation or Warning status) may be required to delay their assignments to the freshmen or junior cruises aboard the T.S. State of Maine, or as cadets aboard merchant vessels, until they are in good academic standing.

Extracurricular Activities

Many campus events take place throughout the year, including movies, lectures, dances and other events, providing a full range of cultural involvement for the entire community. More than 30 organizations operate on campus, under the jurisdiction of Student Government. Some of these groups include:

  • Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed community service fraternity)
  • Campus Activities Board (CAB)
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Sexuality and Gender Awareness (SAGA)
  • Schooner Crew
  • Snowboard and Ski Club
  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME)
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • Student Business Logistics Association (SBLA)
  • Students Living in Christ Everyday (SLICE)
  • Woodsman Club
  • Yoga Club

Student Housing

MMA has a residency requirement. All undergraduate students at MMA are required to live on campus with certain exceptions. Students who are married, have lived on campus for six semesters or more, are 21 years of age or older by August 31 for the Fall semester or December 31 for the Spring semester (24 for first year Regimental Students), or are military veterans with two years of service and an honorable discharge, are eligible to apply to live off campus. Exceptions to this residential policy require the approval of the Dean of Student Services. Housing, for students who are eligible to live off-campus, in and around Castine is limited.

Student rooms include a bed, desk, bureau, and wardrobe style closet. Students furnish all personal items within the room. Card-operated washers and dryers are available on each floor of the Curtis Hall residence complex. Residents are expected to have their own insurance (see section on Personal Property). Students may be charged for damages to their room, common area or the building, beyond normal wear and tear, if deemed appropriate. See the catalog section entitled “Affording MMA” for more information regarding security deposits.

Non-degree students are not normally eligible to live on-campus unless enrolled in at least twelve credit hours of study.

Student Health

Student Health Services on the MMA campus is located in Curtis Hall (207-326-2295, or ext. 2295; or 207-326-2305, or ext. 2305). The health center is staffed Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is no fee for students to see the medical staff in Health Services. A fee may be charged to the student account for some supplies and medications that are provided to the student. After hours and on weekends, emergency care can be initiated by calling the MMA Safety Office (207-326-2479, or ext. 2479). Ambulance service is available and healthcare providers are located in emergency rooms in local hospitals. During the training cruise, medical staff are aboard the ship.

All students are required to show proof of medical insurance coverage upon admission to the college, and each subsequent fall. Students must maintain insurance coverage throughout their stay at MMA and are responsible for informing the college of any changes in coverage. Students who are not covered by family or individual medical insurance will be required to purchase a policy arranged through the Academy with an insurance carrier. (see section in Insurance Information).

The Maine State Legislature has enacted a law which requires all degree and full-time non-degree students born after December 31, 1956 to provide proof of immunization or immunity to the following diseases:

  • A tetanus/diphtheria vaccine must have been given within 10 years of enrollment to MMA. You must be re-immunized if your tetanus is out of date.
  • Measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella must have been given after the student’s first birthday with a live vaccine. If the vaccine was given prior to 1968, you must present laboratory results of your titer tests. A letter from your doctor is not acceptable. If immunization cannot be determined, re-immunization is required.
  • Re-immunization is highly recommended if the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was given before 1980.

Due to the potential for MMA students having to travel outside the United States for cruises/co-ops, and the recommendations from the American College Health Association and the Center for Disease Control, Maine Maritime Academy also requires evidence of the following immunizations:

  • COVID-19
  • 2nd dose measles administered between the ages of 2-4 years or later
  • Varicella (chickenpox) or history of having had the disease
  • Hepatitis B vaccine (series of 3 doses given at appropriate intervals),
  • Hepatitis A vaccine (series of 2 doses given at appropriate intervals),
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Mantoux test for tuberculosis

To demonstrate adequate immunization against each disease, you must present a certificate of immunization from the physician, nurse, public health official, or school provider who administered the immunization. The proof must specify the immunizing agent and the date it was administered. School health records are usually accepted to meet these requirements.

REQUEST FOR MEDICAL EXEMPTION: Students may request an exemption from the immunization requirement for the following reason:

  • A physician’s statement declaring that vaccination is medically inadvisable

A medical exemption may be granted upon receipt of a completed form, signed and certified by a licensed healthcare provider, who is not related to the submitter, and whose specialty is appropriate to the associated condition. The Office of Health Services will review all exemption requests, and approval is not guaranteed. After a request has been reviewed and processed, students will be notified via their MMA email address if an exemption has been granted.

Decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Individuals are permitted to reapply if new documentation and information should become available. More information is located on Health and Counseling Services’ Immunization page.

Before a student can begin classes at MMA, they must have a physical exam on file on MMA’s physical exam form. The student’s personal healthcare provider can perform the exam.

The Academy Counselor (207-326-2419, or ext. 2419) provides professional personal counseling for students and serves as the Substance Abuse Prevention Education Coordinator. Services of the Academy Counselor are provided free of charge to students. Counseling is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Counseling can also be provided after hours for emergent needs. Students are encouraged to call Campus Safety to request emergency counseling.

Accommodations for Disabilities

The Academy complies with all relevant federal and state legislation regarding accommodation for disability. Students needing accommodations should contact the Accessibility Service office (207-326-2489, or accessibility@mma.edu).

Orientation and Regimental Training Program

Prior to the start of classes, all new students to MMA are encouraged to attend an orientation session, a program designed to familiarize students with the facilities, programs, and organization of the college and to ease the transition into college life. Additionally, members of the Regiment will complete Regimental Preparatory Training. The program includes a period of training in the traditions of the Academy, as a preparation for the rigorous life of a midshipman.