Maritime cadets complete three semesters at sea, known as "Sea Projects". Maritime cadets complete essential sea time aboard the Training Ship State of Michigan and up to 300 days aboard the commercial vessels of the Great Lakes and oceans. During these internships, cadets learn the duties and responsibilities of an Officer aboard ship, shipboard operations and experience life aboard ship. Cadets also complete assigned homework to send to their instructors at the Academy on a regular basis.
Sea time is arranged by the Academy with the very shipping companies that will be a future source of employment for our graduates. Upon successful completion of their program requirements, Deck cadets will then write their USCG exam as Third Mate Great Lakes and Oceans, Unlimited tonnage AND for their First Class Great Lakes Pilot. Engineering Cadets write their USCG exam as Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower.
It is our belief that cadet time spent learning aboard a commercial ship, loading and discharging cargo, is essential preparation for a maritime career. To supplement this excellent training, our training ship State of Michigan is utilized as an introduction to the lifestyle and etiquette of life aboard ship. Our ship also functions as a daily lab for both deck and engineering cadets throughout the school year. Cadets must also complete shoreside sea days accomplishing tasks deemed necessary for vessel inspection and STCW '10 compliance. The State of Michigan schedules a variety of voyages throughout the year.