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Why Choose Cal Maritime?

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Ocean View - Ocean Point of View

The California Maritime Academy's waterside campus on the northern end of San Francisco Bay is tucked into a quiet cove with ever-changing views of the ever-changing maritime world. This world is much more than operating commercial ships; it is a global economic force linking with various modes of transportation to get commodities and people from point A to point B. Operating this global enterprise requires engineers, business leaders, port managers, deck officers, environmental advocates, maritime security consultants, etc. Cal Maritime produces professionals in these and other areas related to the ocean as a resource and an engine for a global economy.

The "Academy" Advantage

Academies are generally small, focused, structured, and offer a high-quality education. These characteristics all describe Cal Maritime. Our 1,046 students study one of only six majors, and students are generally very focused on their chosen fields. Some people assume Cal Maritime is a "military" academy because our students wear uniforms, but they are not correct. We stress some similar values as the military academies – but our students have no obligation to join the military when they graduate. Our reputation among the many corporations, industries, agencies, and graduate schools filled with Cal Maritime alumni is that of a school preparing professional, responsible, and successful graduates.

The Value of a CSU Campus plus the Quality of a Private College

As one of the 23 campuses in the California State University (CSU) system, Cal Maritime enjoys the strength associated with this planet's biggest university system. Tuition and housing costs are no more than other CSU campuses up and down the state which makes us highly affordable. Our academic quality, however, shares more in common with private colleges. Our average class size of 23 students as well as approachable, mentoring faculty creates the type of academic atmosphere more closely associated with small schools. Forbes Magazine evaluated our value considering the relatively low cost of our education and the success of our graduates and has designated Cal Maritime as one of the top 3 "Best Values" among all California colleges and universities.

Most Students Live on Campus

Nearly 70% of all students live on campus. This high percentage enhances the sense of campus community. A truly residential campus is a key element to an academy lifestyle that adds to the students' feeling of ownership of and dedication to the school.

The Corps of Cadets Stressing Responsibility, Accountability, Leadership, and Professionalism

At Cal Maritime, all students are also cadets who comprise the Corps of Cadets that forms the basic organizational structure of the Academy. Your classes will teach you the "hard" skills and knowledge for your degree, but the Corps of Cadets stresses the "soft" skills such as responsibility, accountability, leadership, and professionalism. Those soft skills are what give Cal Maritime graduates such an advantage in their job search and later careers.

Uniforms, Grooming Standards, & Formations are a Good Thing!

There are always some things in life (and in college) where the benefits are hard to see in the moment, but they become apparent as people enter their career. Eventually, everyone has dress and grooming standards in the workplace. Cal Maritime considers the campus your "workplace," so cadets wear uniforms during the class day. Generally, personal clothes are just fine after the last class of the day. There are no curfews, but there is a mandatory morning assembly called "Formation" three days a week where there are announcements and possible uniform inspections. Actually, wearing uniforms are cheaper than buying four-years of the latest college fashions and everybody looks good in khaki!

International Travel for All

One important way that Cal Maritime ensures a global perspective in its graduates is the requirement that all students travel abroad while taking courses and gaining experiences important to each major. The way each student fulfills this requirement is determined by his or her individual major either on our training ship or on school-sponsored study tours.

Training, Learning, and International Travel on the Training Ship GOLDEN BEAR for All Engineering and Marine Transportation Majors

All Cal Maritime cadets in the Marine Transportation program and all three Engineering programs become members of the crew of the 500 foot Training Ship GOLDEN BEAR on at least one sixty day journey visiting a number of ports around the Pacific Rim. The 2013 journey takes place from mid-May to mid-July.  Follow the blog and photos from this summer's journey by going to https://www.csum.edu/web/academics/follow-the-voyages-2013. The cadets run the ship (including the bridge and engine room) under the supervision of licensed maritime professionals. Cadets also take classes, perform ship maintenance, and gain a first-hand exposure to ship operations.

International Study-Tours in the Business Administration - International Business and Logistics Major as well as the Global Studies and Maritime Affairs Major

Faculty-led, Cal Maritime-sponsored three-week study tours to international locations such as Costa Rica, Vietnam, France/Morocco, or Northern Europe provides our students in the Global Studies & Maritime Affairs program as well as the Business Administration - International Business & Logistics program with a valuable exposure to the business environments and political issues around the globe. View the Facebook pages of the 2012 summer voyages by going to this web page https://www.csum.edu/web/academics/follow-the-voyages-2013. In certain years, a 60-day training cruise on the Golden Bear (see item #9) may be used in lieu of the study-tour or the training cruise may be the only option for fulfilling this group's international requirements. 

All Students Have at Least One Summer Internship

A dedicated staff in our Career Development Center works very hard to gather a large list of companies and organizations willing to offer various forms of internships or co-ops and then working with the cadets to match their available internships with specific professional goals. Cadets come back from these experiences with more mature, more confident, and with the ability to "connect the dots" between their remaining courses and the demands in the real world.

Our Industry Connections Lead to Great Careers

Cal Maritime alumni predominate in the maritime industry around the Pacific Rim. Those who influence hiring and promotion have direct knowledge of the quality and relevancy of the education we provide. Several of the same companies and agencies that hire Cal Maritime graduates have many other connections to the Academy. We have many industry advisory groups telling us what knowledge, skills and traits they would like to see as part of a changing economy and workforce. 94% of the graduating class of 2013 (all majors) were employed in their field by August 1, 2013. The remaining 6% did not respond to our survey. Average starting salaries in each major were as follows:  Marine Transportation $69,000, Marine Engineering Technology, $71,000, Facilities Engineering Technology $73,000, Mechanical Engineering (licensed) $63,000, Mechanical Engineering (non-licensed) $57,000, Business Administration-International Business and Logistics $44,000, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs, $40,000.