Golden Beard Pointing

(Información en español)

Located on a compact and scenic waterfront campus in Vallejo, California, California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) is a unique and specialized campus of the 23-campus California State University system. We are one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States — and the only one on the West Coast.

A key part of the campus experience is the Summer Sea Term aboard our 500-foot Training Ship Golden Bear. TSGB serves as a floating classroom/laboratory where classroom concepts in marine transportation, engineering and technology are practiced and applied. School-sponsored, study-abroad trips provide those studying international business, logistics, maritime security and maritime policy with a first-hand exposure to those practices in locations around the world.

The unique Cal Maritime program combines classroom learning with applied technology, leadership development and global awareness. No one else does what we do! Our graduates have excellent career opportunities on land, in ports, and at sea.

Cal Maritime has the highest employment rate in the CSU system with starting salaries near the top of national averages. Government data consistently shows that Cal Maritime alumni have the highest average salaries of any college or university (public or private) in the western U.S.



10 Facts About Cal Maritime

Founded / 1929 in Tiburon as the California Nautical School. Campus / 92 acres on the picturesque Vallejo, California waterfront.
School Colors / Navy and gold Motto / Cal Maritime's Latin motto, Laborare Pugnare Parati Sumus means "To work, to fight, we are ready." The motto was chosen early in the 20th century when the "Merchant Marine" was closely associated with supplying military efforts in war and peace time. The maritime industry now consists of primarily civilian, commercial shipping and related activities.
The CSU / Cal Maritime joined the California State University in 1995. Mascot / Cal Maritime's athletics teams are called the Keelhaulers, and the mascot is named Golden Beard.
Academics / Bachelor's degrees in business administration — international business and logistics, facilities engineering technology, international strategy and security, marine engineering technology, marine transportation, mechanical engineering, and oceanography, as well as a master's degree in transportation and engineering. Global Awareness / All Cal Maritime undergraduates experience international travel either aboard Training Ship Golden Bear or through one of our many annual international travel opportunities.
Ship / The 500-foot Training Ship Golden Bear is Cal Maritime's fourth training ship, and the third to be called Golden Bear. Academy / The only degree-granting maritime academy on the west coast of the U.S. and one of only seven in the nation.


Why Choose Cal Maritime?

Cadets relax on chairs on campus waterfront

An Ocean Point of View

California State University 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. Explore our mission, vision, and beliefs.


Oceanography cadet Josh Bennett writes notes aboard R/V Questuary

The Academy Advantage 

Academies are generally small, focused, structured, and offer a high-quality education. These characteristics all describe Cal Maritime. Our 1,051 students study one of only seven majors, and students are generally very focused on their chosen fields. Quality, personalized teaching is provided with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1 and average class size of 20. Some people assume Cal Maritime is a "military" academy because our students wear uniforms, but they are not correct. In fact, 94% of our graduates go directly into for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, or graduate schools while 8% graduate as commissioned officers in the military. We do stress some similar values as the military academies such as leadership and accountability – 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. Learn more about our academic programs.


Aerial view of Cal Maritime's campus

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 20 students as well as approachable, mentoring faculty creates the type of academic atmosphere more closely associated with small schools. CNBC ranked Cal Maritime 17th among public universities nationally when comparing graduate salaries to cost of attendance. Learn more about visiting our campus.


Res Life staff help cadets settle in on Move-in Day

Most Students Live on Campus

The high percentage of students living on campus enhances the sense of 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. Housing & Residential Life is committed to creating inclusive communities and providing a residential living/learning environment that directly supports the educational, social, and personal development of each cadet. We support research in higher education that indicates that living and being involved in student life on campus is in the best interest for students to be successful in both their academic career and their personal development as students.  Learn more about campus life at Cal Maritime.


Cal Martime seal is shown on official flag

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. Leadership is emphasized through our Edwards Leadership Program. Learn more about our Corps of Cadets.


A Cadet in khakis walks along the Cal Maritime campus waterfront

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 three days a week where there are important announcements and possible uniform inspections. Some of the more material parts of being a cadet include adhering to shared uniform and grooming standards, living by our core values, punctuality, & supporting shipmates. This is why Cal Maritime cadets are sought after as leaders in the maritime industry. Learn more about what it means to be a cadet.


Cadets ride camels during their international experience

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 their individual major either on our training ship or on school-sponsored study abroad tours. Whether planning for a career on land or at sea, our cadets are required to further our mission of global awareness by experiencing other cultures through international travel and study abroad opportunities. Learn more about our international programs.


Cadets aboard Training Ship Golden Bear on SF Bay

Training, Learning, and International Travel on 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 an unforgettable summer journey where they visit a number of ports around the Pacific Rim. 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 firsthand exposure to ship operations. During these periods at sea, our four compass points, intellectual learning, applied technology, global awareness and leadership development are on full display as the cadets hone their professional mariner skills.  Learn more about our Summer Sea Term by watching our recap video on YouTube.


Cal Maritime cadets featured shoreside

A Global View of Business, Logistics, and Maritime Affairs 

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 international strategy and security program and the business administration-international business & logistics program with a valuable exposure to the business environments and political issues around the globe. Learn more about our most recent international adventures.


A cadet featured at "Futures Ashore" Career Expo

All Students Have at Least One Summer Internship 

Our dedicated staff in Career Services work very hard to gather a large list of companies and organizations willing to offer various forms of internships or co-ops, and work with cadets to match their available internships with specific professional goals. Cadets come back from these experiences more mature, more confident, and with the ability to "connect the dots" between their remaining courses and the demands in the real world. Learn more about Career Services and internship opportunities.


Commencement photo with a cadet and her family

Our Industry Connections Lead to Great Careers

Cal Maritime consistently earns top rankings in esteemed publications such as Forbes Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, NASDAQ, Money Magazine, and Washington Monthly (just to name a few). These top rankings highlight our commitment to excellence and our reputation for preparing our students for lucrative careers that spur their social mobility. 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.  Take a look at a list of our esteemed industry partners.