California State University Maritime Academy offers a variety of degrees grounded in the maritime tradition. Three majors are structured such that the student will receive a Bachelors' degree and USCG credential endorsed as a 3rd Mate or 3rd Assistant Engineer upon the successful and timely completion of the curriculum, to include application for and passing of the appropriate United States Coast Guard (USCG) licensing exams.

These USCG approved programs are reviewed and re-approved every five (5) years by the USCG and the Maritime Administration.  Each program approval specifies the US Code and IMO STCW Tables of Competence that each program meets.  These competencies are embedded within the curriculum and, each student, upon successful and timely completion of the program, to include application for and passing of the relevant USCG licensing exam will have demonstrated basic competency.

Cadets that plan to become a member of the US Merchant Marine must in enroll and complete all degree requirements in a license track academic program. The USCG Licensing Office ensures that all required Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, (commonly referred to as STCW policies) established by the United States Coast Guard are implemented and executed by students in the Marine Engineering Technology, Marine Transportation, and Mechanical Engineering-License Track undergraduate programs. Students in each program must exhibit competence in all STCW competencies and complete the sea service requirements of our USCG program approval.  

Student records in all areas of the required STCW competencies, watchkeeping and seatime are assessed to ensure that the license candidate can qualify to test for his/her USCG 3rd Assistant Engineer (engineering officer) or 3rd Mate (deck officer) exam, which is administered by the USCG during the final semester of their senior year, in order to obtain a USCG license as a merchant marine officer upon graduation.


STCW Gap Closure

Students graduating from Cal Maritime after 2013 have received training and instruction that fulfills the requirements of the STCW GAP closure on the operational level. These requirements were put forth from the National Maritime Center and have been addressed in our program approval.
Please refer to the navigation column for specific information and documents pertaining to all areas of our license programs. 

Contact Information


Ms. Robyn Christopher
Interim Director, USCG Licensing Programs
(707) 654-1297
(707) 654-1296 Fax
The USCG Licensing Office is located in Room 105 of the Student Services Building.