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Marine Design School and Training Programs

Marine design bachelor's and master's degree programs can be found at several colleges and universities, as well as specialty schools. Students who wish to work in the marine design field often earn degrees in naval architecture and marine engineering, although some take yacht and marine design classes from non-degree-granting schools.

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Students studying marine design often enter degree programs in naval architecture and marine engineering (NAME). Students can alternatively pursue a degree in or mechanical engineering; however, they will need to attend a program that offers marine-based courses.

Top 10 Maritime Schools

Programs in marine or ocean engineering are offered at these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $39,290 Undergraduate; $21,690 Graduate
Maine Maritime Academy Castine, ME 4-year, Public Bachelor's $12,788 In-state Undergraduate; $25,362 Out-of-state Undergraduate
SUNY Maritime College Throggs Neck, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,809 In-state Undergraduate; $17,659 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,630 In-state Undergraduate; $23,436 Out-of-state Undergraduate
United States Naval Academy Annapolis, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's Free for U.S. Citizens With U.S. Navy or Marine Corps Contract
University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,004 In-state Undergraduate; $21,821 Out-of-state Undergraduate
U.S Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $1,107 Undergraduate
Texas A&M University College Station, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,176 In-state Undergraduate; $28,768 Out-of-state Undergraduate
United States Coast Guard Academy New London, CT 4-year, Public Bachelor's $942 Undergraduate
Webb Institute Glen Cove, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's $46,000 Undergraduate

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

Students interested in marine design programs may want to keep these considerations in mind.

  • Model testing and simulator facilities allow students to gain practical experience in marine design.
  • Advances in technology have ensured that much of a marine designer's work is done on a computer so schools should have up-to-date design labs with the most current software, such as Rhino, and provide experience through virtual environments.
  • Programs accredited by ABET are encouraged to show innovation and continuous refinement while maintaining a focus on a high degree of student learning.
  • Not all schools offer graduate and undergraduate programs, and those interested in both levels of study may want to opt for a school that offers all degree levels.

Diploma Programs

Non-degree training programs, which grant diplomas or fall under the category of continuing education, are usually hands-on and provide the basics in marine design, naval architecture and boat-building. Students who are looking for non-traditional training may wish to consider a distance-learning program, which focuses on design, methods and systems rather than boat building.

Bachelor's Degrees

A Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program gives students the tools they need to design a seaworthy craft. Only a few schools offer NAME programs and thus acceptance is highly competitive. Some students pursue a Bachelor of Engineering and then specialize in a marine design field at the graduate level.

Master's Degrees

Students generally have two choices at the master's level of study. They can pursue a Master of Science in Engineering in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with requirements based on coursework such as ship hydrodynamics and marine composites. They can also pursue a Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, which has many of the same course requirements, but also demands that the student complete a written thesis.

Marine design studies are typically pursued through a naval architecture and marine engineering degree; however, it may also be an option to pursue studies in ocean engineering or mechanical engineering as long as the course options include appropriate courses. Degrees are commonly offered at the bachelor's level, and graduate studies are available at some institutions.

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