Marine Engineering Major: Information and Requirements

The most common type of degree offered at the bachelor's degree level in this field is the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. This 4-year program is designed to provide students with a strong overview of operating systems in craft such as boats, yachts, ships, submarines and other offshore structures.

Essential Information

Students in a marine engineering bachelor's program can expect to complete at least 1-2 years of basic engineering and mathematics courses before they learn how to apply concepts about operating systems in craft to marine structures specifically. Students often must participate in lab or hands-on experiences or projects, where they might be expected to head the design of a proposed watercraft. An undergraduate major in marine engineering can prepare students for careers designing and constructing watercraft.

  • Program Levels in Marine Engineering Major: Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma, high standardized test scores, pre-engineering general education college courses
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Other Requirements: Lab projects are often required

Bachelor's Degree in Marine Engineering

Many of the courses involved in a marine engineering bachelor's degree program are technical and scientific in nature. For instance, the core courses in a bachelor's degree program in marine engineering offer students a chance to learn about how physics, calculus, technical writing and mechanical engineering can be used to design the operating systems of different boats. Some core engineering courses include:

  • Physics
  • Marine design methods
  • Differential equations
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Control circuits and electric machinery
  • Ship dynamics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an employment growth of 10% for marine engineers and naval architects for the years 2012 through 2022. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for these workers was $92,930 in 2014.

Continuing Education

Two common types of graduate degrees available for aspiring marine engineers include a Master of Marine Engineering and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Each program lasts about two years and prepares students to provide advanced scientific and engineering principles to the technical craft of boat designing and construction. The point of many master's degrees in the field of marine engineering is to provide students with a pre-professional education and prepare them to enter the field directly as marine engineers.

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