Accuplacer All incoming students in the Massachusetts Public College system are required by the Department of Higher Education to take the Accuplacer examination. This online assessment and placement tool is used throughout the Commonwealth by institutions of higher education to place incoming students in courses appropriate for their level of academic preparedness.

The Accuplacer examination provides students with useful information about their academic skills in English, mathematics, and reading. The results of the examination, in conjunction with a student’s background, goals, and interests, are used by the MMA registrar as well as by academic advisors and counselors to determine a student’s course selection.

More information about the Accuplacer test can be found on the following web page: https://www.maritime.edu/accuplacer-examination

Note: A photo ID is required to sit for the Accuplacer test.

Military service The federal government has no special power over maritime academy cadets, except those who have signed contracts to be in one of the commissioning programs.  The rest of the cadets are no different than civilian students in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense.
Color Blindness Testing Color sense is a safety requirement, as lights and controls are color-coded by international convention.

Marine Transportation:  Applicants must demonstrate that they have a normal color sense when tested by the 14 plate, 24 plate, or 38 plate Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates tests, Farnsworth Lantern, or an alternative test approved by the NMC. The use of color sensing lenses to assist these applicants with passing the color vision test is prohibited by 46 CFR 10.205(d)(2). Any questions about acceptable color sense testing methodologies should be directed to the NMC. See 46 CFR 10.205(d)(2).

Marine Engine:  Applicants are only required to demonstrate that they can distinguish between the colors red, blue, green, and yellow. They may do so by passing the 14 plate, 24 plate, or 38 plate Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates tests, Farnsworth Lantern, or an alternative test approved by the NMC. Any questions about acceptable color-sense testing methodologies should be directed to the NMC. See 46 CFR 10.205(d)(3).

Applicants for Able Seaman (AB) endorsement who cannot demonstrate normal color vision by passing the 14 plate, 24 plate, or 38 plate Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates tests, Farnsworth Lantern, or an alternative test approved by the NMC, but who are otherwise qualified for AB in all respects, may be issued an MMD endorsed as boatswain. The term “boatswain” is defined in 46 CFR 10.103. It is a non-watchstanding, non-navigating position.

Applicants for deck officer licenses who cannot pass the color vision tests may be considered for a waiver by the NMC for issuance of a license limited to daylight hours only.

An alternative to the Ishihara test for colorblindness which is used at the Academy, is offered at Tufts NE Medical (FARNSWORTH -D15) at no charge!  It is administered by a technician so that the only requirement is that you call ahead to ensure that a technician will be available.  The main number is 617.636.4600.  Another option is testing with an anomaloscope.  It is the only test that is as sensitive (if not more) than the CCT. This test can be found at university medical campuses.

That said, there are several majors at MMA that do not require color vision.

 MAPS MAPS is the two week “Maritime Academy Preparatory Seminar” that is held just prior to the Orientation Program.

Students attend MAPS only if it is clearly stated as a condition of acceptance. 



What to Pack & How to Pack: The “what to bring list” will be mailed to your cadet candidate and will be available on the Academy website on the “CLASS OF 20XX” page.  The list is what the c/c will need and nothing else.

When a c/c checks in, he/she will be given an id/room key and PT gear.  The cadet candidate will then take his/her belongs to the room and change into the PT gear. The cadet will receive his/her sea bag and contents at in-processing.

For cadet candidates who are coming from a long distance and parents may not be able to get back with more stuff after the initial drop-off, the computer, clock, and a SMALL amount of civilian clothing can be brought to orientation but will be locked away in a secure place until orientation is finished.

Orientation Graduation The two week orientation concludes with “Orientation Graduation.”  The Marching Competition begins at 1830 in Clean Harbors Stadium and is followed by awards and the cadet candidate oath. The cadets are dismissed at approximately 2100 and have liberty until check-in the day before move-in day. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy Public Safety officers assist with traffic control and guiding visitors who require special access. Restrooms are available in the gymnasium.
Haircuts When a male cadet candidates arrive at Orientation, they should arrive with a #1 haircut and no facial hair.  Women wear their hair short or rubber-banded up in a small bun at the back of the neck. No scrunchies, hairclips or earrings (for anyone) at Orientation.

The Academy employs two barbers who provide haircuts to the cadets at no cost.  There are day and evening hours to accommodate all schedules.

Technology (computers) Massachusetts Maritime Academy requires that all cadets have a laptop computer, tablet, or other computing device. These may be purchased through the Academy bookstore or other retail outlets. Please make sure new laptops meet the following requirements for hardware and software:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 or higher; Mac OSX 10.6 or higher; Ubuntu 12.04 or variants
  • Processor: 2GHz+ recommended
  • Memory: 4GB+ recommended
  • Wireless Adapter
  • Warranty: 3+ years on-site, next business day with accidental damage coverage recommended
  • Antivirus Software with auto-update and active scanning required INCLUDING Mac OSX
  • If using wired connections: 25′ category 5e/6 network cable

Desktop printers are discouraged.

MMA policy prohibits personal wireless APs in the dormitories, the reason for this is that personal APs interfere with the existing wireless signals and thus diminish everyone else’s service.  Additionally, personal APs create a security vulnerability.

Parking Permits Applications and payments MUST be completed online at the MMA website under the Public Safety linkhttps://www.maritime.edu/parking-regulations

Permits maybe picked up at the Public Safety office between 0900-1530 hours Monday-Friday.  All permits on/off campus are $195/year.

4/C cadets are not eligible to purchase parking until after the Recognition Ceremony in October.

Important Phone Numbers Main Switchboard:  508.830.5000

Public Safety (24/7):  508.830.5000 x1025 or  508.726.0798

CIC (cadet watch: 1530-0730):  508.830.5043

Quarterdeck (TS Kennedy):  508.830.5000 x1550

ASDO Office:  508.830.5000 x1400

MMA Counseling Center:  508.830.5000 x1480

MMA Health Services:  508.830.5048

 Transportation Airport:

·         Connect from Boston Logan Airport

·         Connect from Providence Green Airport


·         Amtrak (Boston & Providence)


·         Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority

·         Green Shuttle (airport/Amtrak, point-to-point, personal hourly rides)

·         Bourne 24hr Taxi

STCW STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers) is a set of standards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under which MMA must comply. All cadets in the US Coast Guard license programs will have to meet the STCW standards. They are a detailed series of practical demonstrations of competence that each cadet must accomplish in front of a certified examiner. The USCG (M Division) is responsible for assuring that the US is in compliance with STCW.
Maintenance Requirement The Cadet Shipboard Maintenance Program (CSMP) is a multi‐purpose element of the leadership and knowledge experience for cadets at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The program primarily provides the necessary level of maintenance effort that the Academy must give under the loan agreement with the Maritime Administration; and it also gives the cadets the opportunity to apply the science taught in many classes; provides leadership and supervisory experiences for the regimental structure; and it provides significant credit toward the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping required of all license candidate cadets.

Maintenance is a graduation requirement for ALL majors.  More information is available at:  https://www.maritime.edu/shipboard-maintenance-program

Watch Duty Part of the program at MMA includes 8 hour holiday watches onboard the training ship. Prior to the holiday, the cadets have an opportunity to volunteer for a watch. After the voluntary sign up period ends, the remaining watches are filled through a lottery. Cadets who live far away or have family or work responsibilities are urged to sign up for a watch. Some, however, chose to take their chances with the lottery, hoping they don’t get an assignment. Once the remaining watches are drawn and the watch bill is published, the cadets on the bill “own” that watch and are responsible to report for their duty assignment.

Paid Holiday Watch:  Cadets are contracted as employees and paid a fair wage to stand the watch on holidays.  Normal cadet watches are suspended at 1600 (4:00 PM) the day before, and resume them at 0800 (8:00 AM) the day after the holiday.  This equates to 48-hours of paid watches for each holiday.  If a cadets contracts to stand a watch, they are then removed from the random pool for assignment.  They not only get to select their watch, they get paid too.  I guarantee they will be paid before the ship sails. Cadets are able to take multiple watches over the 48-hour stands because so few cadets were willing to work.

Regimental Structure COMCAD is short for “Commandant of Cadets” or by extension, anyone in his office hierarchy.  The Commandant’s Office oversees the Regiment of Cadets.

The Regiment is all the cadets who live on campus or commute to campus and wear the uniform. Commuter students are not in the regiment and wear civilian clothes. Company Officers are Academy employees, one for each company. The Regiment has Regimental staff who are the leaders of the regiment of cadets. There are 7 companies. Each company has a Company Officer and cadet officers. Cadets are designated as follows:

C/C – Cadet Candidate, A cadet that has not yet been “recognized”. Recognition occurs in October 4/C – Fourth Class Cadet, Freshman 3/C – Third Class Cadet, Sophomore 2/C – Second Class Cadet, Junior 1/C – First Class Cadet, Senior

Discipline Mast hearings are when the cadets who get tapped get heard and disciplined. Infractions are entered into an electronic “Tap Sheet”; Mast hearings are held periodically. Class 3 Mast: Low intensity, i.e. haircuts, uniform infractions, skipping class, etc. The Mast hearing is held by the company officer and the cadet company commander. Penalties for Class 3 Masts are extra duty and demerits (given together: 1 hr of ED:2 demerits) Class 2 Mast: Medium intensity, heard by the Discipline Officer, the adult in charge of discipline, and the regimental cadet discipline officer. These are more serious, but don’t rise to the level of potential suspension or dismissal. Penalties are ED/demerits and restriction.  Examples of a Class 2 offense are intoxication, violation of the tobacco policy, failure of Captain’s Inspection. Class 1 Mast: significant, i.e. assault, OUI, failure to report for watch/duty, etc. Class 1 boards are heard by the VP of Academics, the VP of Marine Operations, the VP of Enrollment Management, the Dept. Head of the cadet’s major, the SGA President and the Regimental Commander.  Penalties can include suspension or dismissal from the academy.
Handicap Accessibility


Everything is completely handicap accessible, including parking spaces near where you want to go if you don’t want to travel along a well-paved sidewalk for any distance.  The dorms have 1 elevator located at “4 corners”.
Campus ATM & Bank There is a Santander ATM near the elevator in the dorm complex.  There is also a Santander branch just off Main St. Buzzards Bay.
Communication/Mail Communications (i.e. bills, grades, scholarships) will be sent to the cadets by the Academy via email.  It is imperative that cadets check their ‘maritime.edu’ email as soon as they are “accepted” for admission.  The only communication that will be mailed is a “Deficiency Report” which will sent to the cadet at his/her record address.

Mail and packages can be sent to cadets at:

X/C Cadet ______

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

101 Academy Drive

Buzzards Bay, MA  02532

End of Term/Move Out All students move out entirely at the end of the fall and spring terms.  No “out of state storage” is available.  If a student cannot transport an item, they should see if a more local friend can assist them or talk with his/her Company Officer.

Spring Semester: The 3/C participate in the “sophomore shuffle.” 4/C stay in the same company. Rooms and roommates only change if someone doesn’t come back to MMA after fall term/sea term and room occupancy gets “balanced.”

Winter Term MENG & MTRA students enroll in Sea Term or commercial shipping through the career services department.

Department heads of all other majors arrange learning opportunities which may vary from year to year.  Shore-side co-ops are also available through the career services office.


On-campus classes are available for all students.  Use this link to see the available class list and to register/pay.  Campus housing and limited meal service is available during the winter term.  Typically brunch is served Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Thursday.  The cadets are on their own for weekend meal plans.  (There are microwaves available to cadet use in the dorm study lounges.)  To arrange to live on campus, cadets need to go to the Business Office (2nd Fl, Harrington) to request to be billed for winter room & board.  Once the bill is paid, a room assignment will be given.

Passports A cadet needs to provide his/her Company Officer with two color copies of his/her passport for his/her file and will need the actual passport for any foreign travel.  To learn about the best way to get a passport or to renew your passport, fees, etc.  click on  the following link:



Cadets also need to log into WebAdvisor and enter:  emergency contact information, passport number and passport expiration date for all manifests and musters.

Immunizations Health Services offers typhoid and yellow fever vaccinations with a cash payment.  (A receipt is given for insurance reimbursement, if eligible.)

Health Services can provide a prescription for other vaccinations which are then picked up by the cadet at the pharmacy.  This procedure ensures that insurance adjustment is made up front and the cadet only has to pay the co-payment.

Sea Term Packing / Departure Only what is on the list for the Sea Term seabag/gear is needed when 4/C report for Sea Term. Space is limited and your cadets should only bring back what they can carry and stow easily.

4/c cadets have a Sea Term Roundtable in November with the Ship Captain and Commandant’s Staff to discuss the Sea Term.  Everything from social responsibilities to emergency equipment/awareness and security will be presented with an opportunity for questions.

Parents will have the opportunity to attend a Sea Term brief on Freshman Recognition morning.  Toward the end of the fall term, sailing time and scheduled ports will be available for the parents.  Ship sailing time is based on the slack tide and varies from year to year.

Sea Term Money On Sea Term, the Captain maintains a safe with cash.  Deposits from the cadets are strongly encouraged. Funds can be withdrawn per the announcements in the Plan of the Day (POD); deposits and withdrawals are not “on demand.”  Withdrawals are always allowed before ports.  It is much easier to use cash in a foreign port than a credit or debit card.  Using the safe prevents “losses,” so the cadets who want to use cash would be well-advised to use it. There are always, regrettably, instances of “lost” money on the ship. This is one reason why you can get tapped (disciplined) for leaving your locker unlocked at any time you aren’t standing in front of it.

You can also have the school wire funds to your cadet for a fee.  Details are included in the materials you will receive before the ship sails.

Typically $100 per day is needed in port.  In addition to eating, they will also want to take advantage of the shore-side excursions (scuba diving, boat rides, jungle tours, etc.), and money may be needed for taxis or tips. Souvenir shopping is always a common use of spending money.

Communications SKYFILE EMAIL & PHONE CARD:  Purchase a $40 PREPAID Universal Card from Ms. Nancy McGinn in the Ships Office. Only cash or personal check is accepted. Card expiration: unused cards expire 2 years after the date of sale or 1 year after last reload. Used cards expire 1 year after first use or after last reload.

$40 Prepaid cards have 600 units ($0.06 per unit). Email and phone calls will be charged in unit(s). The same card can be used for a combination of calls and emails.  There is a minimum charge of 2 units per email.  According to Marlink, the ship email provider, the card will allow 2.3MB of data transfer or 37.5 minutes of phone call.  Your charge will depend on email length, file attachment size or phone call duration.  (Emails between users on the same email server (e.g.  xxxx.tskennedy@skyfile.com) will NOT be charged, however, a current registered account is required.)

·                     The cadet prepaid satellite phone is located in the PC Lab.

·                     There are 20 PC’s in the cadet computer lab that can be used for emailing.

Automatic communication links are varied and may occur 36 times a day depending on the amount of email traffic while the Kennedy is at sea. Emails are stored in the outgoing queue until they are released during a Skyfile Mail “dialin”.  A scheduled communication will be posted once the Kennedy departs.  (The Captain reserves all rights to terminate, delay, or change the dialing times.)

·                     Cadets are able to purchase additional cards once underway, however there is a limited supply available.


IT staff will schedule training sessions during the first two weeks of Sea Term for those who need further assistance with the email. Training sessions will be announced via POD.  Please allow 24 hours for the ship IT representative to create your email profile. Check your designated email server for your name and follow the instruction to activate your email.


·                     You can choose to have a Skyfile Mail shortcut on your window based laptop, but you must use it within the ship network. Skyfile Mail is window based software and runs from an email server located on board the ship.  Unfortunately, the current version does not support MAC, LINUX, Android tablet, or web‐based emails.  Read the POD for scheduled IT times to create Skyfile Mail shortcut.

Port Liberty & Safety Cadets are briefed before each port with specifics such as: what streets and localities to avoid.  They will be reminded only to carry the cash they anticipate on using, always travel in groups, how to avoid getting in trouble with the Academy (or getting the Academy in trouble), and other necessary information for a safe voyage.

There are 4 Divisions on the T.S. Kennedy and 4 ports.  One Division will be the “Watch Division” in each port.  If a cadet is in the watch division, he/she will not have liberty in that particular port.

 Sea Term arrival Weather, mechanical events, etc. can cause short notice changes to the schedule.  Any changes to the arrival schedule will be communicated to the cadets on-board and posted on the Academy website.

Not all cadets are able to leave following the arrival of the Kennedy from Sea Term.  There is also an “off-load” period during which cadets continue standing watch and have duties unloading the ship.  The Commandant’s Office posts a sign-up sheet outside the ship’s library. Preference order is: cadets living (1) Outside New England, (2) New England not local, (3) Local. There’s about 2 weeks to cover before cadets return for classes.  These watch bills and duty rosters are finalized prior to the last port so that cadets can get the information to their parents.

Watches (IIRC) are eight hours, not the four/four split. Cadets from a distance from the campus can usually arrange an overnight with a local cadet.