The State University of New York Maritime College, in the Bronx, New York City, is the oldest maritime training school in the US.
SUNY Maritime College, as it is often called, was established in 1874 after a string of naval disasters in order to train generations of future seamen. It has been coeducational since 1972, with women now comprising around 15% of the student body.
Under 10 miles east of Manhattan, the college is connected to Queens, to its south, by Throgs Neck Bridge. One of the most iconic cities in the world, NYC is a cosmopolitan city which many see as the country’s beating heart. The city’s hilliest and grittiest borough, the Bronx is the birthplace of hip-hop. The college is located in the south east of the borough, where the Long Island Sound meets the East River.
Courses include naval architecture, marine engineering, facilities engineering, marine transportation, marine operations and maritime studies. Students choose between Regiment and Civilian programmes. The former requires living on campus, wearing a uniform and spending three summers doing 60-day stints on ships, working, studying and training for the Marine Officer’s Licence, but neither oblige students to go on military careers, which some, nonetheless, choose. Many graduates pursue careers in politics and across non-maritime industries, but more than 40% begin careers at sea.
Alumni include Leroy J. Alexanderson, the last ever captain of the SS United States, the fastest ever ocean liner to cross the Atlantic, and the astronaut Scott Kelly, whose brother Mark also travelled in space, making them the first siblings to do so.