Merchant Marine Academy Essay

All documents must be received in the Admissions Office by 1 March.  A few documents can be uploaded onto the web portal (see below). Those documents that cannot be uploaded must be mailed or scanned/emailed, or faxed to the Admissions Office.


Start your application to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Students may begin applying to the Academy on 1 June of your Junior Year of High School. The application deadline is 1 March of the year you wish to enter the Academy. The earlier you start the application, the sooner all related processes can begin (scheduling for your DoDMERB physical, for example). The later you apply, the greater the chance that you will not complete all processes by our established deadlines.

Attention Class of 2022 Candidates (and future applicants) - In order to be considered for the DoDMERB medical portion of the application, Admissions must receive at minimum your high school transcript, official SAT/ACT scores AND passing Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA).

How to Complete Your Package

To be complete, your Application Package must contain all of the following:

  1. USMMA Admissions Application:
    • Part 1, completed by you, on-line
    • Part 2, completed by you (if uploading to your portal, you must first complete the paper copy and sign it)
      • Biographical Essay (if uploading to your portal, your name must be visible at the top of the document)
      • Miscellaneous supporting documents, such as a resume, can be uploaded to your portal
    • Part 3, completed by your High School
      • Official High School Transcript(s)
      • High School Profile
      • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (one must be from your Guidance Counselor)
    • Official SAT and/or ACT standardized test scores (if uploading to your portal, it must be a full pdf scoresheet from the SAT/ACT website)
    • Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)
    • College Transcript(s), if applicable
    • College Letters of Recommendation, if applicable

You must submit completed documents with attachment(s) to:

Admissions OfficeU.S. Merchant Marine Academy300 Steamboat RoadKings Point, New York 11024-1699admissions@usmma.eduFax 516.773.5390**All documents must be received in the Admissions Office by 1 March.  
  1. Completed DoDMERB Medical Exam - In order to be considered for the DoDMERB medical portion of the application, the Admissions Office must receive at minimum your high school transcript, official SAT/ACT scores AND passing Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA).(Failing to disclose pre-existing medical conditions that you were aware of which are discovered after reporting to the USMMA may result in medical separation and you may be ineligible for readmission.)
  2. Nominations from a proper nominating authority (either a U.S. Representative or a U.S. Senator from your State of Residence/Domicile)

Candidates for admission to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy must be at least 17 years of age, and not have passed their 25th birthday, before 1 July of the year of admission.

Candidates for admission who have already graduated from high school and are applying while they are enrolled in an undergraduate college/university program elsewhere have several additional requirements which must be met for admission consideration.  Those may be found under the "Scholastic Requirements" section of the "Requirements" portion of the Admissions website (click here).


You must have a completed application on file in the Office of Admissions no later than the 1 March application deadline. You are strongly encouraged to complete this application early and must complete Part 1 prior to receiving a nomination from your nominating authority. Early filing of an application will expedite processing of your admission file.

Candidate Reply Date

The Academy ascribes to the universal candidate reply date of 1 May. All principal appointees are required to notify the Academy either of accepting or declining their status by that date.

Apply On-Line

U.S. candidates for admission to the Academy must apply on-line.

Privacy Act Statement

In accordance with 5 USC 552a(e)(3), the following information is provided to you when supplying personal information to the Maritime Administration.

  1. Authority which authorized the solicitation of the information : 46 USC 1295b and 1295g.
  2. Principal purpose(s) for which information is intended to be used: The information is used to evaluate each applicant for an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
  3. The routine uses which may be made of the information: As background information on applicants for the selection process. To contact the applicant. The social security number is a basic identifier.
  4. Whether or not disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary (required by law or optional) and the effects on the individual, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information: Disclosure of the information is voluntary, but the applicant will not be considered further if all information is not provided.


Tucked away on Long Island, the United States Merchant Marine Academy offers students the chance to pursue a prestigious though rigorous and regimented education. Further, it allows undergrads to join "a group of elite students who work hard and [are] honest and patriotic." Students here caution that the academics are "extremely difficult," especially given the "fast-paced classroom environment." Additionally, when asked about their professors, students dole out mixed reviews. Though most assert that their teachers are "very intelligent," some bemoan a "lack of enthusiasm." While some professors are described as "fair, approachable, and extremely helpful," other professors come across as "heartless and condescending." Regardless of which classes you enroll in, the Merchant Marine Academy is "a school that requires plenty of effort on behalf of the student." As one midshipman proudly sums up, "The opportunities afforded by this Academy are unparalleled by any other college I have come across. Despite the immense sacrifices and hardships of this school, it is completely worth it for the right person."

Student Body

At first glance, the average Merchant Marine Academy midshipman could be described as "a white, conservative male." Of course, there's definitely more to these students than race, gender, and political views. Certainly, undergrads can also be depicted as "respectful," "athletic," and "outgoing." They can also be categorized as "those that want to work in the maritime industry and those that want to join the military." Moreover, many are "hardworking and serious." As one undergrad explains, "If you aren't willing to work, you won't be here long." Another student continues, "The typical student has tons on his plate, whether it's regimental duties or academic ones. [However], no matter what, if you need help with something, somebody will be there for you." A fellow midshipman concurs, summing up, "The students here are all a family. Each one of us here at the Merchant Marine Academy [has] experienced the same rigorous training and tough treatment plebe year. We all work together in everything we do, and without one another it is almost impossible to succeed at the Academy." Actually, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is increasing the diversity of its student body every year.

Campus Life

Undergrads at the Merchant Marine Academy don't mince words about life at their school. Indeed, the majority seem to be in agreement that because "it is a military academy, fun is generally limited." As one straightforward student explains, "We are restricted to the campus grounds during the week until senior year. Life is pretty drab, dull, and boring [with] most time spent either in class, studying, or working out." Moreover, undergrads are "restricted by the regiment and disciplinary system." Of course, even these hardworking midshipmen get to kick back every now and again. Another undergrad cheerfully shares, "When the spring comes, everyone gets out to play rec sports (Ultimate Frisbee, tag football, soccer, swim, or bike ride) and goes to the park to BBQ." A fellow student chimes in, "We have a good time, and usually, it is the little things that make us happy. We enjoy hanging out on weekends and doing things that normal college students would do. Recently a few friends and I had a Nerf gun battle, which was pretty fun." When they are allowed, midshipmen rush to get off campus. Indeed, students here love to take advantage of the fact that they are "only twenty minutes from downtown NYC." As this wise midshipman concludes, "New York City in uniform boils down to cheap food, movies, plays, concerts, easy way to meet girls, you name it...we work hard all week, but when it comes time, we get to play hard as well."

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