The Humanities Department at the Maritime College plays two roles. The majority of students take eight or nine courses in the department, fulfilling seven SUNY General Education requirements: Basic Communication, Social Science, Western Civilization, Other World Civilizations, American History, Arts, and Humanities. Humanities coursework also contributes to the fulfillment of two other General Education requirements, Information Management and Critical Thinking.

Vision Statement

To be the leading force in maritime education, research, and scholarship in the nation.

Mission Statement

The Humanities Department provides outstanding interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate education in the Humanities, Maritime Studies (MRST), and Maritime and Naval Studies (MNST) for the 21st-century work force with an emphasis on excellent and adaptable skills in communication, critical thinking, digital writing, and historical and cultural understanding.

Maritime Studies is a global educational enterprise.  Diversity, multiculturalism, and global citizenship are at the heart of our curriculum and are infused in all our courses, research, and scholarship.

Department Goals

To educate and support every SUNY Maritime student in academic and technical writing, rhetoric and composition, critical thinking, research methods, digital scholarship, and diversity and inclusion training.

To offer a broad array of courses allowing for meaningful choices that reflect a student’s interests, and the diversity of human experience, through the study of languages, literatures, arts, music, philosophy, religion, law, film, digital humanities, histories, cultures and civilizations. 

To provide maritime industry internships and professional experiences, including U.S. Coast Guard deck licenses, study abroad and Williams Mystic semesters, hands-on archival and museum expertise, and publishing and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Four Major Courses of Study

HumanitiesBachelor of Science in Maritime Studies (Deck License)

The Maritime Studies (Deck License) degree is an interdisciplinary program leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree and a License as a United States Coast Guard Third Mate. This degree was created with a focus on what our students and alumni tell us they value most: a well-rounded curriculum with a consistent focus on the maritime world. This includes a foundation in the humanities, business, economics, law, policy, the maritime industry and the sciences.

Upper-division electives in history, literature, law and maritime studies are selected in personal consultation with a faculty advisor. This offers students an even greater opportunity to sharpen their skills in preparing to be both global citizens and industry leaders, and ensures that our graduates have the strong writing and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed as both global citizens and industry leaders.

Many students who have obtained this degree have gone into the merchant marine, the US Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command or through NROTC into the Navy. Other graduates have gone on to graduate work, particularly in law school, or into shoreside sectors of the maritime industry.

Students interested in pursuing this curriculum are invited to contact the Chair of the Humanities Department, or a Humanities faculty member.

Bachelor of Science in Maritime Studies (Intern)

The curriculum leading to the B. S. in Maritime Studies (Intern) degree combines a broad grounding in technical and scientific coursework along with a wide variety of courses in humanities, economics, law, policy, the maritime industry and the sciences. Students’ programs are shaped through personal consultation with a faculty advisor and tailored to their particular interests, particularly in upper-division electives in history, literature, law and maritime studies.

All students in the Maritime Studies (Intern) program will complete an internship as part of their four-year program. Past students have had experiences in a wide variety of fields, as shipping agents, museum interns, cruise ship staff, library researchers, and teachers in foreign countries. Some receive scholarships for a semester of travel and study through Mystic Seaport, and thereby fulfill their internship requirement. Students who graduate with a B. S. degree in Maritime Studies (Intern) will be able to pursue multiple opportunities: graduate study in law, education, maritime policy or the humanities; employment in shoreside areas of the maritime industry; employment in a field that demands both technical training and analytical communication skills; or within the U. S. Navy.

Students interested in pursuing this curriculum are invited to contact the Chair of the Humanities Department, or a Humanities faculty member.

Master of Science in Maritime and Naval Studies

The Master of Science degree in Maritime and Naval Studies gives graduate students the flexibility to tailor their advanced-degree work to their professional and personal interests.

Courses in history, literature, transportation and environmental policy are offered online and on-campus. The 31-credit degree program can be completed in three semesters.

Master of Science in Maritime and Naval Studies (Deck License)

This program allows graduate students to pursue a U.S. Coast Guard deck license in addition to their master's degree. The license program replaces the internship option, and requires that students participate in the regiment of cadets, a disciplined lifestyle program, and go on summer sea term. 

Fort Schuyler Press

Fort Schuyler Press is the academic  press of the Humanities Department of the State University of New York .The press publishes books on maritime and other subjects by its own faculty and others. Founded in 1998, FSP provides occasional internships for students  interested in learning about academic publishing.

Books are available at the college ship store, Amazon, and directly from the Humanities  Department by contacting or phoning 718-409-7247.

Here is a list of books published by Fort Schuyler Press


For questions regarding the coursework in General Education, or the Humanities Department degree programs, call the Humanities Department office at 718-409-7247.