During the summers, students in the US Coast Guard license program may choose from two different experiences:
- Summer Sea Term
- Cadet Shipping in Lieu of Summer Sea Term
Both options provide students with the valuable hands-on experience onboard a commercial vessel that is required to earn a Coast Guard license.
On Summer Sea Term, students sail onboard the college training ship, Empire State VI. Students must complete at least two summer sea terms: one after their first year and another after their junior year. Most students also go on summer sea term, also known as cruise, after their sophomore year.
On a cadet-shipping assignment, students will be placed onboard a commercial vessel and sail as part of the ship's crew. Most students who participate in cadet shipping do so after their sophomore year, though a limited number can also cadet-ship during the semester. The cadet-shipping application process is lengthy and highly competitive.