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USMMA Operations Status: Normal

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Steps to Admission


for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Class of 2029 (Starting in July 2025)


The appointment process to the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) can be a lengthy process.  The earlier you submit your application, the sooner all related processes can begin (scheduling for your DoDMERB physical, for example). The later you apply, the greater the chance that your applicant file will not be complete by the application deadline. 

Please read all of the information on this page carefully prior to starting your application.



School Information – high school and college(s), if applicable.  It is helpful to have your CEEB codes handy when completing the educational background portion of the application.

Self-Reported Scholastic Information – SAT/ACT scores, GPA, class size, and rank in class. You will need to send your official test scores to USMMA, and the other information will also be provided by your school official in the request for academic information. 

Contact Information for Evaluators – you must provide contact information for: 

  • one (1) Counselor or School Official Evaluator – must be a high school official, generally your guidance counselor, who will be asked to provide your high school transcripts, grade reports, and courses in progress, as applicable; school profile, GPA, and rank in class.
  • three (3) Teacher Evaluators – from English, Math, and Lab Science (Chemistry or Physics) courses. If you are an applicant with postsecondary education after high school, a minimum of two (2) Teacher Evaluations are required from current or past college professors in English, Math or Science courses. Teacher evaluators will be asked to provide a professional assessment of your ability to perform successfully at a federal service academy. 
  • one (1) Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) Evaluator – the CFA must be administered by a physical education teacher, J/ROTC instructor, Academy Field Representative, or any commissioned/non-commissioned officer other than a parent/guardian.

Athletic and Other Extracurricular Activities – include all extracurricular activities you have participated in since 9th grade and anticipated participation during 12th grade, or post-high school if you are a high school graduate. Include athletic accomplishments, volunteer work, work experience, academic and other awards, and any other activities including leadership roles. You are encouraged to submit a resume (optional) with your application.

Required Essay – applicants must submit a response to the required essay prompt.  Your essay must be at least 500 words and describe your reason(s) for wishing to attend USMMA, your curriculum preference, and your career interests.  You should include information about relevant coursework, hobbies and activities, maritime-related experience, and/or military-related experience.  You must also state your understanding of and willingness to accept the service obligation upon graduation.  Applicants whose essay does not meet the minimum word requirement or fail to address the service obligation may not be considered for an appointment.  

Optional Essay – applicants may also respond to the optional essay prompt.  Your essay must be 500 words or less and describe a personal experience in which you have overcome adversity.  Essays that exceed the maximum word requirement may not be accepted.


•    Take the ACT and/or SAT and have your scores sent to USMMA.  More information regarding standardized testing is available here. Note: USMMA does not accept the non-standard or untimed administration of the ACT or SAT. 

•    Initiate the process to obtain a Congressional nomination. Applicants living in the 50 States may request a nomination from one of their U.S. Senators or from a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from their state. Applicants living in a United States Territory or the District of Columbia may request a nomination from their Delegate to the House of Representatives (in Puerto Rico, a nomination should be requested from the Resident Commissioner). The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy does not accept military service-connected or Vice-Presidential nominations. To find your Representative, click here.  To find your Senators, click here.  Visit your Representative’s or Senators’ website now to learn more about their nomination timeline and requirements.  Additional information regarding nominations is available here.

•    Pursue initiation and completion of your medical evaluation. The medical process is managed by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB).  More information about the medical qualification standards and process is available at and here.

•    Prepare for the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA).  Information regarding the CFA is available here.

The USMMA Office of Admissions must receive your completed application no later than February 1st of the year of entry.

**The Class of 2029 application deadline is February 1, 2025**


Click here to create a USMMA Applicant Portal account

Now Accepting Applications for the Class of 2029