Marine Engineering Major: Information and Requirements

Learn about bachelor's degree programs for prospective marine engineering professionals. Read on for information about program requirements and coursework, and review employment outlook statistics for this field.

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Essential Information

An undergraduate major in marine engineering can prepare students for careers designing and constructing watercraft. The most common type of degree offered at the bachelor's degree level in this subject is the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. This 4-year program is designed to provide students with a strong overview of operating systems in craft such as boats, yachts, ships, submarines and other offshore structures.

Students can expect to complete at least 1-2 years of basic engineering and mathematics courses before they learn how to apply those concepts to marine structures specifically. Students often must participate in lab or hands-on experiences or projects, where they might be expected to head the design of a proposed watercraft.

Education Prerequisites

A high school diploma and high standardized test scores are the primary prerequisite to gaining entrance into a 4-year university or college with a marine engineering program. Students who are preparing to declare a marine engineering major should also take pre-engineering general education courses such as college mathematics and physics.

Program Coursework

Many of the courses involved in a marine engineering bachelor's degree program are technical and scientific in nature. For instance, the core courses in a bachelor's degree program in marine engineering offer students a chance to learn about how physics, calculus, technical writing and mechanical engineering can be used to design the operating systems of different boats. Some core engineering courses include:

  • Physics
  • Mechanics of marine technology
  • Thermodynamics
  • Differential equations
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Control circuits
  • Ship dynamics
  • Electric machinery
  • Marine design methods

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an employment growth of 17% for marine engineers and naval architects for the years 2010 through 2020. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for these workers was $88,100 in 2012.

Continuing Education Options

Two common types of graduate degrees available for aspiring marine engineers include a Master of Marine Engineering and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Each program lasts about two years and prepares students to provide advanced scientific and engineering principles to the technical craft of boat designing and construction. The point of many master's degrees in the field of marine engineering is to provide students with a pre-professional education and prepare them to enter the field directly as marine engineers.

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  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Michigan include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering - Architectural
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Plastics Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Metallurgical Engineering
      • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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