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Steps to Admission

Completing an application to the United States Merchant Marine Academy is a length process. Applicants may start the application on June 1st of their junior year of high school. 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. Applications must be completed by February 1st for appointment consideration.

Review the following steps to familiarize yourself with our admissions requirements.

  1. Confirm Eligibility

To be eligible to enter the Academy, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age and must not have passed your 25th birthday before July 1 in the year of entrance.
  • Be a citizen of the United States either by birth or naturalization, except for a limited number of international midshipmen specially authorized by Congress.
  • Meet the physical, security, suitability and character requirements necessary for commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
  • Obtain a Congressional nomination to the Academy; submit a completed application; and qualify scholastically.
  • Be of good moral character.
  1. Submit Part 1
  • Go to to register for an account and start your application.
  • You will need the following information to get started:
    • Social Security Number
    • SAT or ACT scores
    • High School Class Rank
    • GPA
    • Congressional State and District
  1. Apply for a Nomination
  • Candidates must be nominated to the Academy by a U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator from your State of Residence/Domicile.
  • A candidate does not have to reside in the same Congressional District as his/her nominator (a Member of the U.S. House of Representative CAN nominate a candidate who resides in a District other than their own, as long as it is in their (the nominator's) State/Territory).  This differs from nominations to the USMA, USNA, and USAFA.
  • Securing a nomination is a competitive process. A nomination does not guarantee appointment to the Academy.
  • Nominating authorities select their nominees by any methods they wish, including a screening interview. Each nominating authority follows a different process and establishes unique deadline. You must be familiar with your nominating authorities’ requirement and apply for a nomination as early as possible. Contract information for your nominating authorities can be found at and
  • Nominations to the Academy must be received by January 31st. Your nomination will notify us of your nomination. If we don note receive your nomination by January 31st, your application will be closed.
  • The United States Merchant Marine Academy does not accept Vice Presidential or military service-connected nominations, i.e. Presidential, Regular/Reserve Component, ROTC.
  1. College Entrance Exams
  • All candidates are required to take either the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), or American College Test (ACT)
  • The Academy will accept official test results up to the February test date of the year for which candidates seek appointment.  The Academy will accept all test scores attained within three years of the admissions application deadline. The Academy does not accept the non-standard or untimed administration of the SAT or ACT.
  • The current minimum* qualifying test scores are:
  • SAT: 29 Reading and 29 Math. Test scores should be forwarded using the Academy's College Board Code: 2923.
  • ACT: 23 English and 24 Math. You must also achieve a minimum composite score of 23. Test scores should be forwarded using the Academy's ACT Code: 2974.
  • It is the candidate's responsibility to register for the examinations. Speak with your school counselor or visit the SAT and ACT websites for additional information.
  • You are encouraged to take both the SAT and ACT tests several times to try to improve your scores. Your highest scores will be accepted.

*The basic standardized SAT Reasoning Test or standardized ACT qualifying scores for admission will be determined by the Academy for each entering class.

  1. Transcripts
  • You must request an official transcript from your school. Official transcripts can be mailed to:

Admissions Office

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

300 Steamboat Road

Kings Point, New York 11024-1699

  • Please note – a seventh semester transcript is required by the file completion deadline of February 1st.
  1. Candidate Fitness Assessment
  • Satisfactory completion of the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) is one of the requirements for admission to the United States Merchant Marine Academy.  Passing results must be received in the Admissions Office by the application deadline.
  • The CFA is a test of strength, agility, speed and endurance.  The results of this test are important in the overall assessment of your admission file, so you should become familiar with the six events in the CFA and practice them to score well.
  • Your CFA examination may be administered by an Admissions Field Rep, a J/ROTC instructor, Physical Education Teacher, or any commissioned/non-commissioned officer other than a parent/guardian. It is your responsibility to arrange for a qualified person to conduct your examination. It is your responsibility to ensure that that the results are submitted the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Admissions Office by the application deadline.
  • Candidates have two (2) chances to pass the CFA. If you wait until the deadline to submit your CFA scores, you will not have an opportunity for a retest.  Taking the CFA early and submitting scores well in advance of the application deadline is in your best interest.
  • Candidate Fitness Assessment Instructions (click to access)
  • Fitness Assessment Score Sheet (click to access)

    Medical Exam

  • A candidate for admission to the Academy must be in good medical condition and must meet the requirements for an Appointment as a U.S. Navy Reserve midshipman.
  • The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) is responsible for determining the medical qualification of Academy applicants. Medical examinations are conducted by a service academy examining facility designated by DODMERB
  • To be considered for the DoDMERB medical exam, the Admissions Office must receive your high school transcript, official SAT/ACT scores AND a passing Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA). It is the candidate's responsibility to pursue medical processing in a timely manner to its conclusion. It can take several weeks to schedule your initial medical evaluation and several more weeks to determine medical qualification.   
  • Applicants can visit the DODMERB website at to obtain additional information.
  • 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.

Height and Weight

  • All applicants must meet the Navy body composition standards in accordance with the OPNAV Instruction 6110.1J, Physical Readiness Program.  Please see Table 1 in the Navy Body Composition Assessment (BCA) guide for maximum limits.
  • The maximum body fat percentages are 22 percent for men and 33 percent for women. A body fat percentage is not required for candidates whose weight falls within the parameters set forth in Table 1 in the Navy Body Composition Assessment (BCA) guide. For those candidates whose weight exceeds the maximum for their height, a body fat measurement will subsequently be taken using the circumference (tape measure) method. Candidates who do not meet the established medical requirements for admission at the time of their medical examination may still be considered for and offered a conditional appointment. Candidates are expected to report for the Academy's Indoctrination Program meeting the height-weight standards.

Medical Waivers

  • For candidates with a disqualifying medical condition: A medical waiver will be automatically requested for candidates that are competitive for an appointment to the Academy. You will be notified directly by DODMERB if there are any additional requirements, tests, or evaluations required.
  • The following is a list of medical considerations. It is not intended to be a complete or comprehensive list of all disqualifying conditions:


A candidate must have minimum uncorrected visual acuity of 20/400 in each eye, correctable to 20/20 in each eye. The refractive error to correct the vision to 20/20 must not be greater than plus or minus 6.0 diopters in any meridian; there cannot be more than 3.00 diopters of astigmatism present; and the maximum difference in power between the eyes may not exceed 3.50 diopters. The candidate must satisfactorily pass the pseudoisochromatic plate test (PIP). Any prospective candidate who has been diagnosed with substandard color vision is not eligible for further consideration. Upon reporting to the Academy, all plebes are subject to an eye examination. Those who fail to meet the Academy's visual requirements at that time will be disenrolled


Auditory acuity of all candidates is determined by an audiometer. The standards for hearing, to which the Academy ascribes, are determined by the U.S. Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board.

Heart and Vascular System

An electrocardiogram is required of all candidates. The following conditions may be causes for rejection and require complete medical evaluation: all organic valvular diseases of the heart, including those improved by surgery; EKG evidence of variations from normal heartbeat; hypertension evidenced by a predominant blood pressure reading of 140mm or more systolic, or 90mm or more diastolic. The following are causes for rejection: varicose veins, if severe or symptomatic; a heart rate greater than 100 on repeated examination; a substantiated history of rheumatic fever within the previous two years; recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever or evidence of residual cardiac damage; a history of recurring rapid heartbeat within the preceding five years (paroxysmal tachycardia).


Septal deviation, hypertrophic rhinitis, or other conditions which result in 50 percent or more obstruction of either airway, or which interfere with the drainage of sinus on either side, are causes of rejection.


Chronic skin diseases such as severe acne or eczema or unsightly congenital markings are cause for disqualification. Pilondial sinus, if evidenced by the presence of mass or discharging sinus, is cause for rejection. Pilondial cyst surgery within the past year is disqualifying.

Genitourinary System

Persistent or recurrent albuminuria of any type or the persistence of casts in the urine will be cause for rejection, even though the etiology cannot be determined. Other causes for rejection include marked phimosis, epispadias, or pronounced hypospadias; atrophy, deformity, or maldevelopment of both testicles; an undescended testicle of any degree. Bed-wetting past age 12 is disqualifying.

Neurological Examination

A history of motion sickness (e.g., air, sea, swing, train or carnival ride) should be thoroughly investigated. A history of head injury in the past five years resulting in unconsciousness must be completely evaluated and an electroencephalogram is required. Evidence of degenerative disorders and such conditions as established migraine is cause for rejection.


Asthma, recurrent asthmatic bronchitis or exercise-induced bronchospasms, by diagnosis or history, is cause for rejection. Abdominal Wall Examination Hernia of any type is disqualifying until corrected; history of operation for hernia within the past 60 days is disqualifying. Other abnormal diseases and conditions which are not acceptable include stomach or small bowel ulcer or a history of one; acute or chronic gall bladder disease; removal of spleen for reason other than trauma.

Miscellaneous Medical Disqualifications

Other medical reasons for disqualification include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); acute communicable diseases; anemia; abnormal bleeding states; learning disabilities; diabetes mellitus or a history of diabetes in both parents; persistent sugar in urine regardless of cause; ununited fractures; a history of surgery to a major joint within the past six months; knee ligament surgery or a history of derangement of a knee joint not corrected by surgery, or evidence of instability subsequent to surgery; total loss of either thumb; tuberculosis active in the past five years; hay fever, if severe, or a record of hyposensitization therapy for severe hay fever during one year prior to examination; nasal polyps; personality disorders; symptomatic immaturity disorders such as stammering or stuttering; arthritis; and herniated nucleus pulposus or a history of operation for this condition. These conditions represent the most common causes of medical disqualification.

Note: Women applicants must also have a pelvic examination and a Pap test, if they are age 22 or older.

All candidates must be medically and physically qualified on the “UNRESTRICTED LINE” level for entry.

Dental Standards

A candidate must have a minimum of 16 natural permanent teeth, of which a minimum of eight must be in each arch. All missing teeth causing unsightly spaces or significantly reducing masticatory or incisal efficiency must be replaced by well-designed bridges or partial dentures which are in good condition. All required dental treatment must be completed prior to final medical qualification.

Disqualifying defects are:

  • lack of satisfactory incisal or masticatory function;
  • less than a minimum of eight natural permanent teeth in each arch;
  • edentulous spaces which are unsightly or which significantly reduce masticatory function;
  • carious teeth, including minor carious areas extending into dentin;
  • infectious or chronic diseases of the soft tissue of the oral cavity;
  • marked malocclusion resulting in severe dentofacial deformity;
  • unsatisfactory restoration, bridges, or dentures;
  • severe or extensive apical or periodontal infection.
  1. Complete Your Online Application
  • Complete your Activities Record. The United States Merchant Marine Academy looks for well- rounded candidates that demonstrate exemplary. Your extracurricular activity is an important part of your assessment. Be prepared to provide detailed information on the following:
  • Athletic Activities: Approximately xx percent of entering midshipmen have earned a varsity letter and xx percent are team captains.
  • Non-Athletic Activities: Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Student Government
    • National Honors Society
    • Scouting (Eagle/Gold Award)
    • JROTC
    • Naval Sea Scouts
    • Civil Air Patrol
    • Band
  • Community Service
  • Work Experience
  • Submit the Academic Information Request. The information requested includes official transcripts and a school profile.
  • Request School Official Evaluations. Evaluations are required from the following instructors:
    • English
    • Math
    • Lab science (either chemistry or physics)
  • Submit your Biographical Essay. Your essay must be at least 500 words. Include your name and candidate ID at the top of the page

Scholastic Requirements and Academic Preparation

Candidates should pursue studies in high school that will prepare them for the Academy's rigorous program. The quality of work is important. The majority of students in our incoming classes each year rank in the top 20 percent of their high school class. Your Academic achievements are a very important factor in our evaluation process. Special consideration is given to students who take challenging curriculums that include honors, advanced placement, international baccalaureate, and dual-enrollment courses.

To be appointed to the Academy, candidates must have satisfactorily completed their high school education at an accredited secondary school or its equivalent. They must have earned at least 15 units of credit:

  • Three units in English
  • Three units in mathematics (from algebra, geometry and trigonometry);
  • One unit in physics or chemistry with a laboratory.

These requirements are minimal. The Academy strongly recommends that candidates take four years of mathematics, to include calculus, and both physics and chemistry. Courses in mechanical drawing and machine shop are also desirable. Successful completion of pre-calculus or calculus satisfies the trigonometry requirement.

High School Graduates

Candidates for admission who have already graduated from high school and are applying while they are enrolled in an undergraduate college/university program must meet additional criteria for admission consideration.  They must have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and must have pursued a full academic course load (at least 12 credit hours per term, with the exception of courses taken in summer terms).  Successful candidates must have taken Mathematics course(s) (Pre-Calculus, Calculus), Science (Chemistry with Lab, Physics with Lab), and English (composition course preferred).

Other recommended courses would include engineering-based courses, business courses such as Economics and Statistics, and other technical subjects.  It is strongly recommended that candidates not pursue non-technical, liberal-arts courses, as those will not assist the selection committee in determining if the candidate has the ability to handle the heavy, highly technical coursework that they will be immersed in upon entering the Academy.  Additionally, candidates who are already enrolled in a college/university program must provide a minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation from current or past college instructors/professors.

By February 1 of the year in which they are seeking admission, candidates must submit evidence with their official application showing the completion of all academic requirements. All required courses must be completed by June 15 or by the date of graduation from high school. Time extensions will not be granted.

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.


Fourth classmen must demonstrate the capability of swimming 100 yards using two basic strokes, and 15 minutes of flotation. Non-swimmers must devote a part of their time to learning basic swimming strokes, and it is therefore recommended that applicants learn to swim before entering the Academy. This requirement must be fulfilled prior to a midshipman's first shipboard training period.

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.
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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