Coast Guard Licensure

Students concerned with suitability to hold a Coast Guard license:

When a student is accepted, they must complete the Massachusetts Maritime Academy physical and health forms.  In the paperwork, you will note if they have any medical conditions, allergies, or are on any medications, etc.  Health Services will screen your student’s physical and contact you with a letter if your student has a condition that may impact their ability to obtain a Coast guard license.

There are very few medical conditions that automatically disqualify a student from licensing.  There are, however, a number of medical conditions that will cause the USCG to ask for “Amplifying Information,” in the form of additional tests or explanations from the attending physician.  In general, what the USCG wants to determine is if the medical condition was correctly diagnosed using standard procedures and how that condition affects the daily life of the individual, especially as it impacts the ability of the mariner to do their job.  In the case of a chronic condition (diabetes, for example), the USCG wants to establish that the individual is responsible to handle their own treatment while on a vessel, that the condition can be handled without direct daily medical supervision, and that the condition does not impact a person’s ability to do their job or endangers anyone else.  In the case of acute conditions or injuries, the USCG wants to establish that treatment was adequate and appropriate, complete and left individual with no lasting effects.

If a parent or student is concerned about a medical condition that has been identified as potentially impacting licensure, a student should visit the STCW/Licensing Officer in their first or second semester.  The student will fill out an application for a Cadet Merchant Mariner Credential with the accompanying 719K USCG physical.  The STCW/Licensing office will submit the application with the request that the student be vetted for suitability to hold a license.  This procedure allows the student plenty of time to consider changing majors and/or schools if they receive a negative response.