Many Medical Conditions May Prevent or Delay US Coast Guard Licensing

USCG Licensing is Required to receive an MMA Diploma in Marine Transportation or Marine Engineering. Some medical conditions may cause the Coast Guard to deny a Medical Certificate and License.

For more detailed information

National Maritime Center for questions: 1-888-427-5662

Common reviewable or potentially license eliminating conditions include:

  • color blindness (eliminates marine transportation and sometimes marine engine)
  • vision worse than 20/40 with glasses or contacts (for Marine Transportation)
  • vision worse than 20/50 with glasses or contacts for Marine Engine
  • seizures (must be 8 years seizure free)
  • pneumothorax (must be corrected surgically)
  • bleeding in the brain
  • diabetes (if not well controlled)
  • asthma (if not well controlled)
  • impairing medications
  • disorders of hearing
  • sleep disorders, sleep walking
  • psychiatric conditions
  • substance use
  • cardiovascular conditions

Cadets and families should seek guidance directly from the National Maritime Center (NMC) about licensing with current medical conditions or new conditions which develop.  

MMA Health Services does not set licensing medical standards or issue USCG licenses, however we are available to help wherever we can. 

Please note: USCG medical standards must be met for issuance of a USCG license and an MMA diploma is not granted until a USCG license is issued.

We want you to get all the information up front so you do not invest time and resources in a marine transportation or marine engine major, and then not be able to graduate or receive a license due to a medical condition.



Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Health Services, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532  .  Phone: 508-830-5048  .  Fax: 508-830-6468