SSOP FAQs

Question: Is there an opportunity to qualify for a scholarship if I get accepted into the Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program (SSMP)?  
Answer: There is no scholarship available to SSMP midshipmen. SSMP midshipmen do not qualify for ROTC scholarships.

Question: I would like to join the SSMP at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA). How do I proceed?
Answer: If you’re interested in the SSMP and want to start the application process, you can contact the MMA Department of Naval Science (DNS) via phone or e-mail (e-mail is preferable), or you can stop by the MMA DNS office.      

Question: How does the medical examination work? 
Answer: You must be cleared by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) in order to be accepted into the MMA SSMP. You will receive information on how to complete this exam by DNS staff once you start the SSMP application process. Seniors in high school may and are encouraged to complete the DODMERB exam before the start of their first term at MMA.

Question: Do we have to pass a physical fitness test?
Answer: Prospective midshipmen must pass (“Good” or better) the Navy Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), which consists of the Body Composition Analysis (BCA) and Physical Readiness Test (PRT), in order to be accepted into the MMA SSMP. High school seniors who have started the SSMP application process will be contacted by DNS staff towards the end of their senior year to schedule a PFA at MMA before the start of their first term at MMA. Those high school seniors who are not able to complete a PFA at MMA before their first term at MMA will be able to complete a PFA during the first few weeks of their first term. Current MMA students will be tested by DNS staff on a revolving basis.

Question: Will there be an interview?
Answer: DNS staff will interview all prospective midshipmen. The interview is generally the final step in the MMA SSMP application process, and can be conducted before a student starts his/her first term at MMA. The interview is a face-to face assessment method used to determine a candidate’s potential as a future Naval Officer.

Question: You said there is no scholarship available, but what is the Student Incentive Payment (SIP) program?
Answer: Please see the “Student Incentive Payment” tab for more information on SIP. In short: SIP is not guaranteed and is not considered a scholarship.

Question: Is there a GPA requirement to enter/stay in the program?
Answer: Yes. For entrance into the program, your high school/college GPA is weighed heavily. Current midshipmen must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 2.5 term GPA to be in “good standing”. Failure to maintain academic standards will result in disciplinary action up to and including disenrollment from the MMA SSMP.    

Question: This program is only offered to Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering majors. What happens if I enter the program and later decide to switch out of one of these two majors?
Answer: If at any point you decide to pursue a major other than Marine Transportation or Marine Engineering, you will no longer be eligible for the program.

Question: Can I participate in the SSMP and go active duty upon graduation?
Answer: This is a Reserve Officer program, and we advertise it as such. While it is possible to go active duty upon graduation, there are very few billets available to MMA (and the maritime schools in general). Even the most-qualified midshipman of a graduating class may not get offered an active duty billet. It is highly recommended that you pursue other avenues if you desire to go active duty.       

Question: What is the difference between SSMP and NROTC?
Answer: NROTC produces active duty officers in the Navy and Marine Corps and gives academic scholarships to qualified midshipmen. The SSMP produces reserve officers in the Navy and does not provide the opportunity for scholarship.   

Question: What are some of the activities that the SSMP Battalion performs?
Answer: SSMP activities are very similar to that of NROTC. Military Labs are conducted on Monday afternoons for two hours. Physical training is conducted Wednesday mornings before class. Rifle Drill is conducted on Friday mornings before class. There is typically one community service event and one social event per semester. Additionally, Battalion Officers and DNS staff provide General Military Training and instruction on the Navy Core Values during regularly scheduled meetings.

Question: What academic courses are SSMP midshipmen required to complete?
Answer: Midshipmen are required to complete four Naval Science courses: Naval Science for Strategic Sealift Officer, Naval Science SSO I, Leadership and Ethics, and Naval Science SSO II. These courses are offered every semester and are treated as normal courses. Most are worth 3 credit hours.

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