Student Handbook

MMA Career & Professional Services Student Handbook

Co-op Placement

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) offers a Cooperative Education (co-op) program to the men and women pursuing careers in the following fields:

Our programs are designed to integrate classroom study with planned and supervised work experiences producing students with a well balanced background of theory, operational experience and managerial ability. Our co-op program runs during the winter and summer sessions.

Upon successful completion of the co-op experience and co-op project, cadets receive 6 credits to participate in the co-op program. They are required to complete a certain amount of hours in an eight week period (ten weeks in summer) depending upon their major.

Career Fairs

Twice a year Career & Professional Services holds Career Fairs on the MMA campus for students to introduce themselves to the recruiters, as well as collect business cards and company literature. You should use this opportunity to research companies and make contacts.

Internet Employment Board

Employment opportunities are directly posted to the Career & Professional Services Job Shopper website by employers seeking to hire MMA graduates. Please visit Job Shopper.

On Campus Employer Presentations and Interviews

The Career & Professional Services Department coordinates employer presentations and interviews throughout the year for all majors. This is an opportunity for students who want to hear more about a company. Seniors can schedule interviews for consideration for permanent placement.


Topics include Resume Writing, Cover Letter, Interviewing Skills and How to Work a Career Fair.


Students are encouraged to meet with their co-op coordinator to ask questions about cooperative education, permanent employment and to review resumes.

Career Resources Library

Located in the Career & Professional Services office, our library has a wealth of materials to help you develop your resume, prepare for interviews or learn about specific companies.

Emergency Management (EM)

The EM program is a major with the Department of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection. The program includes the concepts of hazard, risk and disaster. The risk management component explores risk assessment, control analysis, strategy, implementation and evaluation. The disaster component explores the different temporal stages in a disaster cycle (mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, recovery). Graduates are prepared for a profession in the emergency management field. Students must complete two cooperative education experiences. A practicum may be done in place of one co-op. Eight weeks in summer and winter are allotted for this requirement.

EM Employment

Students typically co-op in the areas of: assisting with the preparation of and revision of emergency management plans; strategic planning for disaster reduction; response to natural and man-made disasters; business continuity; toxicology; crisis communication; port and vessel security; and data collection.

EM Co-op

  • Pre-requisites: Risk Assessment and Geographic Information Systems.
  • Two co-op placements, or one co-op and one practicum.
  • EM students must complete 240 hours of experience per co-op.
  • To be considered for a repeat co-op placement the student must obtain approval of the EM Department Chair and their co-op coordinator.
  • Students who obtain their own co-op position must obtain approval of the EM Department Chari and their co-op coordinator.
Facilities Engineering (FENG)

The Facilities Engineering program focuses on the aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering. Students learn both the theoretical and practical side of engineering. FENG is unique to that our 4-year course of study provides a student with a minimum of six months of co-op industry experience. FENG students must complete three cooperative education experiences in order to graduate. Eight to ten weeks in the winter and summer are allotted for this requirement.

FENG Employment

Students typically co-op at power generation stations, hospitals, high-rise buildings, large building complexes such as industrial manufacturing or college campuses. Upon graduation students often start at junior management positions in facilities departments such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning), electrical distribution or mechanical systems.

FENG Co-op

  • Prerequisite: junior standing or a sophomore in the MSL program.
  • FENG students must complete 240 hours in the winter and 280 hours in the summer of co-op experience.
  • Students must complete three different co-op experiences, preferably.
  • To be considered for a repeat co-op placement the student must download the Co-op Approval Form and get approval from the department chair. Once approved, students should drop off the signed approval with the Career & Professional Services Office.
  • Sea Term II will satisfy FE C0-op I for students that change majors.
  • Certain co-op experiences allow cadets to accrue time on their 2/C Fireman's License.
  • Students who obtain their own co-op position must obtain approval of the FENG Department Chair and their co-op coordinator.


International Maritime Business (IMB)

The IMB program prepares graduates to enter the maritime shipping and transportation industry as business professionals. The program includes elements of international business, logistics and transportation. IMB students must complete two cooperative education experiences. Eight weeks in the summer and winter are allotted for this requirement.

IMB Employment

Students typically co-op in areas of business that they would likely be hired upon graduation. Examples include : ship chartering/brokerage, LNG and oil commodities trading, finance, insurance, ship operations, ship agents, import/export, logistics, sales, traffic management, admiralty law, yacht management, equipment manufacturing, personnel administration, international commodity trading, banking, shipping market analysis, and communications.

IMB Co-op

  • IMB students must have completed sophomore year.
  • IMB students must complete 240 hours of experience per co-op.
  • To be considered for a repeat co-op placement the student must obtain approval of the IMB Department Chair and Career & Professional Services.
  • Students who obtain their own co-op position must obtain approval of the Department Chair and their co-op coordinator.


Marine Science, Safety and Environmental Protection (MSSEP)

The MSSEP program prepares students for a wide range of government, non-profit and private sector careers in the fields of marine and industrial health and safety, environmental protection and environmental management. Concentrations are available in Marine Biology and Emergency Management. The progra includes a breadth of practical coursework and experiece. Students must complete one cooperative education experience. Eight weeks in the summer and winter are allotted for this requirement.

MSSEP Employment

Students typically co-op in the areas of: enviromental protection, health and safety; environmental, social responsibility and stewardship; and causes, effects and ptotential solutions to environmental challenges. Career opportunities exist in a variety of fields, including: climate change, diminishing natural resources, environmental degradation, increasing demands for energy, economic development in developing countries, and safety officers at sea and ashore).


  • Must have completed sophomore year.
  • One co-op placement is required.
  • MSSEP students must complete 240 hours of experience per co-op.
  • Students who obtain their own co-op position must obtain approval of the MSSEP Department Chair and their co-op coordinator.


How to Get Started
  • Download the Student Co-op Form
  • Attend the mandatory co-op meeting held during the first week of the term prior to the co-op. Bring the completed form with you.
  • Attend a resume workshop.
  • Meet with your co-op coordinator to review your needs and resume.
  • Make suggested changes to your resume and send an electronic version to your co-op coordinator.
  • Download the required Co-op Cadet Checklist to be sure you meet all co-op requirements.

Co-op Eligibility

  • Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
  • Students must register and pay for the 6-credit co-op course.
  • Any previous academic probation issues must be resolved prior to start of co-op. Students must have less than 100 demerits in the previous 12 month period.
  • Find your major in this brochure for specific requirement.
  • Students with extensive prior work-related experience may be eligible to waive co-op. The chair of your department determines eligibility for this.


  • Students may not seek co-ops with employers that have been previously established with MMA. The list of employers is posted outside the Career Services office. When in doubt, ask.
  • Students should notify Career & Professional Services of employers, or contacts, they would like us to consider if they are an MMA employer.
  • Students can form new relationships with employers that have never worked with MMA. Students are encouraged to do this in addition to working with their co-op coordinator.
  • Students must wait to be contacted by MMA employers and never contact them directly beforehand.
  • Any student that circumvents the MMA Career & Professional Services Department rules may lose their co-op privileges.
  • Be prepared for phone calls from employers who are requesting interviews. Your voicemail should be of a professional nature.
  • Wear dress blues to interviews.
  • Stay in touch with your co-op coordinator notifying them of interview opportunities and employment decisions.
  • Once a student accepts a position, it is considered final. You should then notify all other employers that you are no longer available.
  • Students must work out salary, start date, work hours, and dress policy with your employer prior to start date. The co-op coordinator should be made aware of your start date.
Policies for Cadets

Students are responsible for reading this information and adhering to all co-op policies during placement.

Your six-credit co-op(s) are required for graduation. Be sure that you have registered and paid for the course.

Representative of MMA
Remember, you are a representative of MMA and of your specific department. You are expected to be polite, courteous and respectful at all times, both at the facilities and off-site. Your conduct in the local community may have an impact on your co-op experience. The quality of your performance on the job will contribute to your future as well as to the Academy's ability to secure future co-op positions. Disciplinary action can and will be taken for termination of a co-op.

Make arrangements with your supervisor regarding the hours and start/end date for your co-op. You must complete a minimum of 240 hours. It is always a good idea to arrive early, not just on time.

Arrange for personal and college-related commitments to take place outside of regular working hours. The requirements of your co-op assignment come first. If you must take time off from work for special circumstances, you must contact the MMA Career & Professional Services staff before requesting permission from your employer.

If you have military training, MMA athletic team, or pre-orientation obligations, you must notify Career & Professional Services and your employer prior to the start of your co-op assignment. If your military reserve unit is activated, contact Career & Professional Services and your employer immediately.

Co-op is your opportunity to gain practical professional experience in the field. You will be exposed to diverse situations, and locations and must be able to interact effectively on both a technical and a social level.

Your performance during your co-op will be a determining factor in how well prepared you are to enter the professional marketplace upon graduation. Keep in mind that your experience may provide you with employment opportunities in the future. It is up to you to ensure your success. Draw upon your workplace and classroom learning to sharpen your professional and academic goals. You are required to work long hours and make a significant contribution to the organization. Do not say "no" when you have the opportunity to do something for your company.

You are expected to become familiar with and strictly adhere to all of the company policies. You must be polite and courteous at all times. The impression you make will prepare the way for your career.

Duties, policies, safety
Your supervisor will define your specific duties. Discuss the dress policy prior to your first day. Be sure you understand the Sexual Harassment policy, which is federally mandated.

Be aware of the hazards to which you may be exposed while you are in the facilities. Do not enter restricted areas or perform any operating tasks without appropriate supervision and applicable training. Always wear your personal protective equipment in designated areas. Follow all company safety rules.

Students should confirm their rate prior to the start date. Career & Professional Services will notify you if the co-op position is an unpaid or stipend position.

Supervisor evaluation
Career & Professional Services will send your supervisor an electronic evaluation for your performance. Please be sure we have your supervisor's contact information. Your supervisor must complete your evaluation prior to your last day. You are responsible for ensuring that the evaluation is completed, as it is part of your grade. When you return to campus be certain that Career & Professional Services has received it. If not, you will need to follow-up with your supervisor to complete it.

Co-op Project
Please keep a daily journal that documents your co-op experience. Include work performed, training received, issues encountered, problem-solving challenges, observations made, etc. The journal is part of your co-op project. See the detailed guidelines for your department project on the Career & Professional Services web page. Your Department Chair can answer any specific questions. Be sure to read the guidelines prior to your co-op experience so that you are prepared to obtain the necessary information while working. Your grade for co-op is based on this project.

MMA Job Description
Each cadet is required to write a description of his/her co-op job to be used in future co-op placement and as a resource for students. A survey link will be sent to students. Students should fill out the survey and print their own copy.