The Nautical Science program offers an experience-based approach to the sailing ship and seafaring. Participants learn offshore sailing theory and techniques, navigation, and basic oceanography as relevant to seamanship.
The Nautical Science Program includes a range of seafaring experience onboard a variety of vessels including: 2 person, 12’ small sailing vessels; 36’ to 40’ modern cruising and racing sloops; a 51’ traditional wooden schooner; and 120’ square rigged 19th century replica brigantines. Voyages range from inside the harbor to Catalina Island, depending on the specific course.
Nautical Science Classes
Classes are open only to registered students at USC. All Nautical Science (NAUT) classes are accredited by the US Coast Guard and are required by the USC Naval Science Department for commissioning Midshipmen as Naval Officers. The program consists of a series of four courses providing a comprehensive background in navigation, seafaring skills and theory. Courses begin with the introductory level NAUT 001AX and progress all the way to independent study and deck crewing opportunities. Each class offers both lecture and onboard at-sea experiences in sailing and seamanship.
Successful completion of the Nautical Science program also earns sea service credit of 180 days toward a US Coast Guard License. Additional opportunities to earn sea time are available. Advanced students have opportunities to “ship out” as 1st Mate aboard the 51’ft wooden schooner Atlantas and crew aboard large square rigged sailing vessels.
Note: To receive the full 180 days of sea service credit, students must successfully complete all NAUT classes, including written exams.
Great Traditions of the Sea Video
Download the Great Traditions of the Sea video