To communicate and teach navigation and seamanship to students of the modern world, with respect to the value and importance of traditional seafaring skills and knowledge.
The Nautical Science Program at the University of Southern California (USC) offers an academic and experiential approach to navigation and seafaring onboard sailing ships. Classes and at-sea voyages focus on a variety of marine specialties including; advanced navigation, electronics, sailing theory and practice, aerodynamics of sail, hydrodynamics of hulls, and some admiralty law as applicable to piloting. The Nautical Science Program is certificated by the United States Coast Guard for license track students pursuing a Merchant Mariners Masters Credential (USCG Certificate UNIVSC-155).
View photos of our voyages on Flickr.
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The Nautical Science Program encompasses a range of seafaring experiences aboard a variety of vessels including: 18th century, 85-foot Brigantines (Replicas built in 1996), a 19th century, 52-foot wooden fishing schooner (replica built in 1968), small 2-person FJ sloops, and numerous 30- to 40-foot modern day cruising vessels. Voyages range from day and night sails to 2- day overnight voyages.
Message from the Director (2 min)
Frank V. Zerunyan, Professor of the Practice of Governance and Director of the Nautical Science Programs
Full Program Video (3 min)
Nautical Science Classes
Classes may be found in the USC Schedule of Classes within the Sol Price School of Public Policy under “Nautical Science.”
Classes are open to undergraduate, graduate, PhD students, faculty, and employees of USC. See an academic advisor to discuss tuition and/or tuition remission.
All nautical science classes are accredited by the United States Coast Guard for required sea-time toward a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariners Masters license.
All nautical science classes were designed to complement and support the curriculum of the USC Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.- NROTC.
The program consists of four courses- Naut. 301A, 301B, 302A, and 302B. Naval Science “NSC335” may be included in the coursework for additional accredited sea time. Completion of all 5 courses earns the license track student a minimum of 217 accredited sea days toward licensing. For more detailed information on licensing and license track, (see: License Track Students Page) or contact the nautical science program administrator.