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Nautical Science

Nautical Science Ships

Our Mission Statement

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).

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Teaser Video (1 min)

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.

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 Recruitment 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.

Meet Captain Lars Harding

Contact Us

Nautical Science Contact Us

Capt. Lars Harding (Program Administrator)

(562) 230-5277 (Voice/Text)
Office: PED 104 Call for appointment: (213) 821-1261

[email protected]


Postal Address:
Nautical Science Program Administration
University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy
3560 Watt Way, PED 104, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Other Price School information see home page