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As students progress in the major, some discover an exceptional interest in a particular topic – and a desire to extend their learning through independent research and internships. Often, an internship will lead to an independent research project.

Selection for internships is competitive, requiring a 3.0 GPA and a rank in the top 40% militarily. Nominations are reviewed by the Dean of Academics and the Commandant of Cadets. 


Summer training is an integral part of an Academy education. MES majors have a unique opportunity to spend six weeks during their 1/c (senior) summer working with a field supervisor at an agency or institution conducting research. 

Sample summer internships are listed below. This list changes from year to year. 

  • International Ice Patrol (IIP): Gain first-hand experience in the IIP mission and in operational oceanography as part of a Coast Guard Ice Reconnaissance Detachment, serving both in the Operations Center and conducting oceanographic research aboard ship.
  • Marine Safety Laboratories (MSL): Use the latest analytical instrumentation to characterize oil spills, learning the specifics of how spill cases are processed, screening some of the actual cases and working on independent research and development for real Coast Guard issues.
  • National Data Buoy Center (NDBC): Participate first-hand in oceanographic and meteorological research alongside Coast Guard professionals, while learning the mission of the NDBC. Projects may include:
  • design, testing and/or maintenance of weather and oceanographic instrumentation and buoys used throughout the maritime community
  • collection, analysis, and dissemination of weather data from these buoys/instruments
  • National Weather Service (NWS) in Taunton, Mass.: See the inner workings of the National Weather Service and work with NWS personnel on local forecasts, broadcasts and warnings/watches, as well as a number of on-going research projects related to maritime weather.