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At the heart of the Naval Architecture major are ships. Very, very large ships. Battle ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, sailboats, destroyers: the types of ships that take your breath away and that form the physical structure of our country’s naval defense system. Building these colossal floating forts involves cutting edge mathematics, engineering brilliance, and a creative soul. Military superiority, after all, is the product of not only great scientists, but creative minds as well.

This isn’t a major for the faint of heart. It not only involves some intense science, mathematics, and real hands-on experience, but perhaps even serving in the Navy itself. If you pursue the Naval Architecture major at the U.S. Naval Academy, you will earn both a bachelor’s of science and a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy.


  • Advanced Marine Vehicles

  • Analytical Applications in Ship Design

  • Applied Fluid Dynamics

  • Dynamics

  • Engineering of Thermodynamics

  • Naval Materials and Engineering

  • Principles of Ocean Systems Engineering

  • Resistance and Propulsion

  • Sea-keeping and Maneuvers

  • Ship Design I and II

  • Ship Hydrostatics and Stability

  • Ship Structures

  • Statistics

  • Strength of Materials

  • Submarine Design Analysis


Since you probably won’t have any shipbuilding courses in your high school curriculum, focus on enhancing those advanced math and physics skills. Calculus will be especially helpful in preparing you for the rigorous math courses that lie ahead. Experience in mechanics, like automotive shop, could come in handy, too. Don’t forget those humanities, like history and English—courses that will be essential to your learning how to think outside of the box and solve problems.