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Discover the future of maritime education with the Universities of Louisiana Maritime Academy (ULMA) – a state designated academy housed in the University of Louisiana System (UL System).

ULMA sets sail on a visionary journey aiming to meet the maritime industry’s demands head-on. In 2022, the UL System packaged existing degree programs from its nine member institutions under the ULMA umbrella. This move aims to bolster the maritime workforce and equip students with unparalleled exposure to opportunities tied to Louisiana’s vast waterways.

While most academies focus on blue water oceans, ULMA understands the importance of navigating the coastal and inland waters in Louisiana and beyond. With a dedicated specialization in brown water—the vital inland and coastal waters that drive many states’ economies—ULMA stands poised to make a significant impact.

Through strategic partnerships with Louisiana’s Community and Technical College System and collaboration with maritime training programs, ULMA opens new educational pathways to expanded horizons.

Discover the Power of Maritime: Fueling the Global Economy
Did you know that the maritime industry is the backbone of global trade with its astounding 80 percent contribution of worldwide trade? In Louisiana, waterborne transportation plays a pivotal role in the success of industries like energy, chemical, agriculture, and more.This thriving sector accounts for a remarkable 1 in 5 jobs in Louisiana, outpacing even oil and gas with 45 percent more direct jobs and a projection of 10,900 additional jobs in the future.

Meeting Challenges Head-On: A Dynamic and Evolving Field
Like any industry, maritime transportation faces its share of challenges. From rehabilitating aging infrastructure to keeping pace with rapid technological advancements and adapting to organizational changes, the sector navigates a dynamic landscape. Add to that the pressure of fulfilling the demands of a global economy amidst heightened national security threats—it’s clear that a well-prepared workforce is essential.

Seizing Opportunities: Empowering a Multidisciplinary Workforce
The maritime industry thrives on innovation and adaptability, requiring a diverse and well-trained workforce. The higher education enterprise serves as the linchpin for developing this workforce at scale.

Bill Sign

State Distinction

Act 231 of the 2022 regular session of the Louisiana legislature designates the University of Louisiana System Maritime Academy as Louisiana’s state maritime academy. 

Open Waters

Unlocking Louisiana’s Maritime Potential: Empowering Graduates for Thriving Careers 

Maritime transportation is the lifeblood of global, state, and local economies, yet it remains a hidden gem for many Louisianians, especially among minority populations. To equip our graduates with the skills needed to conquer the industry’s dynamic challenges, the UL System has partnered with Open Waters (openwaterslouisiana.com) – a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to raising awareness of maritime job opportunities. 

Together, we’re doing our part to shape the maritime enterprise with the following outcomes in mind: 

  • Empowering Diversity: Increasing Awareness of Maritime Opportunities
    • Ensure that all student populations gain a deep understanding of the vast opportunities within the maritime industry. By shedding light on these careers, we empower a diverse range of aspiring professionals to set sail towards a rewarding future. 
  • Pioneering Academic Programs: Navigating New Horizons
    • Through this strategic partnership, the UL System will pioneer cutting-edge maritime academic programs across its nine member institutions. By integrating industry expertise and real-world relevance, graduates will be prepared to tackle the ever-changing landscape of the industry. 
  • Fostering Support and Success: Nurturing Under-Represented Talent
    • Together with Open Waters, we’re embarking on an ambitious journey to transform maritime education, amplify career opportunities, and drive regional economic growth. Guided by the insight of longtime industry experts, we are prepared to reach Louisiana’s unrealized potential. 

Existing degree programs

  • Business Administration-Maritime Management 
  • Business Administration 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • International Business & Logistics 
  • Marine Biology 
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Marine Engineering 
  • Naval Architecture 
  • Risk Management 
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • University of Louisiana Maritime Academy Task Force

    In Fall 2022 the UL System formed a task force to guide the development of ULMA. Members include academic leaders throughout the nine member institutions along with industry leaders and policymakers.

    Amritha Appaswami

    Associate VP for Professional and Continuing Education, University of New Orleans

    Michael Buckles

    Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, McNeese State University

    Ken Chadwick

    Department Head and Director of Maritime Management, Nicholls State University

    Tara’ Lopez

    Dean of the College of Business, Southeastern Louisiana University

    Ramesh Kolluru

    VP for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    John Pratte

    Dean of Arts, Education, and Sciences, University of Louisiana Monroe

    Joe Orgeron

    State Representative and Executive Director of Restore or Retreat

    Paul Sawyer

    Chief of Staff, Congressman Garret Graves

    Mary Edith Stacy

    Dean of the College of Business, Northwestern State University

    Edwin Thomas

    Interim Head of Engineering Technology Dept., Grambling State University

    Heath Tims

    Assoc. Dean of the College of Engineering and Science, Louisiana Tech

    Toby Wattigney

    River Pilot, NOBRA

    Mark Wright

    State Representative and American Waterways Operators

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