Why an ECU Degree in Maritime Studies?

The graduate program leading to the MA degree was established in 1981 with a unique combination of disciplines. Students can study both maritime history and nautical archaeology while concentrating on a single historical period, regional area, or thematic interest. Students can study a combination of courses in maritime history, nautical archaeology, or conservation under the aegis of a single program.

Since its inception the Program has graduated over 300 MA students in this field, with an overall graduation rate of 71%.*
* Consistently higher than the national graduation rate. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators reports that in 2015, the national graduation rate from Master’s programs was 61%


The core Maritime faculty are active, publishing scholars who engage regularly in maritime fieldwork initiatives with students. We are also members of a History Department with two dozen historians who provide additional instruction and guidance. The underwater archaeology faculty teaches a broad range of courses including material culture, excavation, conservation, archaeological principles, and history. Through annual summer and fall field schools, students work on diverse submerged and terrestrial maritime historic sites under faculty supervision in the USA and abroad.

Since its inception the Program has graduated over 300 MA students in this field, with an overall graduation rate of 71%. Most of our graduates have gone on to get jobs in the field as contract archaeologists, government cultural resource managers, museum archaeologists, curators, museum directors, national and state park staff, conservators, and teachers at all levels. Qualified students enjoy extensive university support in the form of graduate assistantships and scholarships. These positions supply both teaching and research experience. Yet we don’t just rely on the classroom, the Program in Maritime Studies takes pride in taking theory into the real world to practice it in the field. Preparing our students for exciting careers are a result of planning, introspection, training, and unique field experience.

Program staff includes professors with both national and international reputations in research excellence including seven full time Ph.D. archaeologists and historians backed by technicians as well as a fully staffed Diving and Boating Safety Office boasting a well-maintained fleet of research vessels. Our expertise includes cutting edge remote sensing and archaeological survey techniques, skills that attract employers. Our professors have written over 30 academic press books concerning their various research interests plus innumerable articles and site reports.