One of the most prestigious maritime scholarship in the Philippines or even abroad is the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) Philippines Cadet Program famously known as the NSA Scholarship.

If you want pursue a career at sea, applying for a scholarship is your best course of action. But before that, you must also meditate deep within yourself if this career is what you really want.

The seafaring industry in our country is very difficult for fresh graduates. You need to have backers within the manning agencies in order to board your first ship. Otherwise, you will be losing a great deal of unemployed time.

Since most of us doesn’t have that kind of connection, a scholarship/ sponsorship grant is a must. Since maritime course is very costly nowadays, you will save a great deal of time, money and effort once you become an NSA Cadet.

The beauty of the NSA Program is that they don’t require a backer for every applicant. Meaning, everyone is open to join provided that you meet the qualifications.


Entry Requirements

  1. 17 – 23 years old on or before April 30
  2. Graduates of Senior High School (K-12)
  3. Existing college students and tertiary level graduates
  4. Physically and Mentally fit
  5. Natural born Filipino Citizen
  6. Single
  7. No derogatory records or was convicted/ accused of any crime or moral turpitude



If you think you qualify with those entry level requirements, visit This link will take you to their online application form. Fill in the required information honestly and click submit once finish.

On the other hand, you can print the application form and send it to their address.

NTC- Manila Office Address:
6th Flr. Five E-com Center Building,
Pacific Drive Extension,
Mall of Asia Complex,
Pasay City 1300
Tel. (02) 779 – 6830 loc 134

Either way, they will call or text you for your schedule. It is a “first apply – first exam” basis so you have to wait for their response.


How to Apply for the NSA Maritime Scholarship

For your information, taking the exam is FREE of charge. There are the series of tests that you will undergo.


1. Pass the written exam.

A whole day exam which covers Math, Science, English and Inductive Reasoning.

Materials to Bring

  • Pencil (Mongol 2 pencil only)
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Sharpener
  • Snacks and lunch


2. Pass the Computer Based Exam.

A half day exam which covers IQ Test and Ability Profiling.

After taking the initial two exams, you may have to wait again for their announcement of passers thru call, text or Facebook Page.

Waiting time for the result is approximately 1 to 2 weeks. If you did not receive any call or text, you may follow up thru their landline (02) 779-6830 loc. 134.

Now once you pass the first two exams, you can proceed for the next tests.

But gather first the following requirements which will be submitted once you qualify for the Oral Interview.

  • 1 pc 2×2 picture with white background
  • Photocopy of Birth Certificate (NSO Certified)
  • Photocopy of recent grades (this may be partial)
  • Photocopy of Transcript of Records or class card (if with college background)

The third and final tests are the following.


3. Pass the Oral Interview.

A one on one interview with the facilitators and big shots who are running the program.


4. Pass the Medical Examination.

Expenses shouldered by the applicant.

If you pass all these exams, CONGRATULATIONS! You are now closer to your dreams of becoming a seaman.


NSA Scholarship Program Selection process for applicants.

NSA Cadet Selection Process


Selection Process Overview

Here is an overview of the NSA Philippines Cadet Program Selection Process.

  1. Testing(Comprehensive Written Test and IQ Test)
  2. Profiling (Ability Profiling and Personality Profiling)
  3. Medical Exam (Comprehensive Medical Exam)
  4. Interview (Company Selection)
  5. Enrollment to the Program (School Endorsement)
  6. NSA Cadet

For those who failed, you can still apply again for the scholarship next school year.


Important Things You Need to Know

To fresh applicants and those who have little idea about the NSA Cadetship Program, here are some things you need to know. There are many benefits and perks of being a scholar aside from the well known “free tuition”


NSA Accredited Partner Schools

If you are near the area you may visit any of these partner schools. Ask whatever you want to know more about the scholarship program including the selection process and benefits. They will be very glad to help you.

  1. University of Cebu – Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM) – A. C. Cortes Ave, Mandaue City, 6014 Cebu, Philippines
  1. Davao Merchant Marine Academy (DMMA)- College of Southern Philippine – Tigatto Road, Buhangin, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur, Philippines
  1. John B. Lacson Foundation Colleges Foundation – Bacolod – Pauline Village, Alijis, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental, Philippines
  2. Philippine Merchant Marine Academy – National Highway, San Narciso, 2205 Zambales, Philippines

These are also the accredited schools that you will study in once you pass all the series of tests.


Courses Offered

There are only two courses offered by the scholarship. These are the following:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation – Deck Officer. Highest rank is Captain.
  2. Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering – Engine Officer. Highest rank is Chief Engineer.


What the Scholarship Program Covers

These are the benefits of being an NSA Scholar.

  • FREE Tuition Fee for 1styear and second year.
  • FREE Dormitory for 1styear and second year.
  • FREE Meals for 1styear and second year.
  • FREE Upgrading Training and Courses.
  • FREE Leadership Training and Development
  • Company Assignments during 1styear or second year.
  • 10 Days Structured Shipboard Familiarization (Sea Trip)
  • 12 Months Apprenticeship/ OJT with allowance

There are also other advantages of being an NSA Cadet aside from the ones listed above.


What’s NOT Included

The Scholar must pay for the following:

  • Uniform
  • Toiletries and other personal needs
  • Your 4th year expenses which includes tuition fee, food and dormitory (you must use your Apprenticeship allowance.)


NSA Cadets Program Structure

The Scholarship’s structure is different from the regular students. While the regular (non-scholar) cadets practice the 3-1 academic structure, a 2-1-1 program is implemented for the scholars. This means that NSA Cadets have two consecutive years in the academics.

On your 3rd year, you will be having your apprenticeship or OJT on board international vessels for twelve months. You will use this time period to study, learn and practice the job of an Officer or Engineer. And yes, your company will pay you real dollars.

After finishing your apprenticeship, you must go back to your respective schools to continue your studies. You will be on your fourth year by then. But this time, you will pay for the tuition, dormitory and other expenses you used to have for free.


NSA Cadet Program Structure. Application

Program structure for NSA Cadets.


You will use the money you earned during your apprenticeship. This is the last segment of your scholarship that you must finish in order to graduate.


Program Overview

  1. School Pre-selection
  2. NSA Final Selection
  3. 1stYear Academic (Full Scholarship)
  4. 2ndYear Academic (Full Scholarship)
  5. 3rdYear Sea Service (12 Months)
  6. 4thYear Academic (Final Year)
  7. Job Guarantee


Why The 2-1-1 Structure?

The 2-1-1 structure is designed to transform you into a competent, highly skilled and a top caliber Officer or Engineer.

Your first and second year in school tackles the theoretical aspect of your career. Here, you will learn by the book with a little bit of the practical side.

But nothing beats the real thing. Apprenticeship is where theory comes to life that’s why it’s part of the program. You will understand more about COLREGs, main engines, cargo operations, scavenging, mooring operations, chart works, and many others.

Exposure to the actual jobs on board will give you better perspective on your work once you return for fourth year.

More importantly, you will receive a bachelor’s degree upon graduation. One of the requirements for this is to complete a 3-year academic studies and a 12-month apprenticeship.

Sounds a bit complicated? Let’s compare the 3-1 and 2-1-1 structure.


3-11 Versus 2-1-1

After finishing your three straight academics in the 3-1 structure, you will graduate as an associate degree. You still have to complete 12 months worth of apprenticeship in order to get a bachelor’s degree. This is a requirement from CHED and for filing the licensure examination.

Whereas in the 2-1-1 structure, you will graduate as a bachelor’s degree. It’s because you already finished 3 academic years and a 12- month apprenticeship. You can get your diploma and Transcript of Records (TOR) after graduation. And when you are ready, you can also file for a licensure examination.

A 12-month sea service experience is needed before you qualify for the board exam. The 2-1-1 structure is very advantageous for the scholars. You can be a Junior Third Officer or Fourth Engineer after passing the licensure examination.

This is the typical career path for NSA Cadets. Your company’s goal is to transform you into an Officer or Engineer once they pass the licensure exam. They see a shortage of competent officers and engineers that’s why they are securing their fleet.

If you still have queries, you may call (02) 779-6830 loc. 134. Please note that they will not entertain questions and calls via mobile number.


Good luck on your application and

May the winds be on your favor.



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