Maritime scholarships is the best and surest way to start a career at sea. With more and more people entering the seafaring industry, its very hard for an average Joe with no backer to land his first international vessel. It would take him many years of hardships, disappointments and pain. Not to mention the expenses that he must shed before becoming a true seaman.

However, students with scholarship programs are able to bypass these rigorous process. They won’t have to shed tears and sweat to apply for a company since the shipping agency will be the one looking for them. All they got to do is study very hard during their academic years. This is very important. Their company is grooming them to a path of becoming a competent officer or engineer.


1. NSA Philippines Cadet Program

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) Cadet Program is the most prestigious scholarship here in the Philippines. They have been producing top notch cadets since February 1990, most of them are in the highest ranks already.

It is a fully sponsored scholarship program for selected young and qualified Filipinos managed by the Norwegian Training Center- Manila or NTC-M. Over the years, NTC-M has led the training industry in the Philippines in excellence and innovation, and provided first-class simulator training and assessment programs.


NSA Philippines Cadet Program is now accepting applicants

NSA Philippines Cadet Program is now accepting applicants.


Out of the 7,641 islands, the project only have four accredited maritime academies. These are the following:

  • University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM)

  • John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod (JBLCF- Bacolod)

  • DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP)

  • Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA)

You have to fill out and submit a form in their website as your first step in the application process. Here’s a more detailed steps in joining the NSA scholarship program.


2.  IMEC Maritime Education Program

The International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) started its scholarship program in the Philippines way back 2006. It’s a response to the growing number of ships but with less competent and quality officers.

Like the NSA Cadetship Program, IMEC Scholars also enjoy free tuition fee, uniforms, board and lodging and meals on their 1st and 2nd year in college. However, they will pay everything on their fourth year using the allowance they received during their 3rd year apprenticeship on international vessels. Take note that during their apprenticeship period, they will earn real dollars as much as USD800.00 every month just like the NSA Cadets.


International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC)

The International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC)


To avail of the scholarship, the applicant must complete the Basic Information Sheet and submit it thru email to or by post office to IMEC Manila office.

IMEC trains their scholars thru quality education, funding upgrading of classrooms and learning materials, as well as continued professional development for lecturers and teaching staff. This ensures that cadets receive the best possible training during their stay at school.


3. MAAP Scholarship Grants

Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) is the academic arm of the Associated Marine Officers and Seaman’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP). Both AMOSUP and MAAP were established by Capt. Gregorio S. Oca to be a world class maritime education and training facility in the world.

Today, that vision is coming into reality. MAAP cadets are one of the topnotchers in licensure exams. They continually upgrade their learning centers for the full benefit of the cadets.


Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific

Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific


MAAP also offers scholarship programs for both male and female applicants with a GPA of 83%. Like other scholarship programs, cadets are groomed to become the best in their field.

On top of the scholarship grant, they will undergo personality, character, and leadership development through physical fitness, emotional literacy, NROTC and varied extracurricular activities.


Application Procedures

  1. Get MAAP scholarship application forms from any of the testing/filing centers, Naval ROTC units, or PCG stations nationwide
  2. Submit duly accomplished application form with the requirements to designated filing centers either by mail or in person
  3. Receive admission slip either by mail or in person.


4. Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA)

If you’re looking for a state-sponsored maritime academy, PMMA is your best choice. In fact, it’s the only nautical school funded and operated by the Philippine government under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 

PMMA follows a rigid seniority system where cadets are trained in a semi-military environment throughout their academic years. This type of system ensures them of survival in the harsh environment on board international vessels. Leadership, camaraderie, discipline and character are fully instilled in the program.

Because of the top-notched training of their school, PMMA cadets are among the number one choice of shipping agencies abroad. Upon graduation, they have the option to start a career in the maritime industry or sign up for active military duty either in the Philippine Navy or the Philippine Coast Guard.


Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA)

Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA).


To join the scholarship, applicants must submit an application form in person or thru mail on this address:

Admissions Office
Philippine Merchant Marine Academy
San Narciso, Zambales

More information about their admission process can be found on their website.


5. John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU)

John B Lacson Foundation – MU is the mother school of John B. Lacson Colleges in Bacolod- one of the NSA accredited maritime school in the country

The school offers company sponsored scholarships to bonafide students who pass their rigid examination including interviews. Like any other program, scholars enjoy 100% free tuition fee, free board and lodging and free meals.


John B Lacson Foundation Maritime University picture

John B Lacson Foundation Maritime University.


Aside from that, some scholars are entitled with book allowance, uniform allowance and stipends depending on the discretion of their shipping company.

Applicants who are interested in this program may visit their website and complete the admission procedures and requirements.


6. University of Cebu (UC) Maritime Scholarship Grants

University of Cebu offers affordable and quality education responsive to the demands of local and international 
communities. Out of the four campuses, two of them offer maritime degrees- the Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Campus (UCLM) and the Maritime Education and Training Center Campus (UC-METC) in Mambaling, Cebu.

The school has partnered with local and international shipping companies in providing world class maritime cadets that would man their fleet in the future.

Three of the largest maritime scholarship providers- the NSA, IMEC and Inter-orient Navigation Corporation (INC) conducts yearly application of deserving cadets in the school. Those who pass will be hired directly after graduation while enjoying the scholarship benefits.


University of Cebu Cadet Scholars.

University of Cebu Cadet Scholars.


That’s not all. UC has also forged connections with Europeans, Japanese, American, Korean and Indian shipping agencies.

You can get the full details about their scholarship grants by visiting their website. Additionally, you can raise your inquiries by visiting or calling their human resource management team using the information below.

Dr. Leonilo B. Oliva, Ph.D., DM – HRM
Director, Office of Scholarship
University of Cebu
Sanciangko St., Cebu City
Tel. No.: (032) 255 – 7777 loc. 156
Fax. No.: (032) 253 – 0729 / ( 032 ) 254 – 3287


7. Your Nearest College

Listed here the major maritime schools which are the shipping company’s favorites when looking for future officers to man their ships. However, these agencies do not limit their search on those areas. Some of them go to other colleges from around the country to find deserving students. They conduct examinations and eventually sponsor cadets who tops their assessments.

You should try visiting your nearest maritime college and ask if shipping companies regularly visits them as well as any scholarship grants offered.


Being part of a scholarship program provides many benefits. The company will shoulder most of your school fees. You are guaranteed 100% sure-fire employment after graduation. This means you will enjoy earning the real salary of a seaman at a very young age.

Other than that, promotion will also be waiting for you once you pass the licensure examination. It’s a win-win program for deserving students without any favoritism or bias. The application does not discriminate whether you are rich, poor or whatever walks of life you come from as long as you are qualified.

May the winds be on your favor.



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