The Williams-Mystic program educates undergraduate students in a semester-long academic investigation of the sea that is accompanied by travel throughout the United States and original research opportunities.
At a Glance
Our courses—your courses—are hands-on, discussion-based, and place an emphasis upon original research: it’s not unusual to be on a boat, at the beach, or studying within Mystic Seaport’s vast historical collections for class. You’ll take classes in marine science, maritime history, maritime literature, and marine policy, which all connect with each other in addition to student life and field seminars in observance of our unique interdisciplinary academic approach.
While Mystic, CT is your home base, you’ll also see America in a way that you probably never have before: by traveling on three intimate, intense, and extended field seminars along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts. These are hands-on, exploratory trips that focus on the physical journey as an educational teaching experience.
You’ll read and discuss Steinbeck’s Cannery Row while on Cannery Row in Monterey, California, explore the Louisiana bayous and Cajun history of the Mississippi Delta, and consider the turmoil of Captain Ahab from Melville’s Moby Dick while sitting on the deck of the world’s last remaining wooden whaling ship. Sailing offshore aboard a tall ship, you’ll experience the vastness and power of the ocean while acting as the ship’s crew and completing independent research.
You’ll have lively discussions on international trade regulations while standing on tugboats in busy ports, give a presentation on a historical artifact while actually holding it, live communally with other students, and reflect upon your adventures for your literature journal. You might learn to forge iron, navigate by the night sky, or sail independently while making the nation’s largest maritime museum your home for the semester.
Take a step back and look at what we like to call The Big Picture: you’ll experience new perspectives, new horizons, and new possibilities—all in one life-changing semester.