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 our unique interdisciplinary academic approach.
Mystic, CT is your home base, but we also take learning on the road. You’ll 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 with faculty and staff at your side. These are hands-on, exploratory trips that focus on the physical journey as an experiential learning experience.
You’ll read and discuss Steinbeck’s Cannery Row while on Cannery Row in Monterey, paddle through vanishing marshes and dance to Cajun music in 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, meet inspiring leaders in the environmental and maritime worlds, 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.