The Program at a Glance
In our unique interdisciplinary approach, a small cohort studies the literature, history, policy, and science of the oceans and coasts of the United States. Our courses are experiential and emphasize original research: it’s not unusual for classes to occasionally be held at the beach, on a boat, or immersed in Mystic Seaport Museum's historical collections center.
Based in Mystic, Connecticut, students live cooperatively in houses on the grounds of the nation’s leading maritime museum. While taking nineteenth-century maritime skills classes, students have the opportunity to work alongside master artisans to forge iron, climb aloft to furl sails, or skipper a sailboat.
Throughout the semester, students travel alongside faculty and staff to experience America’s three coasts, building relationships with community members and each other at each stop. These extended field seminars inform classroom discussions and research projects. Each is profoundly interdisciplinary and involves various hands-on experiences that expand our students' worldviews. For example, while sailing offshore aboard a tall ship in the Atlantic, students act as the ship’s crew while collecting and analyzing oceanographic data. On the West Coast, we discuss international trade regulations while onboard tugboats in busy ports and Steinbeck’s Cannery Row while on Cannery Row in Monterey. Students witness the effects of sea-level rise on communities while paddling through vanishing marshes in Southern Louisiana.
These experiences create leaders that can take on the world’s most pressing issues. Take a step back and look at the big picture: experience new perspectives, horizons, and possibilities in a life-changing semester.
FAST FACTS ABOUT WILLIAMS-MYSTIC
Established in 1977
3 field seminars: Offshore, West Coast, and Gulf Coast
4 interdisciplinary courses: Literature, History, Science, and Policy
4:1 student to faculty ratio
100% of students conduct original research
Up to 22 students per semester
Students from all majors and home colleges welcome
1,800 alums and growing
2 million artifacts at Mystic Seaport Museum