Academics & Field Seminars


At Williams-Mystic, we study the nation’s oceans and coastlines firsthand. We work across disciplines, exploring the literature, science, history, and policy of the sea. Our classrooms range from Mystic Seaport Museum's unparalleled Collections and Research Center to our over 8,000-square foot James T. Carlton Marine Science Center. We also explore field sites locally and across the country, on all three of America’s coasts and on the open ocean.

Research and Courses

Top scholars from a variety of backgrounds collaborate on our rigorous curriculum, and students produce independent research in all four of their courses. You’ll make connections across disciplines while getting a clearer view of the big picture: the ocean.

No matter your academic and career goals, Williams-Mystic teaches you to lead and listen, to consider and create, and to reach outside the traditional classroom. Our coursework prepares you for life beyond graduation. For example, a number of our alumni have gone on to write dissertations stemming from work they did at Williams-Mystic. It also prepares you for an engaged, meaningful life.

To enhance our students’ understanding of the oceans and coasts of the United States, we take them on three extended field seminars during their 17 weeks with us. To learn more about them and when they fit into the academic calendar, visit our field seminar page.

Our interdisciplinary philosophy serves our alumni well, whatever their future studies and career goals may be. They learn to lead and to listen, to consider and create, to research beyond hallowed halls and out into the real world. Williams-Mystic’s coursework readies our students not just for graduation or graduate school. It prepares them for a meaningful life.