Texas A&M Galveston

Texas A&M Galveston has a training ship
Texas A&M Galveston’s training ship USS Kennedy

Located just south of Houston on Pelican Island, Texas A&M Galveston has a small-school feel, with 2,300 students learning a variety of marine science, maritime transportation, business, computer science and engineering disciplines – some of which have a 5th year Master’s option! 

From the business and engineering of shipping to the health of the ocean and the creatures who live in it – these are the disciplines students at Texas A&M Galveston spend their time learning.  “We own the blue economy,” admissions officers will tell you.  This campus offers nine ocean oriented majors, including a stellar marine biology/marine science program, and four engineering majors, including computer science.

Unlike the flagship College Station campus, which has over 70,000 students, TAMU Galveston has just over 2,000 – and it feels like a small liberal arts campus in many ways.  When we toured this Pelican Island located campus, we met with a professor who told us that just 6 weeks into the semester, she knew most of her students by name.  She teaches introductory level biology and marine biology, each with about 175 students per class.  With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, most classes are closer to 25-30 students.  Because this campus is affiliated with a Tier 1 research institution, students have access to top-level research opportunities with professors, and because of the small size, they can build relationships with their professors from the start.  

Just like at the main campus, participating in the Corps of Cadets is optional,  but those who choose to participate are in uniform five days per week and participating in drill activities daily.  School spirit is high here – the culture of Texas A&M is definitely alive on this campus!  There’s a Midnight Yell tradition (‘Aggies don’t cheer, they YELL!’) and students sometimes drive up to College Station to support the Aggies.  There are no varsity sports here, but there are club and recreational sports, and not surprisingly, a big focus on beach and water sports like rowing and sailing.

Galveston is home to the Maritime Academy, one of only six in the U.S.  Students in this program graduate with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Mariner’s license, which prepares them to seek immediate employment in the maritime industry – and the demand is so high that they often have multiple six-figure job offers by the time they graduate.  Maritime Academy students spend three of their summers on the training ship USS Kennedy, which will be replaced next year with the USS Lone Star.  ‘It’s a big party with all of your friends,’ said one of the Cadets who led our tour.  Even though the travel part is fun, there’s definitely work and learning involved in this summer-at-sea, where they’ll learn to operate the ship equipment but also learn to work as a team.

TAMU Galveston is a close-knit and diverse community.  When we walked around campus and ate in the dining hall, we noticed students from many different backgrounds, and we were honestly surprised at the varying hair colors we saw!  You might think of Texas A&M as being on the conservative side, and while that’s a little more true for the College Station campus, the Galveston campus is full of students who are career-focused and success-driven.  And they’re building a new sea turtle hospital!  How can you not love it here?!

Lesa and Evelyn visited TAMU Galveston in winter, 2024.  We loved this hidden gem!  You can scroll through all of our photos below.

Get started on your future, contact Magellan College Counseling today.