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Uncrewed Maritime Systems (UMS) Certificate Programs

Uncrewed Maritime Systems (UMS) Certificate Programs

Uncrewed vehicles are increasingly involved in routine, innovative, and emergency data collection in the marine environment yet few curricula exist worldwide which provide comprehensive instruction in the field of uncrewed maritime systems. The UMS Certificate Programs will provide students with a working knowledge concerning the operation of a variety of uncrewed maritime systems and help them to understand the environment in which the systems operate and how that environment factors into decisions and mission planning.

If you are interested in the UMS Certificate Programs please send an email to the%20UMS%20Program%20Coordinator or call 228.236.6572.

UMS Certificate Program - Tier 1

Next Course Delivery: October 14 - November 15, 2024

  • Class size is limited to 15 students.
  • Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Application deadline: October 7, 2024 | 4:00 p.m. (CDT)
  • Applicants are urged to submit transcript and immunization records showing two MMR dates (or documentation of a positive titer test) by the  application deadline. 
  • If you have questions email Carl%20Szczechowski.

Apply Online 

Southern Miss Undergraduate Admissions

What Will I Learn?



  • MAR 431: Basic Marine Instrumentation (3 hours)
  • MAR 434: Operating Instrumentation in Marine Environments (3 hours)
  • MAR 433: Marine Autonomous Vehicles (3 hours)
  • MAR 433L: Marine Autonomous Vehicles Lab (1 hour)


Students will learn foundational material in oceanography and ocean engineering related to uncrewed undersea (e.g., buoyancy gliders, Iver, REMUS, SeaBED, Eagle Ray), surface (e.g. SeaTrac, Saildrone, Ocean Aero Triton), and aerial (e.g., Wingtra One) vehicles and other non-vehicular systems (e.g., Wirewalker, profiling floats, fixed buoys and moorings). Topics covered will include physical and geological oceanography, acoustics, electronics, materials (pressure and temperature considerations, corrosion, biofouling), buoyancy, ballasting, vehicle stability, sensors, navigation, and communications. This 10-credit hour program (four courses including one lab), compressed into five weeks of instruction, is intended to provide sufficient background so that students appreciate what it takes to safely and effectively operate uncrewed systems in challenging marine environments.

Students will work with individual electronic workstations and buoyancy glider kits to gain hands-on experience with buoyancy, ballasting, electronics, microprogramming, materials, batteries and connectors. By the end of the five weeks each student will have constructed, and tested in a ballasting tank, a small functioning buoyancy glider.  

UMS Operator Certificate Program - Tier 2

unmanned class

PLAN OF STUDY – UMS Operator Certificate (Advanced)

  • MAR 435 Operating Instrumentation in Marine Environments II (3 hours)
  • MAR 436 UMS Vehicle Planning (3 hours)
  • MAR 438 UMS Vehicle Management (3 hours)
  • MAR 440 UMS Field Project (3 hours)


In this follow-on curriculum students will delve into ocean science and engineering topics, including characteristics of specific platforms and sensors, physical environmental factors affecting UMS in both operational and research and development settings. The curriculum draws knowledge from real-world case studies of specific situations, sensors, and platforms. Students will apply these concepts in developing and conducting operations during a short field project.

The UMS Operator Certificate program consists of four courses totaling 12 credit hours compressed into five weeks of instruction including a field project during which students will conduct mission analysis & planning, specific vehicle and sensor matching, specific vehicle preparation, launch, operation, and recovery, followed by quality review of collected data.

 Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives:

  • SLO1: Students will be able to evaluate the specific requirement of a given mission, consider the environmental limitations, and select the appropriate hardware for the task.
  • SLO2: Students will be able to read schematics, assemble electronic components, and program micro-controllers similar to those used in modern undersea vehicles.
  • SLO3: Students will be able to properly determine and adjust the ballast and trim of several types of autonomous undersea vehicles varying conditions.
  • SLO4: Students will be able to troubleshoot failures in cables, connectors, and simple electronic components.
  • SLO5: Students will be able to properly plan a glider mission and write the operational program with which to execute it.
  • SLO6: Students will be able to properly plan a powered AUV mission and write the operational program with which to execute it.


unmanned 2020 graduationUSM’s Uncrewed Maritime Systems Fourth Class Graduates

The class recently graduated 15 students in a ceremony while observing Covid-19 guidelines. Graduates, guests, faculty and speakers maintained a six-foot distance and wore masks. The ceremony was also streamed live via zoom. Read more

Class of 2019  
UMS class of 2019
informal UMS class

Navy Unmanned Certificate Program Began on  5/2/2017

  • NAVY Students will be first in the nation to earn a certificate in Uncrewed Maritime Systems at USM. Read Navy article here. 

NAVY Students first in the nation to earn a certification in Unmanned Maritime S