The Diploma in Nautical Science is an undergraduate program designed to prepare students for a career as Deck Officers in the Merchant Navy. This one-year course is followed by 18 months of sea-time training, during which cadets receive a stipend and free boarding and lodging.

After successfully completing the course, students receive an B.Sc. in Nautical Science Degree. The academic journey continues as students are eligible to appear for the Second Mate Certificate of Competency examination.

Upon completion of the examination and mandatory STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) courses, students are awarded the Second Mates (Foreign Going) Certificate of Competency by the Directorate-General of Shipping, Government of India. Furthermore, students are granted a B.Sc. in Nautical Science degree by the Indian Maritime University.

Sponsorship and Career Opportunities

To enroll in the DNS course, students need sponsorship from a shipping company. This sponsorship is like a job guarantee even before the course begins, ensuring job security upon course completion.

DNS graduates are well-prepared for a career as deck officers on merchant vessels, which is a field known for its high demand and lucrative job opportunities.

Advantages and Benefits

Enrolling in a DNS program has several advantages:

  • High Employability: Completing the DNS program opens doors to a fulfilling career in the Merchant Navy. You can embark on a journey to explore the world while earning a good salary.
  • Campus Placement: One of the major advantages of DNS is that you secure sponsorship from a shipping company before the course begins. This means you already have a job offer, ensuring job security upon course completion.
  • Hands-On Training: The course includes sea-time training, allowing students to gain practical experience and apply their knowledge in real-world situations.
  • Good Earnings: Seafarers receive competitive salaries, and there are opportunities for advancement in rank and income.
  • International Exposure: Working on merchant navy ships exposes you to different cultures and provides a unique international experience.
  • Adventure and Travel: A career at sea is an adventurous one, with opportunities to explore various countries and cultures.
  • Job Security: Due to the demand for seafarers, DNS graduates usually enjoy job security.

DNS Course Fees

Fees for DNS courses generally range from 6 to 9 lakhs INR. It’s important to note that students can apply for educational loans from banks after receiving Admission letter from the Academy.

Top 3 DNS Colleges in India 

While several colleges offer DNS courses in India, here are the top three sponsored colleges known for their quality education and campus placements:

Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA)

The Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy offers a Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) program, which is a pre-sea training course designed for those aspiring to have a career in the merchant navy. The academy is located in Karjat and the DNS course lasts for 1 year, with two semesters of 6 months each.

Course Duration and Fees:

  • The DNS course is a 1-year program divided into two semesters, each lasting 6 months.
  • The course fees for boys in the DNS 27 batch (as of the provided information) is INR 7,10,000, excluding additional charges like IMU program fees and STCW Basic Safety Course fees.
  • For girls in the DNS 27 batch, the fees are INR 5,60,000, with similar additional charges.
  • Please note that these fees may change for future batches.


The academy offers various facilities typically, maritime academies provide accommodation, classrooms, training vessels, libraries, and practical training facilities.

Out Pass

AEMA provides out passes as a part of its training programs to ensure the safe and structured movement of students in and out of the academy.

These out passes are typically issued for approved leaves, allowing cadets to visit home or take care of personal matters. The academy follows a well-defined process to ensure cadets’ safety and compliance with regulations during their time away from the campus.


The services provided by the academy are not explicitly mentioned. However, maritime academies typically offer training, educational services, and assistance with job placements after successful completion of the course.


  • Eligibility criteria for the DNS program include having a Senior School Certificate equivalent with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) and specific minimum percentage requirements.
  • Age limit for candidates is 17 to 25 years.

Admission Procedure:

  • Admission to the DNS program is granted after passing the Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET).
  • Candidates are required to undergo an online entrance test and psychometric evaluation as part of the admission process.
  • Shortlisted candidates will then appear for a panel interview.
  • Medical examination and an eye test are part of the selection process.
  • Successful candidates will receive a Provisional Selection Letter.


Specific details about uniforms are not provided, but it’s common for maritime academies to require students to wear uniforms while attending classes and training.

Course Syllabus

The course syllabus is divided into semesters, and each semester includes various subjects related to nautical science, navigation, maritime engineering, and practical training. Specific details about the syllabus for each semester can typically be obtained from the academy.

Career Path:

  • Upon successful completion of the DNS program and the required on-board training, candidates can pursue a career as deck officers in the merchant navy.
  • With further examinations and sea service, graduates can advance to higher positions like Second Mates and eventually become captains or chief officers on board ships.

Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), located in Pune, offers a one-year Residential Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) program leading to a B.Sc. in Nautical Science from the Indian Maritime University (IMU).

This program is designed to train students for a career in the maritime industry, specifically for becoming deck officers.

Course Duration and Fees:

  • The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) program is a one-year residential course.
  • For the batch commencing in August 2024, the all-inclusive cost of training, which covers tuition fees, boarding, lodging, uniforms, and other expenses, is Rs. 6,07,000/-


  • TMI provides comprehensive facilities for theoretical and practical training in nautical science.
  • The institute offers state-of-the-art classrooms, simulation labs, and workshops.
  • Accommodation and mess facilities are available for students within the campus.
  • A well-equipped library and online resources are provided for academic support.

Out Pass

Tolani Maritime Institute issues out passes to cadets for approved leaves and personal reasons. These passes facilitate the cadets’ movements to and from the institute while ensuring their safety and adherence to relevant regulations.

TMI has specific guidelines in place to manage and monitor the use of out passes effectively


TMI offers support services to assist students in securing sponsorships from shipping companies.


  • Age limit: Applicants should be below 25 years of age.
  • Academic Qualifications: Candidates must have successfully completed the Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or its equivalent with at least 60% marks in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) and at least 50% marks in English either in the 10th or 12th standard. Shipping companies prefer candidates with PCM at 70% in the first attempt.
  • Medical Standards: Candidates should meet the medical standards set by the Directorate General of Shipping, Govt. of India. This includes having 6/6 vision in both eyes or 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other eye. Colour blindness is not permitted.

Admission Procedure:

  • Candidates must appear for the IMU Common Entrance Test (IMU-CET).
  • Upon receiving the IMU test result and Class XII exam result, eligible students should inform TMI, indicating their registration number. Passing the IMU test and achieving a minimum of 60% in PCM group in Class XII are mandatory.
  • Eligible students will be called for interviews and medical examinations by the sponsoring shipping companies.
  • Shipping companies will select candidates and issue sponsorship letters.
  • Candidates should submit/report to TMI with the sponsorship letter and other required documents.
  • Payment of fees as per the Admission Letter is required.
  • Students should report to the institute for the course as per instructions in the Admission Letter


TMI provides uniforms to students as part of the program

Location & Duration of Course:

  • The course is conducted at Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune, India.
  • The program duration is one year, followed by one and a half years of onboard ship training.

Course Syllabus:

  • The course includes onshore training that imparts basic knowledge about merchant ships, ship operations, types of cargo carried by ships, shipping trade, and fundamental principles of navigation and environmental sciences. It also covers advanced topics required for a career as a deck officer.
  • The sixth semester consists of the “Second Mate Certificate of Competency,” which is awarded by the Directorate General of Shipping and leads to the simultaneous award of a B.Sc. in Nautical Sciencedegree from IMU.

Career Path:

  • Upon successful completion of the course, students can pursue a career as deck officers in the merchant navy.
  • This course equips graduates with the knowledge and skills required to serve on ships, ensuring safe and efficient navigation and cargo handling.

Tolani Maritime Institute aims to provide comprehensive education and training for a successful career in the maritime industry, and their DNS program is an essential step toward achieving this goal. Students who complete this program are well-prepared for a career at sea as deck officers.

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Lonavala

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS), located in Lonavala, is dedicated to producing highly skilled seafarers who can meet the demanding requirements of the shipping industry.

SIMS provides both Pre-Sea Training in Lonavala. The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) is a one-year course that aims to prepare cadets to become deck officers and excel in their maritime careers.

Course Duration

The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) is a one-year residential program conducted at SIMS, Lonavala.


  • SIMS boasts one of the most modern campuses in the industry with world-class infrastructure.
  • The institute provides excellent facilities to support the learning and training needs of students.
  • This includes state-of-the-art classrooms, training equipment, and other resources to ensure students are well-prepared for a career at sea.

Out Pass

This college provides passes to its students for approved leaves and other personal requirements. These passes are part of a structured process to maintain cadet discipline and safety, ensuring that cadets can temporarily leave the campus and return in an organized manner.


The institute helps coordinate entrance exams for potential candidates and assists in arranging education loans for shortlisted students.


  • Age: The minimum age for Class XII candidates is 17 years at the start of the course. The upper age limit is 20 years for 10+2 candidates, 22 years for B.Sc. candidates, and 25 years for B.E./B.Tech candidates.
  • Academic Qualifications: Candidates must have passed their Class 12 board exams on their first attempt from a regular board with the following requirements:
    • Minimum aggregate percentage: 60%
    • Minimum PCM aggregate: 60%
    • Minimum score in Physics and Mathematics individually: 50%
    • Minimum aggregate for Physics and Mathematics: 60%
    • For Andhra Pradesh and Kerala State boards, 11th and 12th aggregate marks will be considered.
  • Candidates who have appeared for the XII examinations but are awaiting results are also eligible to apply.
  • Alternatively, candidates can apply if they have a B.Sc. in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, or Electronics with Physics as an individual subject in one of the years, with an average of not less than 55% in the final year and 60% marks overall. Candidates should also secure a minimum of 55% marks in PCM in Class XII.
  • For engineering candidates, a B.E./B.Tech from an AICTE-recognized college is required, with an average of not less than 50% in the final year. Candidates who have appeared for Class 12th, B.Sc, or BE/B.Tech exams and are awaiting results are also eligible.


Candidates should be physically fit and meet the standards set by DG Shipping and ESM/SIMS.


English must be one of the subjects with a minimum score of 50% in Class X or XII.


Cadets should have 6/6 vision in their better eye and 6/9 in the other eye, with no use of corrective lenses allowed. Colour blindness is not accepted.


Cadets must possess a valid passport before joining the course.

Admission Procedure

Admission is conducted based on the eligibility criteria and successful performance in the IMU-CET.


Details regarding uniforms are not provided.

Course Syllabus:

  • The course is structured into three stages. The first stage, spanning two semesters, is a one-year pre-sea program that leads to the award of a Diploma in Nautical Science.
  • The second stage involves a minimum of 18 months of onboard ship training (at sea) with distance learning. Upon successful completion, cadets are awarded a Higher Diploma in Nautical Science.
  • The final stage, Semester 6, is a four-month post-sea residential program that awards a B.Sc. (Nautical Science) degree by IMU and a Certificate of Competency (COC) by DG Shipping, Govt. of India.

Career Path:

  • After successfully completing the DNS course, cadets qualify to join as deck cadets on board ships.
  • They undergo 18 months of sea-time training required on a sea-going vessel, during which they receive free boarding and lodging, along with a stipend.
  • To qualify as a third officer on any sea-going vessel, cadets need to obtain the Second Mate’s Certificate of Competency under the Directorate General of Shipping.
  • After obtaining the Second Mate’s Certificate of Competency, cadets become eligible for a B.Sc. Nautical Science degree from IMU, which enhances their career prospects in the maritime industry.

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies focuses on providing the highest quality of training to ensure its cadets are well-prepared for their careers in the maritime industry. The program’s stages are designed to progressively develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career as a deck officer.

Career Opportunities After 12th

The DNS course paves the way for a career as a Deck Officer in the Merchant Navy. Here’s what you can expect:

  • First Stage: After completing the DNS course and 18 months of on-board training  students become eligible to appear for the Second Mate Certificate of Competency examination. Passing this examination allows you to join a seagoing vessel as a Third Officer.
  • Further Advancement: As you gain experience and clear subsequent exams, you can progress to higher ranks, such as Chief Officer and ultimately, Captain. These advancements come with increased responsibilities and higher salaries.
  • Global Opportunities: A career at sea offers opportunities to visit ports and countries worldwide, making it a truly global profession.
  • Financial Stability: Merchant Navy careers are financially rewarding, and the demand for skilled seafarers ensures job security.

List of 11 Colleges Offering DNS Courses

Here is a list of 11 colleges in India that provide Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) courses:

The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) program offers an exciting and rewarding career path for those interested in the Merchant Navy.

With the right education, sponsorship, and training, you can set sail on a journey that promises adventure, financial stability, and a truly global experience. Choose your college wisely and embark on this remarkable career.