The BSMT program offered by the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy is basically designed to prepare PMMA Midshipmen for duties as deck officers aboard ship after graduation.

It is a four-year residency course consisting of a three-year academic studies (1st, 2nd and 4th year) and one year apprentice training (3rd year) on board commercial vessels plying the international sea lanes as deck cadets.

The course structure is designed in a manner that at the end of the third year of training, BSMT midshipmen would have fulfilled the requirements of Regulation II/4 of the STCW Convention (minimum knowledge requirements for certification of officer-in-charge of navigational watch on ships of 200 gross register tons or more) and would have gained knowledge to enable them to absorb intelligently the professional subjects for the fourth year. The study during the last year is intended to equip BSMT midshipmen with additional knowledge and skills in Marine Transportation. The curriculum has been revised further to comply with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) requirements on General Education Components.

Aside from addressing the academic requirements of deck cadets/midshipmen, the curriculum also provides training for their leadership and discipline. The leadership and discipline training scheme is military oriented. Such approach is necessary considering the uniqueness of the maritime profession which requires the highest degree of leadership, discipline and integrity.