Contrary to popular belief, you can be a biology major and study off campus for one or two semesters of your junior year.
One year options require careful planning. It is particularly important that you are well along on the major (i.e., you have completed the introductory sequence) and that you have completed your chemistry requirement (depending on your track and career goals) before going abroad. In the case of students who start chemistry their second year at the College, this may in some cases (for example, biology majors in the health professions program) require taking two semesters of organic chemistry in the summer. Please see your advisor about this as early as possible.
In your year away, you may take up to two courses for credit toward the biology major. Any additional courses in biology will not count toward the major and in any case we encourage students studying in a foreign country to take as many cultural courses as possible while there.
Additional information about universities with which we partner for full-year study abroad programs can be found on the Study Abroad website.
One Semester Options
These are much easier for a biology major to accomplish but once again, taking advantage of this option requires careful, early planning. The department has been fortunate that many of its students have been accepted to these programs and have had wonderful and intellectually fulfilling experiences. Additional information can also be found on the Study Abroad website. Also, specific faculty members act as resources for each of these programs — their names and links to their webpages are given with each program (given alphabetically):
Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)
A program run by Duke University and a consortium of other institutions, this world-renowned program specializes in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Undergraduate courses are in field tropical ecology or global health (both in Costa Rica and both including home stays with a Costa Rica family and intensive Spanish) African ecology in South Africa (including one course on South African History and Culture) and a summer research program (highly competitive) at the LaSelva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica.
Additional information: Justin McAlister
School for Field Studies (SFS)
Known for its excellent diverse offerings at many locations (Turks & Caicos Islands, Kenya & Tanzania, Australia/New Zealand, Costa Rica, Panama and Bhutan), SFS offers courses in a variety of topics related to conservation, ecology, marine biology and public health.
Additional information: William Sobczak, professor, or Justin McAlister, professor
With the arrival of our new marine biologist, Assistant Professor Justin McAlister, we hope to increase interest in this premier program of study of the world's oceans. Headquartered in Woods Hole, Mass., SEA Education Association's programs cover a wide range of scientific and cultural topics that cater to students from across the sciences, environmental studies, and the humanities. All of SEA's semester-long programs involve a mix of coursework on shore in Woods Hole and hands-on, experiential education at sea onboard one of their purposely built ships, the SSV Corwith Cramer and the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Time at sea involves a mix of oceanographic sampling, sail-training, and cultural study with ports-of-call in either the islands of the Caribbean or Polynesia. Visit their website to see the richness of the semester experiences that are offered by SEA.
Additional information: Justin McAlister (SEA Alum, C-139)