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Program Description:

OTS South Africa/Duke


The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) South Africa program is designed for biology majors but open to students from all disciplines. Distinguished visiting scientists will help you develop the skill and understanding of issues related to ecology and conservation. You will also look at the history and culture of South Africa with prominent historians, artists and cultural theorists.

The program is based in Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa. Field study and research exercises at several camps within the park expose you to the different types of savanna that are home to the park's abundant wildlife. You will also participate in a short river-rafting trip and a longer excursion to Cape Town, which gives you the opportunity to experience the Drakensberg Mountains, the highveld, and the biodiversity of the fynbos and karoo.

Program Details

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • SU required course load: 12-19 credits for undergraduate students
  • Prerequisites: Two semesters of college-level biology, ecology, or other related sciences.

Program Calendar
Fall: Late August to late November
Spring: late January to early May

The semester program consists of four 4-credit courses. Courses are taught in English. Grades from OTS Duke will be posted to your academic record and factored into your overall GPA at SU.

For a list of courses pre-approved for SU credit, please click on the "Courses Offered" link at the top of this page. There is no guarantee courses on the list will be offered during your semester abroad, so please refer to the World Partner website for the most up-to-date course offerings. If you want to take a course that is not already approved, SU Abroad will assist in obtaining approval from the appropriate SU academic department.

Accommodations at the research stations will range from dormitories to small chalets. In Cape Town, you will stay at a backpacker’s lodge.

All U.S. citizens and most non-U.S. citizens are required to have a student visa for their semester in South Africa. OTS directly assists with the process of securing your visa for the program.

Program Cost
You will pay SU tuition and can apply all SU financial aid except work-study. Besides tuition, you will also be charged a program fee, which covers room and board, local travel, certain recreational activities, field and office equipment, transcript fee, some computer services, pre-departure meetings, International Student ID card, and services not covered by tuition or for which a separate fee is not charged.

For the program fee and further explanation of estimated costs, please see the financial planning budget here: TBD

Lou Berends,

Apply Now
Applying to this program requires completion of both the SU Abroad and OTS application. 

Please note: due to the small number of spaces in each program, it is possible for a program to reach maximum enrollment before the application due date. Apply Early!

Syracuse University

  • Complete SU Abroad application.
  • All application material must be submitted by the SU Abroad application deadline.

Organization for Tropical Studies

  • Complete OTS’s application online
  • Follow instructions from OTS  for supplemental documents

Organization for Tropical Studies/Duke

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 03/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 08/01/2018 08/01/2018
NOTE: Dates are tentative and subject to change.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.