SEA Semester: Ocean Exploration
SEA Semester (SEA) is an educational adventure in a study-abroad program, open to students in all majors, that will take you to the deep ocean on a traditional sailing vessel to learn about the sea. The semester long program is for 12 weeks, with half taking place on shore and the other half at sea. The interdisciplinary program begins in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, one of the world’s great centers for ocean research. There you will study the chemistry, biology, physics, and geology of the oceans and you will design your own research project that you will carry out at sea. You will discuss the major policy issues that will be tomorrow’s headlines, and you will learn what it requires to take a vessel under sail safely to the deep ocean and to international ports.
After six weeks on shore, you and your classmates will join the crew on one of their 135-foot vessels. You will participate in all of the duties the ship requires. Every day, you will be given more responsibility as your skills increase until you are running the ship. SEA voyages follow various cruise tracks depending on the research focus and weather conditions. There are typically two port stops with one outside the United States.
- Minimum GPA: 2.75
- SU required course load: 12-19 credits for undergraduate students
- No language prerequisite
Spring and Fall tracks available - Dates vary per cruise track
This semester attracts students from all majors who are interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of our world’s oceans. Understanding the oceans is an essential component of appreciating how the world works and how we relate to it as human beings. The sea is so complex that it is impossible to comprehend from the perspective of a single academic discipline. With that in mind, this interdisciplinary program combines insights from oceanography, the humanities, and the social sciences with practical skills in seamanship, allowing students to deepen their awareness of and appreciation for the ocean through hands-on research and personal experience. In this semester, students will address and answer some of the most pressing global questions related to the ocean environment.
You will earn up to 17 credits for your semester. All courses are taught in English.
For course descriptions, please see the SEA website
. New course offerings must be approved for SU credit.
At Woods Hole, you will live in one of five fully furnished cottages. In preparation for going to sea, you will function as a team with your roommates and be responsible for the housekeeping, shopping, and cooking. While you are at sea, you will live onboard the ship.
You will pay SU tuition and a program fee. You may apply all SU financial aid except work-study. The program fee includes: pre-departure meeting, international travel insurance, orientation, room and prepaid grocery card on shore, and room and board at sea. For the program fee and further explanation of estimated costs, please see the most recent financial planning budget here: SEA Semester Budget 14-15.pdf.
Cara Hardy, Counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Applying to this program requires completion of both the Syracuse Abroad and SEA Semester application.
- Complete SEA Semester’s application.
- Follow instructions from SEA for supplemental documents.