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  • Locations: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States;
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: SU applicants only
  • Courses Offered
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
SEA Semester: Oceans & Climate
Sea Semester
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 a 135-foot vessels traveling from New Zealand to Tahiti in the South Pacific. 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.

Program Details
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • SU required course load: 12-19 credits for undergraduate students
  • No language prerequisite
  • Science prerequisite: minimum of three lab science courses, including one at the 300-level or higher (or SEA faculty permission)
Program Calendar
Spring Only - Dates vary per cruise track

Understanding climate change is the predominant scientific challenge of our time, and the timely application of this knowledge to public policy is crucial to the future of the planet. SEA Semester: Oceans & Climate attracts upper-level science students interested in understanding the ocean’s role in the global carbon cycle and climate change. Beginning with long-term, natural climate variability and proceeding through recent anthropogenic influences to the uncertainties of tomorrow, students will develop a strong foundation in global oceanographic processes while also examining the regional climate related phenomena along their cruise track. Regional, national, and international energy and climate policies will also be considered, along with their inherent challenges.

Join this exciting New Zealand to Tahiti voyage, one of SEA’s longest sailing passages, to conduct baseline climate research on the rarely studied sub-Antarctic and subtropical waters of the remote South Pacific. Travel along the edge of the Southern Ocean, a region key to climate science because its dynamic ocean circulation and abundant biological productivity provide a major opportunity for carbon exchange between atmosphere and deep ocean. It’s a true blue-water cruise, reaching over 1,000 nautical miles from land in every direction! At stops in the Chatham Islands and French Polynesia, engage with local communities and investigate climate adaptation and sustainability questions raised during the shore component.

You will earn up to 17 credits for your semester. All courses are taught in English.

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, Syracuse Abroad will assist in obtaining approval from the appropriate SU academic department.

Photo of SEA Semester

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 on-board the ship.

Program Cost
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 Oceans & Climate budget 2016-2017.pdf

Cara Hardy, Counselor,

Apply Now
Applying to this program requires completion of both the Syracuse Abroad and SEA application.

Syracuse University 
SEA Semester
  • Complete SEA Semester's application.
  • Follow instructions from SEA for supplemental documents.
SEA Semester

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.