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Planning Ahead gap year, winter start & High School students

Environmental Studies in Woods Hole & at Sea 1


Adventurer. Scholar. Ocean enthusiast.

You have a passion for the environment. You’re ready to gain hands-on experience. You want to influence change. You’re looking


for a challenge.

Educators. Leaders. Ocean stewards.

SEA Semester is the leading off-campus environmental studies program focused on the oceans. Since 1971, we have educated more than 8,000 undergraduates on shore in Woods Hole and aboard our sailing research vessels at sea. We develop ocean scholars, stewards, and leaders: people who are passionate about making a difference.

Adventure with a purpose.

Photo: Camrin Braun


We will go from classmates to shipmates, form a tight-knit crew, and cross oceans to engage with the critical environmental issues of our time.


SEA Semester is the sailing adventure of a lifetime grounded in academic coursework. Our programs welcome undergraduates of all majors, as well as gap year and winter-start students, and combine classroom learning on shore with a transformative hands-on experience at sea. At the beginning of every program, up to 25 students from all over the U.S. (and often, the world) come together on SEA’s residential campus in Woods Hole, a small seaside village on Cape Cod that has become a world-renowned hub of oceanographic research and discovery. The coursework and time on shore vary by program, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to prepare students personally and intellectually for the second half of their experience at sea.

personal growth


After forming a living and learning community in Woods Hole, students join one of our two tall ship oceanographic research vessels to put classroom theory into real-world practice. Embarking on an academic research expedition in the Atlantic, Caribbean, or Pacific, students become integral members of the ship’s company at sea, fully participating in the scientific mission and sailing operations of the vessel. No previous sailing experience is required! The confidence, skills, and teamwork that are developed at sea will serve you well throughout your life. When you step off the ship, you’ll take with you academic credits, newfound knowledge about yourself and the world, and a sense of direction that will carry you through to your next journey, no matter what it may be.


preparing students for the future BUILDING SKILLS FOR SUCCESS


At SEA, we’re invested in our students’ futures and in their success. SEA Semester develops lifelong skills in leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking, all of which serve students well no matter what career path they choose. 92% of our alumni report that SEA Semester provided them with skills that have proven useful in their careers today.

The unique experience SEA Semester offers has created a strong, active, and supportive alumni community. Always eager to help, our former students are an invaluable resource for personal and professional networking, and for employment opportunities in all career fields.


SEA Semester students go on to a wide variety of careers and post-graduate pursuits. Read about them at www.sea.edu/alumni.

The vast majority of our alumni also report that SEA Semester increased their passion for ocean stewardship, improved their self-confidence and self-reliance, and improved their collaborative and teamwork skills.


marketable skills


the SEA Semester

Ripple Effect setting a course for success

Being a SEA Semester alum means something. It says something about you: your passion, your character, your knowledge. It also means that you’re part of a well-established community. These are essential elements to success – in your undergraduate studies, professional career, and personal life – that colleges and employers value.





Make a difference.

Master a range of academic subjects.

Develop confidence.

Join a tight-knit alumni community.

Gain lifelong practical and interpersonal skills.

Be a leader, and a follower.

Gain powerful networking opportunities.

Challenge yourself. Hone your sense of adventure. Contribute to something bigger than yourself.

Earn transferable credits from Boston University. Get to know yourself.

Abide by a code: ship, shipmates, self. Develop critical thinking & communication skills.

Find a professional circle of mentors. Make friends for life.



It’s not too early to begin dreaming about your life’s journey, or to begin preparing for a SEA Semester experience of your own. Gap/Winter Start Students High school students considering a gap year or those accepted as a winter start in college often enroll in SEA Semester’s Ocean Exploration program (see page 7). Ocean Exploration offers a 200-level introduction to the world’s oceans through interdisciplinary coursework coupled with a leadership development experience at sea. It carries a full semester of Boston University credit that is transferable to most U.S. colleges and universities.

Just Planning Ahead? If you’re already thinking ahead about studying abroad with SEA Semester as a college student, here are some basic tips for success: • • • •

Check out which colleges and universities are affiliated with SEA Semester. Work with your academic advisor to determine how SEA Semester courses can count as credit towards your future major or minor. Connect with a SEA Semester Admissions Counselor to learn more about our relationships with specific institutions. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on our latest programs!

For more details on SEA Semester credit, visit www.sea.edu/academics.


For a full list of our sending and affiliated institutions, visit www.sea.edu/academics/affiliates.


college credit


SEA Semester regularly draws from over 150 colleges and universities each year. However, we maintain formal affiliations with the following schools. Affiliation entails institutional support for student participation in SEA Semester by way of program approval, credit transfer, and - in some cases - financial aid transfer.


All SEA Semester programs offer courses that have been submitted to and approved by Boston University through its internal course evaluation process. A formal Academic Advisory Board made up of representatives from institutional affiliates convenes on an annual basis to review all SEA Semester programs and courses. Students are registered at Boston University for the duration of their SEA Semester program unless their home institution grants direct credit for participation by way of an SEA transcript. This registration process allows students to receive an official BU transcript upon successful completion of SEA Semester coursework.

American University

Lafayette College

The Evergreen State College

Barnard College

Lawrence University

University of Denver

Boston University

Longwood University

University of Massachusetts,

(School of Record)

Macalester College


Carleton College

McDaniel College

University of New Hampshire

Colgate University

Northeastern University

University of North Carolina,

College of Charleston

Oberlin College

Connecticut College

Oregon State University

Cornell University

Purdue University

Drexel University

Reed CollegeRice University

University of Pennsylvania

Eckerd College

Ripon College

University of Rhode Island

Franklin & Marshall College

Rochester Institute of

University of San Diego

George Washington


Chapel Hill University of Northern Colorado

University of Washington

Roger Williams University

Ursinus College

Hamilton College

Stonehill College

Utica College

Hawaii Pacific University

SUNY College of

Villanova University


Ithaca College

Environmental Science and

Warren Wilson College

Jacksonville University


Whitman College

Knox College

Syracuse University



SEA Semester: Ocean Exploration is an ideal program for gap year students to develop skills in leadership, teamwork, and research while making a long passage through either the Atlantic or Pacific. Recent voyages include cruise tracks from New Zealand to Tahiti, and from Woods Hole to St. Croix. This interdisciplinary program combines insights from oceanography, the humanities, and the social sciences with practical skills in seamanship. Students deepen their awareness of and appreciation for the ocean through hands-on research and personal experience as they consider some of the most pressing global questions related to the ocean environment. On shore at Woods Hole, students design original research projects to be completed at sea. Maritime


Studies coursework provides historical and social perspectives on the human impact on world oceans, and on the experience of going to sea. Nautical Science coursework introduces practical seamanship skills and the theoretical background necessary for students to safely operate a tall ship at sea. At sea, students manage shipboard operations, navigate by the stars, and analyze oceanographic samples as they voyage across the open ocean. Program Highlights • • • •

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the world’s oceans. Make a long, blue-water sailing passage. Take your learning out of the classroom and into the field. Develop new skills in leadership, teamwork, and research.

global perspective


C al b o Gl



SEA Semester Alumni Survey American Gap Association Alumni Survey




74 77

Useful career skills

92 84

Personal development

98 98

Professional success Find a purpose

97 77

Helped get first job

81 75

Ocean steward Global citizen

77 82


Influenced career




I couldn’t be more proud of my shipmates, and how far we have all come from the first day on the ship. We have grown as a unit to be a successful, powerful team that can conquer any challenge. - Jaeger Hodge, Gap Year Student, University of Southern California


v En

mental iron


Ships and safety SAFETY AT SEA

Safety is among our highest priorities on every voyage, every day. SEA owns and operates the SSV Corwith Cramer and the SSV Robert C. Seamans, both custom designed and uniquely built educational platforms. Unlike other programs that take students to sea, our ships are U.S. flagged, inspected, and regulated vessels, and have been designed and built specifically for SEA with student and crew safety foremost in mind. Our ships are United States Coast Guard (USCG) certified and regularly inspected for ocean service. As U.S. flagged Sailing School Vessels (SSVs), our ships are required to meet safety standards different from those for passenger vessels on a comparable route. The SSV Corwith Cramer and SSV Robert C. Seamans meet or exceed the safety requirements for their USCG and ABS class designations and possess


all required equipment for navigation and emergency situation response. SEA Semester cruise tracks are planned well in advance to optimize program objectives, and are based on seasonal weather patterns, sea conditions, oceanographic research clearances and port calls visited. Our cruise track selection and timing reflects strict adherence to predictable heavy weather avoidance. For more information on our commitment to student health and safety, please visit www.sea.edu/safety.

leadership skills


how to apply | financial aid ADMISSIONS & FINANCIAL AID

In addition to our standard undergraduate applicant pool, SEA Semester welcomes applications from high school seniors planning a gap year or accepted as a winter start. We accept qualified students on a first-come, first-served basis until each program is full or until the application deadline has passed. We welcome applications as early as one year in advance of the program start, and encourage students to apply early to ensure a spot in their preferred program. Sea Education Association admits students of any race, color, gender, orientation, and national or ethnic origin to all programs and activities made available to students at SEA. SEA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, orientation, or national

tools for success


or ethnic origin in administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, or financial aid. To learn more about SEA Semester, and begin an application, contact one of our friendly Admissions Counselors! Visit www.sea.edu/admissions to learn more. COMMITMENT TO AFFORDABILITY

SEA Semester is committed to working with every qualified applicant to make our programs affordable. Our Financial Aid Office works one-on-one with each student and their family to come up with the best possible financial package. Between merit scholarships, need-based aid, and other awards, we can help to make SEA Semester a reality for you.


Sea Education Association www.sea.edu P.O. Box 6 Woods Hole, MA 02543 800-552-3633 x770 800-977-8516 fax 11

Profile for SEA Semester

Planning Ahead for SEA Semester  

It's not too early to begin dreaming about your life's journey, or to begin preparing for a SEA Semester experience of your own.

Planning Ahead for SEA Semester  

It's not too early to begin dreaming about your life's journey, or to begin preparing for a SEA Semester experience of your own.