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A 2012 UGA Costa Rica student Says:

"Costa Rica is an amazingly peaceful country with amazing culture and wildlife. The trip was not a culture shock, but a culture re-awareness. You learn about other values, customs, and at the same time learn the importance of conserving the land & its creatures."

Tropical Biology Fall Semester

SAN LUIS student union dusk from lawn SAN LUIS trails crossing bridge ECOLOGY stream measurements ruler SAN LUIS farm hills in background Mangroves kayaking away ECOLOGY stream field lecture COAST students water measurements clipboard COAST two males cliff high-angle COAST sea turtle tracks male lying down width
Undergraduate, Graduate / Fall / Franklin College of Arts & Sciences | Odum School of Ecology

Program Overview


This interdisciplinary field course involves the intensive study of tropical environments, their natural history, and their people. This program's hands-on approach emphasizes student development in observation, analysis, and critical thinking skills, ultimately preparing each participant to carry out original field research. Under faculty guidance, students will design their own research projects, collect and analyze data, and present their findings in a final symposium. And with its NEW DISCIPLINARY EMPHASIS, UGA Biology majors can now fulfill 2 of 3 core requirements (Genetics and Ecology) plus required Organismal Biology and Laboratory courses, and upper-level major electives in one semester abroad!


In order to better appreciate the vast diversity of organisms and ecosystems that the tropics have to offer, coursework will be completed in both classroom and field settings, utilizing the UGA Costa Rica campus as well as field stations throughout Costa Rica, thereby exploring pristine national parks and protected areas in tropical rain forest, cloud forest, dry forest, and a variety of tropical marine habitats along the Pacific Coast. Cultural immersion, too, is a program emphasis, achieved through (optional) Spanish coursework, homestays with families in the San Luis Valley, interaction with local scientists and scholars, and participation in community activities.


Host Country: Located between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, Costa Rica is a small country known for its pioneering role in tropical conservation, its peaceful, democratic traditions, and its commitment to education, health, and diplomacy. Only 1/3 the size of the state of Georgia, Costa Rica is home to some half a million species—about 4% of the species on the planet.


Click here to read about past program participant, Allison Koch's, life-changing experience on this program, taken from her recent feature as a UGA Amazing Student.


UGA Costa Rica Campus


Program courses are taught using both state-of-the art classrooms and through "living classroom" excursions. All in all, the 155-acre campus, located in San Luis de Monteverde, is comprised of 45,000 square feet of built space, which includes computer labs, spacious bungalows, a student union, and recreational facilities. Additionally, there are nearly 3 miles of hiking trails throughout the property, along with a working organic farm and reforestation nursery.



We've designed this program specifically for Biology and Ecology majors. Please consult with your advisor on how this package of courses fits into your schedule.


April 15 2016



Program Dates

August 31 - November 19, 2016

Application Process

Enrollment is limited to 24 qualified students. Students will earn 15 - 18 credit hours.


To apply, students must submit the following:


For more information, please contact the UGACR Office at (706) 542-6203.

Costs & Payments

Program fees are approximately $5,750*. These fees cover all your lodging (both on- and off-campus), three meals per day, travel insurance, program excursion entry fees, and all sponsored in-country transportation. Additional costs include UGA in-state tuition and fees†, personal items, and international airfare. For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the UGA Bursar's website.

* The final program fee is subject to student enrollment.

Note: Out-of-state students pay in-state tuition. Additionally, the HOPE scholarship applies to those who are eligible.



After your acceptance into the program, all program fees and tuition will be applied to your Student Account upon registration through Athena. Our office will communicate program and academic course registration specifics with you when your program term approaches. Access your Student Account here. You may pay online with a credit card or mail a check to the Bursar's Office. If you receive a scholarship from either OIE or UGA Costa Rica, or if you plan to utilize financial aid, please notify the UGA Costa Rica Office should any payment need to be submitted after the deadlines given the timing of disbursement. We are generally willing to work with students who have special circumstances.



An additional application and $60 processing fee is required for non-UGA students to enroll. Click here for instructions. Contact the UGA Costa Rica Office to confirm once you have started the application process. And per University of Georgia policy, all non-UGA students will be charged a $250 fee in addition to their tuition (unless a student of a USG or SEC institution), which is assessed by the UGA Bursar's office.

Other dates / Deadlines




After this date, students who withdraw from the program will be responsible to forfeit their initial deposit as well as any program costs that have been spent on their behalf (e.g., hotel reservations, transportation, and payments to local vendors).


FINAL PAYMENT DUE: See the Bursar's Office website, select Calendar & Payment Deadlines in the side navigation, then choose the appropriate term to find final payment deadlines.

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