- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.8 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Second semester Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science
On the Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.
Fall: Early September-Mid December
Spring: Late January-Mid May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Put tropical paradise in perspective. Spend a semester in the dynamic community of Bocas del Toro, where everything – from the thriving underwater ecosystems to the rich green rainforests – seems more alive. Go behind the scenes in this “paradise” as you study the impacts of tourism and development on the island system’s unique habitats: meet with Bocas residents, evaluate local environmental policies, and apply the principles of sustainability and conservation to an extensive field research project.
The SFS Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies is located approximately three miles outside of Bocas Town, perfectly situated on the quiet Caribbean waters of Almirante Bay. It's only a short walk to numerous beaches, rainforests, and the town
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.