Who Should Apply?
This program is ideal for any undergraduate with an interest in the oceans. We welcome students of all majors to apply.
• Make an open ocean passage & Equatorial crossing
• Conduct snorkel-based reef surveys
• Gain hands-on sailing and leadership experience
• Participate in original data collection and authentic research
Coral reefs support some of the richest diversity of species on the planet, and yet they are now threatened by climate change and other human impacts. After completing initial coursework online, you’ll join the SSV Robert C. Seamans
in Tahiti to set sail on an epic 2,600-nautical mile passage across the Equator to Hawai'i. You’ll retrace historic voyages of Polynesian migration, using navigation methods that rely on the sun, stars, and moon, to visit three distinct island atolls: Caroline Island, Rangiroa, and Kiritimati. There you’ll conduct snorkel-based photographic and visual surveys of the local corals, fish, and invertebrates to document the effects of environmental change.
This program is for any student interested in exploring the changing Pacific Ocean environment through hands-on research and leadership experience at sea, and is a rare opportunity to contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the health of remote coral reefs.
Academic Coursework & Credit
Summer: Pacific Reef Expedition carries 7 semester hour credits from Boston University for successful completion of the program.
Nautical Science (200-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Learn the fundamentals of sailing ship operation, in preparation for direct application at sea. Navigation (piloting, celestial and electronic), weather, engineering systems, safety, and sail theory. Participate as an active member of the ship’s crew on an offshore voyage.
Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Introduction to oceanographic research. Design a collaborative, hypothesis-driven project following the scientific process. Collect original data. Conduct analysis and interpretation, then prepare a written report and oral presentation.
Courses in this program are Transfer Credit.
Transfer Credit Courses (not taught by UNC Faculty): ACTION REQUIRED
- You must submit the Credit Request Form to earn any credit for your time abroad.
- You must earn the equivalent of a C or higher to earn any credit.
- These courses will transfer back to UNC as “TREQ” credits.
Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.
Tuition and fees for the program are set based on the host institution’s rates, and will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Always refer to the Budget Sheet on this page, and not the host institution’s posted rates, as it is customized for UNC students. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad.
Getting Started: Funding Study Abroad
Follow these steps to apply for this program:
- Complete the required UNC application by clicking “Apply Now” at the top of the page. If you have not done so already, create a profile to start your application.
- Contact your Study Abroad Advisor for further instructions for the required IFSA-Butler supplemental application.
- In order to participate in the program, both the Study Abroad Office and partner institution must accept your application. Note that decision notification timelines may differ.
For information on requesting ARS accommodations (academic, health, and mobility concerns) for a study abroad program, contact the Advisor for Access