Field Lab in Brazil

Offering a World-Class Curriculum

Semester at Sea offers an unparalleled educational program in partnership with Colorado State University. The distinctive feature of Semester at Sea is the opportunity it affords students to engage in global comparative education. Courses on Semester at Sea are regular CSU courses, are fully accredited, and meet the generally accepted standards for transfer. The University appoints the academic dean from among its most accomplished faculty, approves all course designs, field classes and syllabi for the Semester at Sea academic program.



Semester at Sea offers up to 75 courses across several disciplines of study. Course syllabi reflect the expertise of the faculty member and the itinerary.

  • About 2/3 of our courses are upper-division and 1/3 are lower division.
  • About 2/3 of our courses are offered on every voyage, while the remaining 1/3 of courses are unique to that voyage.

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University of Virginia (Summer 2007-Spring 2016)

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View Grades/ Unofficial Transcript

Colorado State University (Fall 2016-present)

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How to View Your Grades and Unofficial Transcript

The above two instructional documents referencing CSU transcripts are under development and will be available soon.

The Core Course – Global Studies

The core course for the voyage, Global Studies, is required of all students and provides an integrated, interdisciplinary introduction to each of the countries visited on a given itinerary.  The course examines the traditional and changing systems and values of a country and its cultures, while providing the fundamental knowledge necessary to prepare students for field activities in the host country. Global Studies is designed to help students deepen their understanding of specific features of contemporary life and culture (such as politics, religion, environment, art, music, family systems, and health). This common course is also designed to take maximum advantage of the opportunity for students to think critically about their own societies and global change.  Specifically designed pre- and post-port class sessions examine patterns of cultural interaction and communication to promote intercultural competency and self-awareness among Semester at Sea students.

Field Classes

Faculty design one Field Class, or in-country educational trip, for each of their courses. A Field Class constitutes an additional day of class and the same expectations are placed on a Field Class as placed on a class day at sea. Field Classes and their respective assignments are a required part of each course and constitute approximately 20 percent of a student’s grade, as well as 20 percent of the course’s required contact hours.

  • Students register for their courses and their Field Classes at the same time.
  • Participation in a Field Class is limited to those students enrolled in the companion course.
  • The cost of required Field Classes is included in voyage tuition.

About Faculty-Led Trips

Many voyage faculty also develop at least one faculty-led trip that will be open to interested students and the entire shipboard community. Unlike the Field Class, a Faculty-Led Trip is not restricted to only those enrolled in the companion course. The Faculty-Led Trip presents the opportunity both for the professor and the participant to engage in further dedicated learning and discovery in each country. While the Field Class will unite a class with one common shared field experience, student participation in additional Faculty-Led Trips will engender lively class discussion through the contrasting port experiences.


Frequently Offered Courses

Courses from a variety of disciplines are offered on Semester at Sea, however the curriculum will differ somewhat for each specific voyage.  Courses offered reflect faculty expertise as well as the planned itinerary.  While each voyage will have unique course offerings, many of the same courses will be offered on a regular basis. These frequently offered courses are ones that offer a global comparative perspective, are in high demand by students, and are easily transferable for credit at a broad range of colleges and universities.

SAS Frequently Offered Courses

Note: You should not regard the presence of a specific title on this list as assurance that the course will be offered on a specific upcoming voyage or to secure a seat for a specific student.