World Odyssey

 Colorado State University: An Ideal Academic Partner

Semester at Sea is proud to have Colorado State University as our Academic Partner. As of June 1, 2016, Colorado State University became the new academic partner for Semester at Sea. Founded in 1870 as a land-grant institution, CSU combines intellectual classroom pursuits with hands-on experience in the field and laboratory— similar in approach to the Semester at Sea global comparative experiential learning model. As the recipient of the 2013 Senator Paul Simon National Award for Outstanding Campus Internationalization, its significant role in the founding of the Peace Corps, and its emphasis on the importance of diversity and global education, CSU is a natural partner for the SAS program.Colorado State Logo

Academic Credit

Semester at Sea students are enrolled as visiting students of Colorado State University (CSU). Grades are recorded at CSU and students receive official CSU transcripts. Courses on Semester at Sea are regular CSU courses, are fully accredited, and meet the generally accepted standards for transfer. Colorado State University appoints the academic dean from among their most accomplished faculty, approves all course designs, field classes, syllabi, and faculty on Semester at Sea prior to sailing.
Each SAS voyage includes students representing 250-300 universities. Since 1963, students from more than 1,700 colleges and universities have participated. SAS credit easily transfers to most schools.
Learn more.

Voyage Credit Offerings

  • Fall & Spring Voyages: 12-15 transferable credits

Role of the Academic Partner

Appoint the academic dean:

Approximately two years prior to launching each voyage, a distinguished faculty member is selected to serve as Academic Dean. Criteria include demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and publications, as well as administrative and international experience.

Approve all faculty and course syllabi:

Academic Deans review faculty applications, interview selected candidates, and discuss specific courses to be included in the curriculum. Faculty credentials and the syllabi they develop with the guidance of the Academic Dean then undergo a comprehensive review process by the appropriate academic department at Colorado State University.

Issue course credits and transcripts:

Semester at Sea students enroll for a minimum of 12 semester credits on Fall and Spring voyages. All academic credit is awarded by Colorado State University, and an official Colorado State University transcript documenting the letter grades earned is provided at the end of the semester.

Acquire and maintain library resources:

The onboard library (with a significant collection of volumes tailored to the international academic focus of Semester at Sea) is updated each semester by a Colorado State University-appointed librarian. Voyage faculty members recommend the purchase of library materials for their discipline and the collection is further supplemented by access to the Colorado State’s vast online library resources. The University also provides the voyage librarian and selects the assistant librarian.

Maintain overall academic standards:

Prior to the voyage, syllabi undergo a comprehensive review that includes examination of course objectives, topics, field requirements, assignments, methods of evaluation, required readings and overall academic content and rigor. During the voyage, the Academic Dean and faculty set high academic standards and emphasize academic integrity but also monitor student progress and assist students in meeting these standards.

Update on Semester at Sea Academic Sponsorship

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) and University of Virginia mutually agreed that U.Va.’s academic sponsorship of the Semester at Sea program ended on May 31, 2016. Please see below for more information.

What is occurring regarding U.Va.’s involvement with Semester at Sea?

The Institute for Shipboard Education and University of Virginia have agreed to conclude U.Va.’s academic sponsorship of the Semester at Sea program on May 31, 2016.

Why did the sponsorship end?

After careful consideration and in-depth discussion, ISE and U.Va. have mutually agreed that the time is right for each to explore other opportunities. U.Va. has served in that role since 2006. ISE has confirmed its new academic partner, Colorado State University. That partnership with CSU began on June 1, 2016.

Will students on the 2016 voyages receive credit from U.Va. or CSU?

The Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 voyages were the final two voyages through which students received University of Virginia course credit. The Fall 2016 voyage will be the first voyage through which students will receive Colorado State University course credit. Any questions regarding upcoming voyages should be directed to the Institute for Shipboard Education by calling 800.854.0195 or emailing