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The Academic Experience of a Lifetime


Semester at Sea Academic Partner

An Unparalleled Learning Experience

Semester at Sea has served as a pioneer in multiple-country, comparative education for more than 50 years. Global comparative education is a form of international study that identifies and connects the world’s peoples, patterns, cultures and traditions.

Throughout the semester, disciplines and thematic issues are viewed cross-culturally and from a global perspective.

Our Academic Partner

On 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 an ideal partner for the SAS program.


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 CSU 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 Colorado State University’s vast online library resources. CSU also provides the voyage 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.