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Frequently Offered Courses

Semester at Sea offers three-credit courses across a wide range of disciplines. Course syllabi reflect the expertise of the faculty member and the voyage itinerary. Many of the courses listed below are offered on every voyage. Typically one-third of the courses are lower-division and two-thirds are upper-division. For more information on these courses, go to:

Featured Course: Oceanography in Action!

Oceanography covers the concepts of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology relevant to the world’s oceans.


Academic Requirements and Credit

  • All students register for three courses in addition to the required Global Studies course for a total of four courses, or 12 credits.
  • Each course has an in-country Field Class, which you must consider when planning your schedule.
  • Each course is three credits.
  • Lower-division courses are designated with 100- and 200-level numbers.
  • Upper-division courses are 300- and 400-level.

The Global Studies Course (3 credits)

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-port 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

Every course includes one in-country educational field class designed for experiential learning. Field classes present the opportunity both for the professor and the participant to engage in further dedicated learning and discovery in each country. A field class takes place during a full 8-hour port day and the same expectations are placed on a field class day as placed on a class day at sea.

Course Listings

  • Each voyage offers 45 to 50 course sections selected from the list
  • Each voyage offers about 25 additional courses based on the itinerary and special faculty
  • Courses listed in bold are offered every voyage (contingent upon faculty availability)
  • Voyage specific courses listings are typically posted 12-9 months prior to the program start date. View Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 offerings.

Subject Area

Lower Division Courses
(100-200 Level)

Upper Division Courses
(300-400 Level)

Business Ethics
Marketing International Marketing
International Business Management
Social and Sustainable Venturing and/or Principles of Entrepreneurship
Contemporary Management Practices
Leadership and Social Responsibility and/or Leading High Performance Teams
Buyer Behavior and/or Services Marketing

Communication, Journalism, and Media Studies
Media in SocietyIntercultural Communication
Journalism, Peace, and War
Feature Writing
Digital Documentary Photography
Intermediate Creative Writing
International Mass Communication

Political Science, Economics, and History
International Relations
U.S. Foreign Relations
Asian Civilizations
Principles of Microeconomics and/or Principles of Macroeconomics

Comparative Economic Systems and/or Economic Development
Comparative Government and Politics
Globalization, Sustainability, & Justice
U.S.-China Relations since 1800*
Pacific Wars: Korea and Vietnam

Literatures and Languages
Reading Without Borders
1st Year Spanish**
World Drama
Modern Women Writers
Literature of the Earth and/or Critical Studies of Popular Texts
Environment and Health
Global Environmental Systems
Survey of Human Nutrition
Biological Diversity and/or Coastal Environmental Ecology
Performing and Visual Arts
Exploring World Music
Introduction to Theatre
Soundscapes as Human Practice
Global Encounters in Art
Seminar in Art History
Global Theatre
Psychology and Human Development
Individual and Family Development and/or General Psychology
Abnormal Psychology Social Psychology and/or
Psychology of Human Sexuality

Special Topics in Psychology
Children and Youth in Global Context
Religion and Philosophy
Religions of the East and/or Religions of the West***
Introduction to Ethics

Topics in Comparative Religions
Meaning and Truth in Religion
Society and Culture
Global Studies
World Interdependence: Current Global Issues
Introductory Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Social Problems
Cultural Geography
Gender and Society and/or Women in Development
Cultural Change or Social Change
Tourism and Hospitality
Principles of Natural Resource TourismFood and Society
International Issues in Recreation & Tourism
*on voyages including China
**on voyages including Spanish-speaking countries
***dependent on the itinerary