be_ixf;ym_201908 d_25; ct_50
Admission & Aid

Admission Requirements

Semester at Sea requires students to meet our standards to cultivate a learning experience worthy of traveling the world. We welcome students of any sex, gender identity, race, disability status, veteran status, nationality, or ethnicity, to apply  for admission.  Please take a moment to review what we are looking for in a student.

Traditional Undergraduate Student

  • Students must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited college/university (domestic or international)
  • Students must have completed at least one full term at the post-secondary level
  • Students must demonstrate at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and be in good academic standing, although in some cases, additional evidence of academic support may be requested to review an application holistically
  • Students must have their school’s judicial affairs office complete a disciplinary clearance form at time of application
  • Students must demonstrate their writing skills in a 300-500 word essay as indicated on the application

Download the Admissions Checklist to help you navigate the process, and contact the Admissions Team for support along the way.

International Students

Semester at Sea welcomes students who attend international universities to apply for the program and international students can apply as any of the following:

  1. Traditional Undergraduate Student
  2. Gap Year Student
  3. Post Graduate Student


Learn More

Gap Year Students

A gap year is typically a semester or a year after high school graduation where a student defers college admission to travel, study, volunteer, or work.  On Semester at Sea you have the opportunity to do all of these things with your gap year by traveling on one of our semester voyages.

The Gap Year Program is only open to recent high school graduates, who have not been previously enrolled at an undergraduate college or university. If you have previous college credit, and you took a “gap” in your education, you will need to apply as a traditional undergraduate student.

Learn More

Post Graduate Students

While the Semester at Sea voyages are designed for undergraduate study, and the vast majority of participants will be in that undergraduate population, we do look at post-baccalaureate students on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are only eligible to participate on the program within a year following their undergraduate graduation, and are held to a higher standard of admission and should display exceptional academic records.

Students currently matriculated in a Graduate/Master’s program are ineligible to participate as post-graduate students. You will participate full-time in the academic program alongside your undergraduate peers.

Learn More

Before you apply...

SAS Admission in 5 Steps!

Traditional Undergraduate student can earn Semester at Sea Admission in 5 easy steps!

1Apply Online Here.

SAS operates on a rolling admission basis; therefore, there are no set application deadlines. However, we recommend applying as early as possible. A completed application includes an optional 300-500 word essay and a non-refundable application fee of $50.

Submit your Supplemental Documents.

In order to learn more about our future voyagers, we need a few extra documents to review your application.

-All college-level transcripts
-A disciplinary clearance form completed by your school’s judicial affairs office.
-An academic letter of recommendation (optional)

3Get Admitted and Pay your Deposit!

Whohooo! Once’e you’ve earned admission, you’ll need to pay your $1,000 deposit in order to secure your cabin for the voyage. The deposit is considered the first payment towards your voyage and will be applied to your program fees. A full refund of the deposit is available up until the posted final payment deadline (~90 days) for your voyage.

4Get Funded.

Semester at Sea awards over $5 million in financial aid each year. As a non-profit, we rely on donations from generous alumni and friends in order to provide grants and scholarships for eligible students. Explore here.


5Meet your Shipmates and Start Packing!

Official voyage prep begins 5 months prior to your voyage set-sail sail date. Until then, you can start connecting with future voyagers and with SAS alumni on social media! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #semesteratsea.

View this post on Instagram

“We had originally wanted to go to Africa as a trip after I graduated from high school. But things didn’t really work out because I had football, which was one of the biggest priorities in my life. I was one of the top uncommitted kids in the state of New Jersey. I had an opportunity to play at a preparatory school for kids who needed a second chance, and in that process, I got hurt pretty bad during one the games and shattered my clavicle. And throughout that period in my life, I was really depressed and gave up on everything. But my mom was always there telling me to go back to school and saying ‘your life is bigger than this’. From 19 until almost 22 years old, I wasn’t in school, but I took a risk and applied because my mom said ‘I’ll take care of everything else.’ She saved up money to come visit me in South Africa so we could experience Africa for the first time together. She talked about how this experience changed her life—seeing a continent I’ve always dreamed of and being able to experience it with me. I’m proud to be her son because she’s the strongest person I’ve ever known. She’ll protect me from me sometimes, and that’s hard to find in a person. It’s a shame that she can’t come to all these countries with me because I know she’s where I get my adventurous spirit: snorkeling, hiking, taking a risk, trying different foods, embracing different people…I get all of that from her. I’m just so proud she’s my mom because I wouldn’t choose anybody else to have that place in my heart. At my lowest point, my mom always told me ‘the world is waiting for you.’ And now because of her, I’m traveling around the world.” –Bradley Jones, student at @ncatsuaggies sailing on the Fall 2018 Voyage . . . . #sasfa18 #semesteratsea #studyabroad #southafrica

A post shared by Semester at Sea (@semesteratsea) on



Ready to Set Sail?