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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. Questions? Email the appropriate Program Advisor listed below.
  • Locations: La Selva, Costa Rica; Las Cruces, Costa Rica; Palo Verde, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: WUSTL applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 02/01/2019
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2020 05/01/2019
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Early application is strongly recommended for all programs. Deadlines that fall on a weekend or holiday are automatically extended to the next workday.

Deadline has passed
Program Description:

Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)
Costa Rica: Tropical Biology

Photo Courtesy: OTS Costa Rica
  15-week undergraduate semester abroad program emphasizes the scientific, intercultural, and social aspects of global health, tropical medicine, public health, ethnobiology, and research topics in these subjects. Instruction focuses on the internationally-recognized OTS method of field-based, hands-on learning. Lectures, readings from primary literature, and discussions are also integral components of the program and provide the conceptual framework for discussion, analysis, and interpreting field observations and research. This semester long program will take place for the most part at two of the Biological Stations of the OTS, Las Cruces and La Selva, located in different life zones of Costa Rica; as well as in clinical settings and primary care facilities (EBAIS) within Costa Rica’s social security system, in both the urban and rural areas (including Indian Reservations). In addition, students will visit different research facilities, museums, national parks, market places, agricultural farms, and other facilities.  
Eligibility: Minimum 3.0 GPA.  Course prerequisites are two semesters of college biology.  It is encouraged that students have previously studied Spanish language.

Program Dates:
Term Dates Application Deadline
Fall late August - late December February 1
Spring late January - mid May May 1

  Approved Departments:

Environmental Studies

Coursework and Credits:
15-16 credits for 4 OTS courses
(4 required courses)
Fundamentals of Tropical Biology
Environmental Science and Policy of the Tropics
Field Research in Tropical Biology
Spanish Language and Latin American Culture

  The program will visit a large diversity of forests and ecosystems, ranging from classic lowland tropical rain forest to the endangered tropical dry forests to chilly montane oak forests and paramo. Most of our time will be devoted to the three field stations owned and operated by OTS: Las Cruces, Palo Verde, and La Selva.
  Estimated Program Price: When you study abroad for a semester or a year for academic credit, you will be charged tuition by Washington University at a rate equivalent to tuition on campus for the corresponding time period. WU tuition covers only the educational and administrative costs of the study abroad program. WU tuition does not cover any study abroad program costs for room, board, transportation, personal expenses, passport or visa fees. Such costs are charged separately either by WU, the program sponsor, or a third party.
Email the appropriate Overseas Programs Coordinator, visit us during our walk-in hours, join us for an information session, or call (314) 935-5958 to schedule an appointment.