Timing: early/mid June – late July
Application Deadline: mid February

The Galapagos Summer Program, first offered in the summer of 2011, offers a rigorous academic learning opportunity in the Galapagos archipelago. Each summer, two different courses will be offered related to public health, marine sciences, human ecology and evolutionary biology in the Galapagos Islands. Both courses will include field trips and excursions to a variety of sites in the Galapagos, as well as classroom and field visits with people involved in local conservation and ecological issues such as fishermen, resource managers and local scientists. These activities will be a part of the formal course syllabus, and will provide field demonstrations to reinforce conceptual or factual content from class work. Students will receive six (6) credit hours for the summer program.

Language of Instruction

Courses will be conducted in English. Summer Program students will also receive 20 hours of non-credit, classroom-based Spanish language instruction at GAIAS provided by USFQ faculty, plus language practice with their host families on Isla San Cristobal.

The cost for the Galapagos Summer Program has run from $10,000-13,000, including airfare, tuition, fees, room, board, additional meals and personal expenses.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and rising sophomore status, and must be students of the campuses of the University of North Carolina system.


The two-course study abroad program will be based in Ecuador, in the Galapagos islands. At San Cristobal in the Galapagos archipelago, the students will follow an environment, ecology and ecological methods curriculum that combines classroom, field and lab learning. The program will consist of two courses plus Spanish language instruction.

For 2019, students will be awarded graded credit from UNC through the following courses co-taught with GAIAS/USFQ faculty:

  • ENEC 324 Water in Our World: Introducation to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems (3 credits) taught by Jaye Cable (UNC)
  • ENEC 325 Water Resource Management and Human Rights (3 credits) taught by Amy Cooke (UNC)

Contact Information

For more information about the Galapagos site, please contact Greg Gangi at 919-962-9805 or email ggangi@email.unc.edu or you can also contact Phil Page, Center for Galapagos Studies (philpage@unc.edu, 966-7668)

The Galapagos Summer Program is offered by the Institute for the Environment in partnership with the UNC Center for Galapagos Studies, as well as Universidad San Francisco de Quito and its Galapagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences.