Prerequisites & Application

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Pre-requisites for admission to the Marine Semester

  • For an undergraduate, admission to the Marine Semester requires the completion of at least one intermediate-level course in one of the following areas: (1) marine biology; (2) marine biogeochemistry; (3) physical oceanography; (4) marine geology. For a Boston University student, any one of the following CAS courses will satisfy this requirement: BI 260; BI/ES 423; ES 331; ES 440; ES 541; GE 507. For non-BU students, completion of a comparable course is required.
  • Graduate, junior or senior standing (although sophomores may be considered if they have completed the required marine breadth course).
  • Admission to the Marine Semester is not restricted to students from a particular undergraduate major or a particular graduate program.
  • Inquire with the BU Marine Program at if you are unsure if you have satisfied the requirements for admission.

To Apply 

  1. Discuss the Marine Semester with your academic advisor.
  2. Decide which courses you prefer in each of the four course blocks.
  3. Complete the application. Upon completion, both you and your academic advisor will be emailed for confirmation.
  4. If you are not a BU student, email a copy of your academic transcript to  and arrange to have 1 letter of recommendation provided by a professor or academic advisor attesting that you are qualified to participate in the Marine Semester and explaining how it would contribute to your educational and/or career goals.

Admission and course registration

  • Admission decisions are made in early April.
  • Upon admission to the Marine Semester, you will be sent an e-mail with a tentative slate of courses. Typically, you will receive your first choice in at least 3 of the 4 blocks. Once you approve your slate of courses, the BUMP Program Manager will register you in the individual courses.

General notes about the Marine Semester

  • Boston University tuition covers all costs of the Marine Semester except for air travel to Belize and personal items such as snorkeling gear (wetsuit, fins, mask, booties).
  • The Marine Semester begins on the first day of the Fall Semester (September 2, 2015) with a mandatory two-day orientation, and it ends on the last day of the final exam period (December 18, 2015).
  • Courses are offered in block format with one course being taken each month.
  • Expect to spend 8 hours per day or more on course-related work.
  • It is generally not possible to take any outside courses or serve as a teaching fellow in another course while enrolled in the Marine Semester. Inquire with the instructor of a particular course if you have other scheduling concerns.
  • This is not an off-campus program, but some courses involve extensive local field work, and enrollment in one of the Belize courses will involve 12 days of travel to Calabash Caye Field Station on Turneffe Atoll.
  • You do not need to be SCUBA-certified or have previous snorkeling experience to participate in the Marine Semester. The only exception is the Scientific Diving course, which does require you to be SCUBA-certified with 10 open water dives.


Contact BUMP’s Program Manager, Julia Hammer Mendez (; 617-358-4961)