• Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• 2.8 cumulative GPA for semester programs; 2.6 cumulative GPA for summer programs
• Good academic and disciplinary standing
• For semester programs, previous college-level ecology or environmental studies course is required.  Additioanlly, semester applicants must have one college-level course in Spanish or excellent achievement in at least three years in high school Spanish. There are no Spanish or ecology course prerequisites for the summer programs, but are recommended. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of college prior to the start of the program and must be eighteen years of age.
• First semester Spanish is required for semester program.  There is no Spanish required for summer programs.
• Open to UW Madison degree seeking students only. Other students apply directly to School for Field Studies.


Environmental studies

Classroom Language

Spanish, English


Field Research Station

Program Duration

Fall Semester: Mid-September - Mid-December
Spring Semester: Early February - Early May
Summer Program: Early June - Early July or Mid-July - Mid-August

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Spring 2014-15  10/3/2014
Summer 2015 Session I: June-July 2/27/2015
Summer 2015 Session I & II 2/27/2015
Summer 2015 Session II: July-August 2/27/2015
Fall 2015-16  3/6/2015

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Costa Rica, Atenas
SFS Sustainable Development Studies

Overview | Academics | Cost | Logistics | Student Voices | Apply

Offered through the School for Field Studies (SFS), the Sustainable Development Studies program is an approved UW affiliate program. On this program you will take an interdisciplinary approach to research on tropical ecology, agro-ecology, socioeconomics, sustainability, park management, natural resource management, ecological economics. In addition, you will learn about Costa Rican history, culture, and the Spanish language.

You will be working closely with both IAP and SFS on this program. You can access the program's main information page through the SFS website to learn more about the academics, housing, excursions and activities, and location.