- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.8 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Second semester Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- 1 semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science
On the Sustainable Development Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.
Fall: Early September - mid-December
Spring:Late January- Early May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Go off the beaten path and experience sustainability in action. Spend a semester in Costa Rica, home to rainforests, volcanoes, rushing waterfalls, and a laid-back culture that reflects the national motto: “Pura Vida.” Explore the country’s many diverse parks, farms, and reserves to learn how Costa Ricans have balanced conservation and development issues. Wrap up the semester in the field, collecting data for a research project that will help inform future sustainability efforts. The Center is located on a Rainforest Alliance certified sustainable farm producing mangoes and oranges and is embedded in the community of La Presa, Los Angeles de Atenas with access to national parks, beaches and volcanoes.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.