Undergraduate Programs

Why Study in Woods Hole?

To prepare yourself to make a difference by exploring fundamental biology, understanding biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through research and education.

Since 1888, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has pioneered the integration of scientific research with education. The MBL provides a variety of immersive programs for undergraduates – for a summer or a semester – who are serious about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Semester in Environmental Science

SES Student in Waquoit Bay

Hands-on Learning and Academic Rigor

Spend your fall term doing research in wetlands, bays, and coastal forests on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The MBL’s Semester in Environmental Science (SES) is a 15-week program that provides intensive field and laboratory-based learning opportunities to better understand ecosystem science and the biogeochemistry of coastal forests, freshwater ponds, and estuaries. 

Learn more about the SES Program

Semester in Biological Discovery

Axolotls in the Karen Echeverri Lab
Axolotl in the Karen Echeverri Lab. Credit Christian Selden

Dive Deep

Make your spring term an intensive, immersive research experience in discovery-driven biological sciences.  The Semester in Biological Discovery is a 13-week program offering laboratory-focused courses in parasitology, biodiversity, neurophysiology, imaging, and oceanography using aquatic organisms and cutting-edge technology, modeled on the MBL’s world-renown Advanced Research Training Courses.

The MBL’s Semester in Biological Discovery (SBD) will be starting in the spring of 2024.

Learn more about the SBD Program

University of Chicago Undergraduate Courses


Spring Quarter Course

2023 Dates: March 20 - May 26

In the MBL Spring Quarter, two concurrent programs will be offered tailored to students interested in Biology & Neuroscience. Students take a series of 3-week immersive courses in the Biological Sciences or Neuroscience. The hallmark of coursework at MBL is hands-on experiential learning. In this tradition, all Spring quarter MBL courses will focus on designing and carrying out independent lab research.  

Learn more about the UChicago Spring Quarter Course

September Term Courses

2023 Dates: August 28 - September 15

In the September Term Courses, students will explore various aspects of the biota of the region surrounding the Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. The focus of the course will be to examine various patterns in the distribution and abundance of the flora/fauna in the islands and associated mainland habitats over the course of 3 weeks through a combination of in class lectures and laboratory sessions, combined with field studies.

Learn more about the UChicago September Courses