Plum Island Field Trip, 2016. Credit: K. Foreman

Plum Island Field Trip, 2016. Credit: K. Foreman

SES Course Dates

The Semester in Environmental Science is a 15-week semester course run annually in the fall. For 2020, the course will run from Monday, August 31, 2020 to Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

UPDATE:  Unfortunately, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases we have cancelled the Fall 2020 Semester in Environmental Science.  We look forward to the Fall 2021 program and encourage students seeking a hands-on training and research experience focused on global change and biogeochemistry on land and sea to contact us and apply.

How to Apply

SES accepts students from any college or university in different ways depending on their affiliation. The total estimated cost for 2020 will be $32,850 including tuition ($23,950), fees for text books and lab expenses ($900), and housing and meals ($8,000).

1) Students attending affiliated institutions receive credit directly through their institution. More than fifty colleges and universities have approved the SES for credit. View participating colleges here.

2) University of Chicago undergraduate students may attend SES directly through their course offerings. These courses are Ecology (BIOS 27710), Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems (BIOS 27711), Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences (BIOS 27712) and one elective either Quantitative Environmental Analyses (BIOS 27713) or Methods in Microbial Ecology (BIOS 27714). More information can be found on the UChicago SES site.

3) Students from non-affiliated colleges and universities are welcome to participate in the SES. In most cases, credit approval may be available from their own college and can be worked out between the student and the academic office.

Application and Deadline

The application deadline has been extended to rolling admissions until full. We encourage all interested students to contact us directly with any admission questions by writing to

2020 Complete Application Package: WORD or PDF– Includes application, financial aid and recommendation form.

If you have difficulty accessing the application package, or would prefer to have a copy mailed to you, contact the SES Admissions Office by phone 508-289-7777, fax 508-457-1548 or email

The complete package should include:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • An official sealed transcript
  • Completed application and information forms

Completed applications can be scanned and emailed to or mailed to the address below. References can be emailed directly to SES by the referee, sent by mail, or included in the student’s application package. Official transcripts may be mailed or sent electronically from your college or university to  Mail application materials to:

Semester in Environmental Science
Marine Biological Laboratory

7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA