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Ocean-based programs for undergraduates, gap year & high school students

Find Your Program


Real issues, real research. Learn more about our programs for all majors and find out which one is right for you!


Gap Year

Explore upcoming programs designed specifically for gap year and winter start students.


High School

Choose one of SEA’s high school summer programs – at sea, on shore in Woods Hole, or virtual.

Seamans along side

COVID-19 Updates From SEA

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all program details may not be finalized. Nevertheless, due to the popularity of these programs, we encourage students to begin their applications as soon as possible so that we can keep you informed as details are confirmed. Read more >>

UConn Student

UConn Student Describes “Monumental” SEA Voyage

Docking on December 23 in Honolulu after 38 days at sea aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, Carson Hill ’21 (CLAS) says his participation in the Sea Education Association (SEA) study abroad program was so monumental, it is almost indescribable.

Crame and dolphins

Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

March 14th – June 6th 2022
March 6th – May 26th 2023

Participate in real-time, real-world research related to biodiversity and conservation efforts in this challenging research semester. Use cutting-edge technology to collect and analyze data while sailing north to bring the SSV Corwith Cramer back home to Woods Hole.

Close out your semester with a formal symposium, presenting your research to a panel of scientific and policy experts to fill in the gaps of scientific knowledge related to the Sargasso Sea: an unbelievable networking opportunity.


Adventure with a purpose

Sea Education Association is a world-renowned study abroad organization focused on the ocean. We are a global teaching, learning and research community dedicated to the exploration, understanding and stewardship of marine and maritime environments. Located in the oceanographic research hub of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, since 1971 we’ve educated more than 10,000 college, gap year, and high school students about the ocean. We’re dedicated to empowering students with life-changing sea voyages of scientific and cultural discovery, academic rigor, and personal growth. Our programs features an interdisciplinary curriculum and dynamic leadership development experience at sea aboard tall ships and onshore.

Step aboard our tall ships

Corwith Cramer was designed specifically for SEA in 1987 in Bilbao, Spain. She is a 134-foot steel brigantine built as a research vessel for operation under sail. The qualities that made our original vessel R/V Westward both versatile and seaworthy were incorporated into the design of SSV Corwith Cramer.

Robert C. Seamans is a 134-foot steel brigantine and is the most sophisticated oceanographic research/sailing school vessel ever built in the United States. Improvements in design and equipment, including a wet/dry laboratory and larger library, classroom, and computer laboratory, enhance the SEA academic program.


We like to say we have three campuses: our shore facilities in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and our two tall ship research vessels, the SSV Corwith Cramer and the SSV Robert C. Seamans.

  • Environmental research

  • All majors welcome

  • Life & leadership skills

  • No sailing experience necessary


SEA is a global teaching, learning and research community dedicated to the exploration, understanding and stewardship of marine and maritime environments. SEA empowers students with life-changing sea voyages of scientific and cultural discovery, academic rigor and personal growth. Our programs feature an interdisciplinary curriculum and dynamic leadership-development experience – at sea aboard tall ships and on shore.

The global ocean covers nearly three-quarters of Earth, yet 90% is largely unexplored. It provides half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, regulates the planet’s climate, and delivers food security for the world’s population. However, threats such as climate change, marine pollution, habitat loss, and overfishing jeopardize its health and sustainability.

Humans depend upon the ocean. The future of the ocean depends upon you.

SEA provides an experiential opportunity to gather firsthand knowledge that will influence students’ lifelong relationships with the ocean. As our society becomes more aware of how integral the oceans are to the planet, from climate patterns to energy production to the origins of life itself, we must also understand how to conserve these important resources. Moving beyond the textbook toward practical application, hands-on research, and personal experience, SEA prepares students to take a more active role in solving today’s environmental problems.

SEA was founded in 1971 by a small group led by Corwith “Cory” Cramer, Jr. and Edward “Sandy” MacArthur. Cory was a leader, both in the world of the classroom and in the world of sailing, and a passionate advocate of learning by doing. Developing an understanding of the ocean and of its powerful role in the environment presented Cory with a unique challenge to which he formulated a unique response.

Undergraduate research is a cornerstone of SEA programs, with an emphasis on field-based study in the marine and social sciences. SEA faculty and staff are active in their respective fields through grant-funded research projects, participation in professional conferences, and publication in scholarly journals.

Faculty encourage SEA Semester students to contribute new aspects to ongoing research or to develop their own avenues of inquiry, as they guide students through the entire research process from defining the scope of study to final presentation of their work. Many students continue their research upon return to their home institutions, using the field data collected at SEA as the basis of capstone or senior thesis projects. Others remain involved in the research they contributed to during their time at SEA and are subsequently invited as co-authors on presentations and publications resulting from their work.

Each 12-week undergraduate SEA program offers 14-18 semester hour credits through Boston University, SEA’s school of record. The SEA undergraduate summer sessions offer between 7 and 11 semester hour credits, depending on the program.

Program credit is issued either as direct credit from a student’s home institution (if affiliated with SEA) or as transfer credit from Boston University. Exactly how SEA credit transfers is ultimately up to each student’s home institution. Therefore, it is important that students work with their academic advisor to determine how the credit will best work for them. That being said, SEA enrolls students from a wide variety of colleges and universities each year, and almost all students are able to successfully transfer the full credit.

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