Gap Year Programs2024-02-05T12:52:48-05:00






Designed for recent high school graduates who have deferred their college acceptance or will matriculate in the spring semester.

  • Fall 2024

    Climate & Society: Aotearoa New Zealand Gap

    Auckland to Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

    On campus in Woods Hole, MA followed by sailing component

    October 7 - December 23, 2024

    Program Details
  • Spring 2025

    Climate Change & Coastal Resilience Gap

    Auckland to Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand

    On campus in Woods Hole, MA followed by sailing component

    January 2 - March 28, 2025

    Program Details

SEA’s Gap Year Programs

SEA is based in the world-renowned oceanographic research village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Since 1971, we have educated more than 10,000 students about the global oceans through preparatory studies on shore followed by a tall ship sailing research voyage at sea.

Modeled after our Boston University accredited SEA undergraduate program, SEA gap programs offer any student interested in the oceans the opportunity to study the marine environment through the disciplines of science, maritime history & culture, policy, and leadership.

Choose between an academic, credit-bearing program or an experiential not-for-credit program – either way, no sailing experience is required!

Gap Year
An Investment in the Future

At SEA, we understand that taking a gap year is a major investment. But we also know that a gap year is more than just a “break.” It’s the beginning of a lifelong journey.

So, what sets SEA apart?

  • Our unique shore-to-sea model promotes learning by doing: a powerful element of our approach to education. Students take what they learn during a preparatory shore component in Woods Hole and then apply it in the field as a crewmember at sea. Our shipboard environment fosters learning communities that allow students to develop teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving skills while assuming increasing levels of responsibility.
  • Unlike many other programs that take students to sea, our ships are U.S. flagged, inspected, and regulated vessels, and have been designed and built specifically for SEA with student and crew safety foremost in mind. Learn more about our safety philosophy.
  • 98% of our alumni report that SEA resulted in personal development, and 92% cite SEA as generating useful career skills.
  • Gap year programs can receive credit from Boston University
Developing Skills for Success

Accepted to college as a winter admit and want transferable credit? Or looking to strengthen a college application for next year? Ocean Exploration is a 12-week gap year program that offers a full semester of credit from our school of record, Boston University. This interdisciplinary program combines insights from the natural and social sciences to deepen students’ awareness of and appreciation for the ocean. Students will take their learning out of the classroom and into the field while developing new skills in leadership, teamwork, and research. A non-credit bearing option of Ocean Exploration is also available for students looking for an adventure at sea without the pressure of grades.

Where will you go with SEA?

Gap year programs are limited in capacity with a maximum of 24 or 25 student spots per class, and admissions operate on a rolling basis. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and onboard our ship – you’ll never look at the world in the same way again.

Students on ship
Gap Year Assoc.

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