Study Abroad Planning


AdvisorDr. Brett Huggett.

Biology majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many study abroad programs offered around the world. Experiencing a new culture and ecosystem augments your Bates education by enhancing your global perspective.

Jackie Buonfiglio ’19 kayaking in New Zealand

Biology majors planning to study away from Bates often have a number of questions.

1. How do I go about planning to study abroad?

  • Attend one of the major Study Abroad meetings by the Study Abroad office. They will walk you through the steps the College requires for you to study away from Bates.
  • You must declare as a Biology major before you can apply to go abroad; this should occur before the end of the first semester sophomore year. Declarations are made through Garnet Gateway, and you will need to meet with the Biology Department chair, Dr. Larissa Williams.
  • You should meet with your academic adviser and let them know that you plan to study away from Bates. This will allow you to make a tentative plan for what courses you will want and need to take over the next two years.
  • Meet with Dr. Brett Huggett, who serves as the Study Abroad liaison for Biology. He will go over your academic plan with you, discuss where you are thinking of going for your time abroad, and answer any questions you might have.

In preparation for this meeting, please do the following:

    1. Bring a copy of your degree audit from Garnet Gateway;
    2. Using the Approval Form from the Center for Global Education, sketch out a
      rough plan for fitting in your requirements at Bates (in particular your upper-level Bio electives). You will find the Biology Department Projected Course Offerings useful in filling out this form. Bring a completed copy of this form to our meeting.
    3. If you have not done so already, please review the process for off-campus
    4. For questions regarding the transfer of credit towards GEC or other
      concentrations than Biology, please contact the coordinators or chairs of those

2. Where can I study?

Biology majors have regularly studied abroad in Denmark, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, and the United Kingdom. Students have also attended programs here in North America, such as those offered by the following: Williams-Mystic semester in Mystic, CT; the SEA Semester programs in Woods Hole, MA; Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, ME; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The Study Abroad office has information on all these programs and others.

3. How many courses taken elsewhere can I count towards my Biology major?

You may use two Biology courses taken elsewhere toward your Biology major requirements. You will be advised to take courses that are the equivalent of 200-level or 300-level Biology courses.

4. How can I tell if courses will be accepted by the Biology department for major credit?

Course numbering systems differ at different institutions. As a rule of thumb, you will want to make sure any courses you take away from Bates have a year of Chemistry and at least one semester of introductory Biology as prerequisites. Furthermore, you will want to look for courses that have some sort of laboratory or field work component. These types of courses are generally equivalent to an upper-level course here at Bates.

The course should meet for a minimum of 36 hours; exceptions may be granted for courses taken as part of an approved study abroad program based on the norms for the host institution, but courses will not be approved if they meet less than 25 hours.  Asynchronous, on-line activity does not account towards these hours.

5. How do I get credit for Biology courses toward my major when I return?

After you return, and after degree credit for your courses has been approved by the Study Abroad office, see Dr. Huggett to have the courses formally approved for major credit.

To prepare for this meeting, you need to:

    1. Complete the Bates Evaluation following study abroad.
    2. Bring a printed copy of your Credit Award Letter from the Center for Global Education (CGE).
    3. Bring a printed copy of the transcript from the institution or College where you did the study abroad program.
    4. Please specify if the abroad institution grading system differs from the grading system at Bates College. Provide an online source supporting this information.
    5. Bring the syllabus from the course(s) you would like to be considered for transfer as an upper level Biology elective. In addition, please bring any course descriptions and relevant assessments (i.e. copies of exams, etc).
    6. Bring a copy of the Major Approval Form, filled out with pertinent information.

The Biology department will determine if the courses you have taken are similar to what you might experience in a 200-level or 300-level course here at Bates, and that information will be given to your adviser and to the Biology department chair.