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  • Locations: La Fortuna, Costa Rica; Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica; Puerto Viejo de Telamanca, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica; Tarcoles, Costa Rica; Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Summer Session 1
  • Restrictions: applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer Session 1 2023 11/01/2022 ** Rolling Admission 05/10/2023 05/30/2023

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Accepting Applications: YES Click here for a definition of this term Scheduled: YES
Price: $6,000 - $6,999 Click here for a definition of this term Length of Trip: 20 +
Credit Hours Offered: Less than 7
Program Description:

Costa Rica: Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Science


      We will be in Costa Rica for 22 days, with 4-5 days in each of four general areas, minimizing travel time while maximizing the biodiversity we get to experience. We'll visit high altitude cloud forests, lower altitude tropical rainforests, seasonal tropical forests, and coastal areas on both the Pacific and the Atlantic. We'll go spelunking, get into the tops of trees, live on an organic farm for a few days, explore rivers and forests, and meet farmers, professors, guides and other local experts in each place. 

Cities on Itinerary:

Vara Blanca, Costa Rica

Tarcoles, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica


Trip Dates: 5/10/2023-5/30/2023

Trip Term: Summer Session 1

Application Deadline: 11/01/2022

Deposit Deadline: 09/01/2022

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After being accepted by the Trip Director, students will commit to the trip with a $1,000 deposit. The final cost of trip listed below includes all travel, tuition costs, and some meals. Final payment deadline will be communicated upon being accepted for the trip.


For additional questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Thaddeus McRae at

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Name: Dr. Thaddeus McRae


Office Location: SMC 203F

Office Phone Number: 423-614-8298

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Courses Offered:
1. GNST 251 Cross-Cultural Experience, T. McRae - 1 credit hour
2. BIOS 112 Environmental Science in Costa Rica, Thaddeus McRae - 4 Credit Hours
3. BIOS 384 Special Topics in Biology: Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Costa Rica, Thaddeus McRae - 4 Credit Hours

Total Credit Hours Received: 5

There are 6 credits of courses, with a choice between BIOS 112 and BIOS 384. BIOS 112, Environmental  Science, fills the general education core science requirement, and also the BIOS 112 requirement for Disaster Management majors. Ecology/Environmental Science majors may also opt for BIOS 112 as a general elective credit or may take BIOS 384 Special Topics in Biology: Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Costa Rica as a 300-level biology elective. BIOS 384 also counts towards any other major as a 300-level biology elective. The courses will meet together, but there will be some different reading and assignments, with the BIOS 384 students covering a few additional topics and going into greater depth.

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See more pictures, maps, and information here:

2021 Health Clearance Info (All students must be cleared by the Health Clinic prior to traveling.)

Costa Rica Health Clearance Info

Health Clearance Forms

All participants must comply with Lee University Health Clinic (LUHC) policies regarding pre-departure medical clearance for university-sponsored cross-cultural travel including the following:
1. Every student traveling stateside and internationally is required to have a physical exam on file in the LUHC. The medical exam must be current (within two years) and cannot expire during the trip. No “waivers” will be accepted. Any student who declines the medical exam will not be permitted to travel.
2. All students participating in international study-abroad must comply with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Lee University policy for matriculation immunizations. This includes (1) proof of two MMR vaccines and proof of two Varicella vaccines OR (2) documented proof from a physician that you have already had the disease or have positive “titers.” (Antibody titers indicate whether a person is immune to diseases such as measles, chickenpox, or hepatitis.)
3. For diseases or illnesses that are deemed “high risk” in an area of travel, students are required to receive appropriate immunizations; this will be strictly enforced for international travel, without exceptions. For diseases or illnesses deemed “moderate risk” in an area of travel, appropriate immunizations will be highly recommended. After information from and discussion with LUHC, students must sign a waiver if they choose not to receive any highly recommended immunizations.
4. LUHC will not grant travel clearance to students who are non-compliant with physical exams and required immunizations. Students claiming religious exemption for immunizations may choose to receive the required immunizations OR contact the Global Perspectives office for an alternative trip within the United States. For health safety and potential legal reasons, Lee University is unable to grant appeals for religious exemptions from immunizations for international trips. Students traveling domestically will be required to have an immunization record on file. Lee University will neither assume responsibility nor grant travel privileges for anyone who does not meet the requirements delineated above.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Thaddeus McRae at

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