SFS-Turks and Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Studies

Program Details

Program Location South Caicos Island, Turks and Caicos Islands
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35006
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2024 07/08/24 to 08/06/24
Summer 2024 06/03/24 to 07/02/24
Page Links
Application for Summer is not currently open.
Please check back closer to the term of your choice.
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


SFS-Turks and Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Studies

The British-governed Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) lie at the southeastern end of the Bahamian archipelago. The turquoise waters surrounding the TCI are abundant with marine life and are considered to be among the world's top 10 diving locations. Nearly 50 species of corals as well as spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, sharks, groupers, snappers and dolphin fish, are easily spotted in the clear, warm waters just steps from the SFS field station.

This relatively intact and healthy ecosystem supports much of the community on South Caicos Island with fisheries providing the primary source of livelihood. However, pollution and over harvesting of precious marine resources, coupled with unsustainable tourism and industrial development, may soon do irreparable damage to this delicate ecosystem. Depletion of key resources would have a dramatic impact on employment and social structure on South Caicos Island; therefore developing sustainable fishery is essential if this resource-dependent community is to survive.

This summer program offers two four-week, four-credit courses that may be taken individually or back-to-back:

Session 1: Fundamentals of Marine Conservation (June-July)

Dive under the waves and study marine conservation. On the island of South Caicos, spectacular reefs and turquoise waters serve as laboratories for field lectures and underwater expeditions. Snorkel and dive among these incredible marine ecosystems, learn about the environmental issues and policies affecting them, and gain the skills needed to conduct research in collaboration with members of the community.

Students collect data on the distribution, size and age structure of the queen conch, a species critical to the local economy and a national symbol of the Islands. PADI SCUBA certifications are available on this program.

Session II:  Marine Fauna (July-August)

The ocean is your classroom. Study sharks, whales, turtles, and rays in the waters surrounding South Caicos. Learn about the ecology and conservation of these and other ‘marine megafauna’ through field lectures, snorkel and/or dive sessions, and capture-tag-track exercises.

Students deploy Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) and collect video footage of sharks to analyze species abundance and diversity inside and outside protected areas. PADI SCUBA certifications are available on this program.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.


SFS-Turks and Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Studies

The program is open to Purdue students in good standing who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.6 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture] [College of Liberal Arts]
Specifically from: All (AG) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Each session offers one 4-credit course. The courses, taught in English, are participatory in nature and designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. Please see SFS website for more details on the course available in each session.

Attention liberal arts majors! Although credit is awarded by the College of Agriculture, the College of Liberal Arts will count this summer program as fulfilling your four-credit lab science requirement.  Please speak to your study abroad advisor for more information!

Non-liberal arts majors should check with their academic advisor to see if this might fulfill their science requirement.


You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include coral reefs, mangrove islands, seagrass beds, fishing communities, carbonate platform flats, coastal ecosystems, beaches, marine protected areas, numerous shallow-water snorkeling sites, and the historical tourist hub of Providenciales.


The Center is a small converted hotel overlooking the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Spectacular sunsets, open-air facilities, warm sunshine, and a refreshing ocean breeze define this marine field station. A five-minute walk brings you to the small, historic town of Cockburn Harbour, where students and faculty frequently engage in community activities.

Experience dorm-style living in 4-6 person bunkrooms, and a small open campus with direct access to the ocean. Classrooms are air conditioned with an on-site computer lab. An open-air dining site with on-site cooking staff is where you'll have your meals. The center also has a dock, dive shack and a small fleet of research boats and includes volleyball, hammocks and a swimming pool.

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The program and housing fees cover: tuition, room and board, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, orientation and pre- and post-program advisory services. Total Program Cost does not include transportation to and from the program location.

The fees below are for the one 4-week summer session with SFS. Please speak to your study abroad advisor for the program costs for participation in two summer sessions with SFS. 

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2024

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $6,350.00
Study Abroad Fee $609.40
Housing $2,550.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $1,000.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,200.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

Students needing to use Purdue financial aid in order to participate in this four-credit summer program will need to enroll in at least two more credits during the summer term at Purdue.

SFS offers many scholarships and/or 0% interest loans (no FAFSA form required). Please see the SFS website for more details.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information

SFS-Turks and Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Studies

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email studyabroad@purdue.edu.