STEM Courses

You can fit study abroad into your Uni study plan in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics! Take classes overseas on a short-term study program to fulfil your academic requirements. From exploring tropical marine biology to computer science, or animal studies to sustainable development – we've got options!
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Program Types:
  • January Study
  • July Study
  • Language Study
Countries:
  • Belize
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China & Hong Kong
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • England
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • USA
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
Area of Study:
  • STEM
    • Animal and Marine Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science, IT and Cyber Security
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Physics
    • Sustainable Development and Environmental Studies

Need a recommendation? Contact us and we can assist you in finding the right program.

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Available Courses by Program
COURSE: PHSI170
CREDITS: 18 points

This course progresses in a largely descriptive way through the essentials of our understanding of the Sun-Earth system and its place in the wider universe. Lecture topics include ancient, classical and modern astronomy, stellar evolution, supernovae, black holes, cosmology and the exploration of the solar system. Special topics will be included, such as the size and age of the universe; the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence; and what the effect would be of a large meteor impact on Earth. The importance of historical aspects and the progressive development of ideas will be emphasised, with a minimum of mathematics. This course is intended for students who have an interest in broad education. We aim to facilitate a continuing interest in astronomy and space exploration.

Assessment
Laboratories and discussion groups: 15%
Essays (2 × 7.5%): 15%
Mid-school test: 10%
Examination (2 hours): 60%

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COURSE: MATS204
CREDITS: 18 points

Pre-requisite: 54 points.

The broad and complex challenges associated with sustainability of materials are examined in this paper, beginning with national and international principles of sustainability, certification models and assessment tools. It will investigate aspects of product lifecycle as it relates to material selection and use, and the role of the consumer. It will also identify key elements affecting materials such as processing, production, design and end-of-life, and explore alternatives.

Assessment
Oral presentation: 15%
Lifecycle mapping: 25%
Analysis of product sustainability: 60%

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COURSE: ENV 3044
CREDITS: 15 credit points / 60 contact hours

Students will learn about the interactions between earth and land and how these interactions or processes affect our life and the stability of the planet. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems such as: tropical rain forests, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on-site examples of some of the issues learned through classwork and readings. All field trips are mandatory.

COURSE: ENV 3190J
CREDITS: 6 US credits / 80 contact hours

Prerequisite: General Biology.

This course is aimed to highlight the importance of tropical marine biology to study the biology and the interaction of marine species that we will discovery in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Marine ecosystems of the eastern tropical Pacific provide a baseline source for species of high commercial interest in satisfying humans demand for food worldwide. However, numerous marine species are threatened by unsustainable human activities, such as overfishing and habitat destruction. We will develop a critical understanding of concepts and application in Marine Biology, where the students will also be introduced to a wide range of practical activities by visiting field stations and natural laboratories in Costa Rica.

COURSE: CAS ES 105
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

After covering the origin of the universe, earth, and life, the course examines two topics: natural hazards, including earthquakes and volcanoes; and human impacts on Earth, including climate change, ozone depletion, pollution, and increasing demands on mineral and energy resources.

Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Research and Information Literacy.

There is an additional USD $200 lab fee for this course.

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COURSE: CAS GE 100
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Introduces natural and social science concepts that underlie global environmental change and sustainability. Topics include climate change, biodiversity, energy, water, pollution, deforestation, agriculture, population growth. Sustainable development illustrated with ecological footprint based on student’s lifestyle.

Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Ethical Reasoning.

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COURSE: MET UA 510
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Special Topics in Urban Affairs. Provides a framework for understanding the global network of cities and how particular cities occupy niches within that network. The course uses Boston and Massachusetts “Gateway Cities” to explore the long-term forces shaping global economic activity and urban development, including transportation, telecommunications, international trade, immigration, innovation, higher education, and cultural exchange. The United Nations Habitat III Conference and other international urban organizations are used to examine strategies for sustainable urban development in cities around the world.

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COURSE: CAS ES 107
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Introduction to Earth as an integrated system composed of interacting biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere subsystems. Major themes include earth system stability, instability, and capacity for change on all time scales, including human-induced climate change.

Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Research and Information Literacy.

There is an additional USD $200 lab fee for this course.

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COURSE: CAS AS 102
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

The birth and death of stars. Red giants, white dwarfs, black holes. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, and other galaxies. The Big Bang and other cosmological theories of our expanding universe. Use of the observatory. Students must register for two sections: lecture and laboratory.

Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Teamwork/Collaboration.

There is an additional USD $200 lab fee for this course.

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COURSE: CAS MA 267
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Prereq: (CAS MA 121 or CAS MA 123) or consent of instructor.

The goal of this course is to develop models for sustainability. “Just-in- time” mathematics/statistics techniques are taught with immediate application, for example: geometry for flight routes; graph theory for social networks; linear algebra for operations research; fractal measures for earthquakes and tsunamis.

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COURSE: CAS AS 101
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

The historical development of astronomy and the motion of the planets. The formation of the solar system. The sun and its effects on the earth. Description of the planets and the moons of our solar system, including recent results from the space program. Use of the observatory. Students must register for two sections: lecture and laboratory.

Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.

There is an additional USD $200 lab fee for this course.

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COURSE: MET UA 510
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Special Topics in Urban Affairs. As rates of urbanization continue to increase, there is amplified demand for housing, economic development, and connectivity through transportation networks. This course unpacks ‘sustainable development’ by focusing on strategies and best practices at the intersection of zoning and land use patterns with sustainable transportation options (e.g., subway, bus, rapid transit, biking, and walking). Students learn how to address sustainable development and transportation issues at the local, state, regional, and national levels. Case studies are used to address central issues many cities are facing. Topics covered include stakeholder engagement, climate change preparedness and adaptation, resilience planning, transportation networks, bikeshare and bikeable networks, walkability, equity, sustainable land use, and zoning.

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COURSE: FWFCSF300 / HPFBSF300 / LSESSF300
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

Considering the renewed global interest in local sourcing and the growth of Km0 practices (locally produced), the study of sustainable food systems is an essential component in the education of an ethically-minded food industry learner. The course takes its cue from the Italian example based on regionalism and the table as an expression of local territories, and how these factors have influenced the national food industry. It analyzes the industry and the production of food (fish, meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and grains) and focuses on packaging, traceability (labels), and distribution while exploring the social aspect of the food supply chain. Sustainability principles will be analyzed, as well as case studies in Italian food and beverage service and retailing. A strong focus is placed on seasonality, food policies, and food education. The course objective is to provide students with a solid conceptual framework in order to analyze the Italian food industry and the food production system from a sustainable perspective. Through the understanding of the broader concept of sustainability, students will be able to explore the social, economic, and environmental implications of food production and consumption and to identify the global threats in terms of public health. Students will develop critical skills by analyzing sustainability as active citizens, consumers, and entrepreneurs. The analysis and rethinking of economic, social, and agricultural alternatives in the current food production system will also be developed. Lectures will be complemented by visits, food tours, tastings, and cooking labs.

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COURSE: A&O SCI 2
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Causes and effects of high concentrations of pollution in atmosphere. Topics include nature and sources of gaseous and particulate pollutants, their transport, dispersion, modification, and removal, with emphasis on atmospheric processes on scales ranging from individual sources to global effects; interaction with biosphere and oceans; stratospheric pollution.

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COURSE: GEOG 116
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Examination of theories and examples of invasion of new environments by plants and animals introduced through natural processes or by human activity.

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COURSE: EPS SCI 15
CREDITS: 5 US credits

General introduction to geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes and history of Earth’s global ocean system.

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COURSE: ENVIRON 163
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Examination of role of business in mitigating environmental degradation and incentives to be more environmentally responsive. Emphasis on corporate strategies that deliver value to shareholders while responding to environmental concerns.

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COURSE: GEOG 167
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Survey of field of cartography. Theory and construction of map projections, compilation procedures, principles of generalization, symbolization, terrain representation, lettering, drafting and scribing, and map reproduction methods.

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COURSE: GEOG 1
CREDITS: 5 Units

Study of Earth’s physical environment, with particular reference to nature and distribution of landforms and climate and their significance to people.

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COURSE: ENVIRON M164 / URBN PL M160
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Environmental planning is more than simply finding problems and fixing them. Each policy must be negotiated and implemented within multiple, complex systems of governance. Institutions and politics matter deeply. Overview of how environmental governance works in practice and how it might be improved.  

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COURSE: URBN PL M165
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Exploration of history and origin of major environmental ideas, movements or countermovements they spawned, and new and changing nature of modern environmentalism. Introduction to early ideas of environment, how rise of modern sciences reshaped environmental thought, and how this was later transformed by 19th-century ideas and rise of American conservation movements. Review of politics of American environmental thought and contemporary environmental questions as they relate to broader set of questions about nature of development, sustainability, and equity in environmental debate. Exploration of issues in broad context, including global climate change, rise of pandemics, deforestation, and environmental justice impacts of war.

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COURSE: WL ARTS M79
CREDITS: 5 Units

Examination of issues of environmental and public health effects of intensive and extensive agriculture, influence of corporations on government, animal ethics, food deserts and urban gardening, and food insecurity. Focus on representation of such issues in documentaries, public lectures, memoirs, novels, and visual art, as well as on initiatives to address such problems through policy and activism.

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COURSE: GEOG M128 / URBN PL CM166
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Questions of population, resource use, Third World poverty, and environment. Analysis of global economic restructuring and its connections to changing organization of production and resulting environmental impacts. Case studies from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and U.S.

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COURSE: ENVIRON 25
CREDITS: 5 Units

Good food is healthy, sustainably produced, and culturally meaningful. Introduction to basic concepts and history of food systems, food science and nutrition, fair and sustainable food production, natural resources and environmental issues including climate change and biodiversity, agriculture and food policy and law, food distribution and access, cultural identity and artistic engagements with food.

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COURSE: EPS SCI 1
CREDITS: 5 US credits

Elements of Earth science; study of Earth materials; nature and interpretation of geologic evidence; study of geologic processes; historical aspects of geology. Mandatory field trips introduce students to solving of geologic problems in field.

Students will be required to attend lectures and laboratories. Additional lab fees apply.

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COURSE: GEOG 7
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to fundamental principles and concepts necessary to carry out sound geographic analysis with geographic information systems (GIS). Reinforcement of key issues in GIS, such as geographic coordinate systems, map projections, spatial analysis, and visualization of spatial data. Laboratory exercises use database query, manipulation, and spatial analysis to address real-world problems.

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COURSE: ARCH&UD CM153 / ENVIRON M153
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Relationship of built environment to natural environment through whole systems approach, with focus on sustainable design of buildings and planning of communities. Emphasis on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and appropriate use of resources, including materials, water, and land.  

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COURSE: ASTR5
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Life on Earth and prospects for life elsewhere in context of evolution of universe from simple to complex. Course material primarily from astronomy and biology but includes some chemistry, geology, and physics. Selected topics treated in some depth, but with little or no formal mathematics.

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COURSE: GEOG 5
CREDITS: 5 Units

Exploration of ways in which human activity impacts natural environment and how modification of environment can eventually have significant consequences for human activity. Examination, using case studies, of real environmental problems that confront us today.

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COURSE: EPS SCI 9
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Properties of sun, planets, asteroids, and comets. Astronomical observations relevant to understanding solar system and its origin. Dynamical problems, including examination of fallacious hypotheses. Meteoritic evidence regarding earliest history of solar system. Chemical models of solar nebula. Space exploration and its planning.

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COURSE: GEOG M149 / URBN PL M150
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Study of geographical aspects of transportation, with focus on characteristics and functions of various modes and on complexities of intra-urban transport.

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COURSE: GEOG 122
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Analysis of tropical ecosystems of eastern Africa, including wildlife communities, vegetation, climate, and human impact. Discussion of national park systems and their natural and anthropogenic ecological dynamics.

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COURSE: ENV3740
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Climate change is dramatically affecting the future of our planet. In this course, students will learn about global climate changes and how these are impacting plant and animal populations, people, and ways of life. Emphasis is placed on learning and understanding the overwhelming evidence for human-induced climate change, and address its misconceptions. Students will also study how natural populations are affected by climate change, how can they adapt, and their likely future.

COURSE: ENV3160
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course aims to highlight the importance of conservation biology in managing endangered marine species, emphasising recent conservation efforts for umbrella species such as sea turtles and sharks in the Pacific waters bordering Costa Rica. Marine ecosystems of the eastern tropical Pacific provide a baseline for species of high commercial interest that meet the global demand for food.

However, several marine species are threatened by unsustainable human activities such as overfishing and the destruction of habitat. We will develop a critical understanding of conservation biology, emphasising the general concept of biodiversity and examining present-day case studies that focus on scientific investigations to answer critical aspects of the history of life, recovery programs, species management, community conservation and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Students will also be introduced to a wide range of practical activities by visiting field stations and “natural laboratories” throughout Costa Rica.

COURSE: POL3420
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

In this course, we will explore the dynamics of environmental management, history, policy, politics and action in Costa Rica and beyond. We will study environmental history and policy at a regional and national level, and will explore the emergence of Costa Rica’s cutting edge environmental politics and government commitments (the greening of the public sector, carbon neutrality and others).

We will look back at Costa Rica’s conservation history and critically review its sustainable development model, and will explore the “state of the nation and region” in regard to environmental indicators (land use methods and statistics, deforestation and reforestation data, contamination and waste indicators). We will identify the individuals and organisations taking authentic action in environmental protection, and will take a close look at how government policy translates into practice by reviewing case studies of community and grassroots action in forestry, organic farming, recycling, cooperatives and women’s environmental groups. Lastly, we will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.

COURSE: PHOT2100
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

The basic functions of a photographic camera are studied in the course, in order to have an efficient control when making a photographic shot in any scenario, emphasising issues related to nature and ecology. In addition, students explore the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica, understanding their differences and the resources that make them unique. Terms related to the golden number and fractals are analysed, basic geometry present in nature, and the importance of photography in the processes of environmental conservation as well as the documentation of the direct damages of development and consumerism over it.

COURSE: ENV3005
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides an introduction to the major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students will examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics, the use and misuse of resources, population and environmental quality, environmental citizenship and economic incentives, and ecotourism initiatives in Costa Rica.

COURSE: ENV3170
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

Water is a vital resource for human beings, but it is a limited resource that have been degraded and the demand for this resource is growing. Freshwater ecology, also known as limnology, is a course to help us understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and reservoirs). It aims to give emphasis to the problems and conservation efforts for water resources, for that we will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments with field trips and laboratory work.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a basic biology course prior to entering this course.

COURSE: MGMT 3020
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course provides an introduction to renewable energy resources and resource management, with an emphasis on the use of alternate energy sources such as solar, wind power, geothermal, and hydrogen. This course will consider society’s present needs and future energy demands, examine conventional energy sources and systems, including fossil fuels and then focus on alternate, renewable energy sources and how to manage them. We will cover the economic and social impact that both, conventional and renewable energy resources have on society. Students will have the opportunity to visit several projects related to hydrogen production’s plants, windmills and solar panels all national and multinational projects dedicated to the supply of energy.

COURSE: MKTG2150
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

Sustainable consumption (SC) and production is a holistic approach to minimising the negative environmental impacts from consumption and production systems while promoting quality of life for all. This course will help students acquire the knowledge, capacities and values to help them contribute to shaping a better tomorrow as more responsible consumers. It will trace the history and the justification for the focus on sustainable consumption. The educational content will be provided through an examination of value systems and the life-cycle assessment of selected consumer items involving their economic, environmental, and social aspects – the latter involving an introduction to product responsibility, labour practices, human rights and societal perspectives. These items will be chosen for their social, environmental and economic relevance and potential for critical reflection at different levels using an integrated, holistic framework to facilitate a clear understanding of impacts at a local and global level.

COURSE: ENV4040
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This course is an introduction to current world problems related to natural resource management and conservation, and their effects on sustainable development efforts in tropical countries. Current issues that impact the possibility for development, such as poverty, global warming, deforestation and access to potable water will be analysed.

COURSE: ENV3150
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This combined lecture and field course will provide students with a general overview of tropical plants. Students will gain knowledge of basic botanical concepts and will explore a variety of ecosystems, their plants and the multiple and complex ecological interactions that can be found in these areas. Costa Rica is a tropical country with an immensely rich biodiversity, providing a very representative area for these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but others will be discussed as well.

COURSE: ENV3044
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

In this course, students will learn about the interactions between earth and land, and how these processes affect our lives and the stability of our planet. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems, such as tropical rain forests, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on-site examples of some of the issues we learn about through class work and readings. All field trips are Mandatory.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a basic biology course prior to entering this course.

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