Biology Department Off-Campus Programs

A Wider World Awaits...

Westmont Biology majors know they've already hit the jackpot, location-wise. Few colleges can offer more beautiful and varied settings in which to study the natural world than Santa Barbara's waters, beaches, mountains, islands and back-country chaparral.

But there's a wider world out there, with unique opportunities for those with an appetite for adventure. Whether it's in old-growth forest or urban jungle, village clinic or ancient library, you will grow - in wisdom, experience, and friendships - all while earning college credit.

Talk with your academic advisor in your first year, so you can discuss how a semester off campus will fit into your academic plan. Summer programs are also available. You can earn major or minor credit in all programs listed below, depending on your degree emphasis.

Semester Programs

Global Health Uganda

Westmont’s Global Health in Uganda Program, in partnership with Uganda Studies Program at Uganda Christian University, provides undergraduate students in health-related disciplines the opportunity to complete global health coursework and to participate in an international field internship in Uganda. Recent internship locations include local hospitals, clinics, child development centers, and public health organizations. Each student will have the option to focus in geriatric, pediatric, maternal/child, pharmaceutical, herbal medicine, or community health education internships. Contact Dr. Cynthia Toms to learn more about the program. (Fall only for Westmont cohort; spring semester available as an affiliate program with limited spots.)

Westmont in San Francisco

Westmont in San Francisco is an internship-based, semester-long program offered both fall and spring. Students hone their professional skills while living and working in a unique urban setting. The program will increase your cultural competency, a sought-after-skill by employers today. The program's core is a pre-professional internship that involves a minimum of 24 hours each week. Earn up to 4 units upper division major credit and fulfill Serving Society, Understanding Society and up to three additional GE requirements. for more info.

Creation Care Studies Program

CCSP New Zealand is a semester-long program that explores biblical stewardship, first hand, as students study environmental issues in New Zealand. Designed for non-science majors, the program includes opportunities for study, reflection, research, and travel. Rigorous classes will give you direct field experiences and confront you with current world issues. CCSP readily awaits adventure seeking, biblically minded students, who want to take on the challenge of learning how to care for God’s earth and all its creatures—both human and non-human. This program is open to students with a minimum 2.75 GPA. (Open to all majors)

Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford

Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) is designed for students who want to study intensively and to a high standard. Students develop their academic writing and research skills and explore the disciplines of their choice. SCIO students enroll in a primary and secondary tutorial, an integrative seminar, and the British landscape course. Students group their courses in a concentration so that all elements of their program work together. More recently the program has expanded to include many STEM concentrations including non-lab based biological sciences, computer science, engineering, and physics. 3.7 GPA required to be considered for the program.

OTS: African Ecology and Conservation in South Africa

Organization for Tropical Studies: African Ecology and Conservation in South Africa gives students the opportunity to travel through the stunning landscapes of South Africa and gain exposure to its many habitats including incredibly diverse populations of birds, animals, and insects, making it an ecologist's paradise. Students will be housed at the Skukuza Camp and also spend time in a tented research village in Kruger National Park. Required classes: South African Ecosystems & Diversity, Field Research in Savanna Ecology, Conservation & Management of Protected Areas in South Africa, History Through Culture of South Africa.

Westmont Downtown

On Westmont Downtown,  a 20-hour/week internship is the core of the program. Earn up to 4 units toward major credit with approval and also fulfill GE Serving Society. Interns, in most situations, earn a small stipend. The program will work together to ensure that your internship is a great fit—tailored to your discipline, career goals, and/or skills. Also, through tailored mentoring and empathetic collaboration, students are liberated to creatively disrupt their comfort zones and faithfully love their neighbors. For a list of elective courses on upcoming fall and spring semesters, email

Summer and Mayterm Programs

Au Sable Institute

Au Sable Institute offers summer programs in several locations including the Great Lakes, the Pacific Rim and Costa Rica. Westmont has had a long-standing partnership with Au Sable, where undergraduate students are able to take field-based courses and engage in primary research experiences. Students pursue new knowledge of how nature works, and how to investigate those workings in ways that lead to accurate understanding and authentic discovery. Financial aid cannot be applied toward summer programs; however, there are several scholarships available.

Westmont Mayterm Programs

Mayterm and summer session programs offer students up to 8 units of credit while studying off campus in the summer. While you may not be able to fulfill degree requirements, a summer program allows you to fulfill up to two GEs, and all programs are faculty-led and provide you with an opportunity to learn, live, and engage with the culture while building community with the cohort. Financial aid cannot be applied toward summer programs.

Summer Programs

The department can provide information about additional summer programs that would enhance your field of study. Please note that you do not need to go through the Office of Global Education to apply to summer programs, but you will need to get preapproval to verify that that your credits will transfer. Contact the Records Office to find out more about the process and how to obtain the necessary forms. Financial aid cannot be applied toward summer programs.


Next Steps

  • Make an appointment with Kim Notehelfer in the Office of Global Education at to find out more about off-campus programs and how to plan ahead. You will be able to discuss if you can fulfill major, minor, or GE credit on a program.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your interest to study off campus. This will help you plan ahead and find out what semester(s) would work best to study off campus.
  • Please note that you can apply directly to any of the Westmont programs. If you want to participate on an affiliate program, you must first get approval from the Office of Global Education. Please email for further information or to schedule an appointment to learn more about the process.

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Study Abroad

Expand Your Horizons with Global Education

Westmont is unique in that we offer many faculty-led semester-long programs on a rotating schedule along with programs at over 30 affiliate institutions. We encourage students to schedule a study abroad advising appointment in their first semester on campus to see how they can best prepare for an off-campus experience and fulfill GE, major, minor or elective credit.