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Graduate Programs

Students overseeing the Puerto Viejo River

Is OTS Right for You?

OTS graduate courses are designed to engage students in the formulation of feasible research questions, experimental design, data collection, analysis, and oral and written presentations through its highly regarded OTS “field problems” approach. The courses provide hands-on research experience in plant eco-physiology, microbial ecology, molecular ecology, remote sensing, rapid biodiversity inventories, and other cutting edge topics depending on the course chosen.

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Participants in the graduate courses should not purchase their airline tickets until 6 weeks prior to the start of the course. In the case of low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances, a course may be cancelled up to 6 weeks ahead of the start date.

The OTS-UCR Relationship

The University of Costa Rica is one of the founding members of OTS and has continued its support of an organization that now strives to provide leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics.

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Upcoming Graduate Programs

Tropical Butterfly Ecology
Ecología Tropical y Conservación
Tropical Ferns and Lycophytes

Administrative FAQs

What is the Organization for Tropical Studies?

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a nonprofit consortium of over 50 universities and research institutions in the United States, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia. Founded in 1963, OTS has a mission to provide leadership in education, research and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics..

Can you tell me more about the courses and accreditation?

The graduate courses are accredited through the University of Costa Rica. The credits count as graduate level semester credits and are transferable to OTS member institutions as well as non-member institutions.

What is it like to live and work at a biological station?

A biological station provides direct access to exciting natural environments, but is by definition isolated from surrounding communities. At each station you will have the opportunity to meet senior researchers and other graduate students conducting dissertation research.

How do I apply for a course?

The application process is simple. Click on the Apply Now button on the program page and follow the online instructions to fill out the application on-line. At the end of the application you will be required to upload the following documents in pdf format: Curriculum Vitae (4 page max.), Transcripts (official), Letter of Interest, Letter requesting financial aid (if applicable).

What do I need to bring for an OTS field course?

OTS graduate courses are designed to be immersive field courses. Students will spend all their time out in Biological Field/Research Stations. You can have a suggested list of items that students may need when participating on a course.