Exploring the conservation world beyond classrooms and books
Programs offered by the Smithsonian-Mason Semester for Conservation Studies answer the emerging imperative to create undergraduate curricula that covers conservation biology within the social, economic, and political context with emphasis on problem solving, critical thinking and hands-on experiential learning.
Each of the 16-credit semester programs, Applied Conservation Strategies and Ecology for Effective Conservation Practices, offers a set of five integrated courses that include a practicum experience as well as classes focusing on conservation theory and applications. Like a “study abroad” program, students live at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, close to Shenandoah National Park and learn from prominent conservationists, researchers, and educators. Through academically intense, hands-on curricula, students will emerge from their Semester experience prepared for conservation-related internships, graduate study or professions.
The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation is pleased to offer several scholarships to defray some of the tuition costs. Applications for scholarships will be made available to you upon acceptance to the program. Please see the dates of the application timeline for application deadlines.
Both semester programs are appropriate for upper-level students from any accredited college or university and from any major who have demonstrated a commitment to conservation. Also, the two Semester programs are complimentary. You can take one individually, or take both in consecutive semesters.
For information about the Semester in Ecology for Effective Conservation Practices, click HERE.
For information about the Semester in Applied Conservation Strategies, click HERE.
“We were challenged this semester to think of conservation in ways that we would never think of it before.” — Carol Cogliano
“Basically, I loved this whole semester because of the hands-on experience that we had. In college, we learn about everything (and we do that here), but in college you don’t get to actually go out and do – go out and wrestle deer or feed the animals that you’re caring for.” — Daniel Schuldenfrei
“At the start of the Semester I was afraid of graduating. I was not sure of where to go after school ended, or of how to find a rewarding job that would facilitate the changes that I hope to see in the world of conservation. Now I am eager to finish with school and apply what I have learned to the world of ecology and conservation biology.” — Amanda Schochet