Semester By the Sea

Adventurous undergraduate students convene at the Darling Marine Center for a semester of total immersion in the marine realm. Semester By the Sea (SBS) is a hands-on, field-oriented, residential program that prepares students for a career or an advanced degree in marine science.

SBS courses are unique. They meet one day a week with lectures, labs and field trips scheduled around the tides. Ready access to a myriad of marine environments and faculty mentors makes the DMC is the perfect venue for Capstone and honors projects. A wide range of courses in marine ecology and biology, fisheries science, microbiology and oceanography are offered each year. The options vary from year to year, but include a selection of the following:

  • Undergraduate Seminar (required for all SBS students)
  • Marine Ecology
  • Biology of Marine Invertebrates
  • Ecology of Zooplankton and Ichthyoplankton
  • Introduction to Research Diving
  • Marine Fisheries Ecology
  • Estuarine Oceanography
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Independent Study/Capstone Research

Full course descriptions can be found here.

These fall semester courses are offered as the Semester By the Sea program. Students must take at least 12 credits to be a full-time student in the SBS program. The only required course is the one-credit SBS Undergraduate Seminar. Other courses can mix and matched for a custom curriculum. SBS students pay the normal University of Maine tuition and fees plus a $850 program fee. The program fee is attached to the SBS seminar class. There is an additional course fee for SMS 324, Introduction to Research Diving, which covers course materials and certifications.

SBS is a residential program. SBS students live and take meals in Brooke Hall, the waterfront dormitory/dining facility at the Darling Marine Center. Requests to live off campus will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Costs of room and board are based on those charged for double occupancy and full meal plan at the University of Maine.

UMaine students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to ensure course selections fulfill their degree requirements. Non-UMaine students should contact Dr. William Ellis for additional information.

Prerequisites & Participation
Semester by the Sea is open to students with sophomore-year standing, or equivalent background, with one year of biology and one year of chemistry. Though most of our students hail from the UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences, SBS is open to students from other University of Maine System campuses and outside institutions.

Twenty-eight students are admitted for the SBS program each fall. Students are accepted on a first come first serve basis in the order their completed online application form is received, with preference given to seniors in the School of Marine Sciences. Once the class roster reached 28 students, a waiting list will be started.

On the application form, students list the courses they would like to take. When registration for the fall semester opens, accepted students will be enrolled in their selected courses by class rank in the order their application was received.

2018 Dates to Remember

  • SBS 2018 online applications are now being accepted!.
  • Early February – SBS 2018 informational meeting. All interested students are encouraged to attend. Date, time, and place TBA.
  • March 9 – deadline for completing the online application form.
  • Late March – notification of acceptance to SBS and course enrollment
  • April 2 – SBS 2018 students receive welcome letter and forms from the Darling Marine Center
  • April 20 – Deadline for completion of all SBS/DMC forms. Students are expected to complete and submit all materials on time. Failure to do so will remove a student from the roster and a wait listed student will be moved into that seat.

For SBS academic information contact:
Dr. William Ellis  •  •  207.581.4360

For DMC facility information contact:
Linda Healy  •  •  207.563.8220  or  207.581.5220