Minimum GPA: 2.80

Terms and Dates:

  • Fall 2023
  • Spring 2024
    January 5, 2024 to May 4, 2024
  • Fall 2024
  • Academic Year 2024-25


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning

This Opportunity is Currently in Draft


Opportunity Description

Located on the island of San Cristobal, the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) Galápagos campus offers international students the opportunity to study in one of the most pristine natural laboratories in the world.  

What is unique about this program?

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)-GAIAS is a Cornell Global Hub partner university. Global Hubs are Cornell's collaborative centers of engagement around the world. Hubs will give students exciting opportunities for semester-long and short-term study abroad, field experience, participation in faculty-led research, curricular pathways through majors, internships, and more.

The Galápagos Semester Program offers four Academic Tracks in the biological and social sciences, all taught in English. Students may choose one of the following tracks (note, it is not possible to take courses across multiple tracks): 

  1. Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation 
  2. Marine Ecology 
  3. People, Politics and the Environment 
  4. Sustainable Tourism 
GAIAS Schedule

The program will start in the mainland for the first two modules. Depending on your program track, you will visit the Ecuadorian highlands, the coast, or the cloud forest during the first module. All students visit USFQ’s Tiputini Biodiversity Station for 5 days in the Amazon basin in the mainland modules prior to arriving in the Galapagos for the final 3 modules.

What is unique about Galápagos?

The Galápagos is an archipelago of 19 volcanic islands located at the convergence of three ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean. The Galápagos Islands are considered to be one of the most biologically diverse islands in the world and are a popular destination for research in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, and Sustainability. 

How do I learn about USFQ and GAIAS?

Things to Consider Before Applying:

  • This program requires flexibility and adaptability. You will be studying with the same small group; moving to different campuses, some with very limited opportunities for individual travel or exploration; and living as a guest with local hosts. You must be open to following safety & security advice even if it limits your planned activities, and you must be flexible when schedules must be adapted due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Review the information on the Education Abroad Office’s Get Started page for important considerations on academics and finances, and a guide to the next steps
  • Still have questions?  Visit the Get Advice page and learn how to connect with an Education Abroad Advisors
  • Want to keep up to date with Cornellians Abroad? Follow Education Abroad on social media, @cornelliansabroad

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a 2-Step process.  You may complete both steps simultaneously, but Cornell Approval must be obtained before your program advisor in Global Learning can complete any approval or nomination forms for the program itself. 

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  2. For Program Admission, apply directly on the program website. Most programs have rolling admissions.