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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Brasilito, Costa Rica; Hojancha, Costa Rica; La Fortuna, Costa Rica; Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Maymester
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
CU Denver Faculty-Led Global Study
Minimum GPA:
Class Eligibility:
Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students
Academic Department:
Environmental Science, Geography
Number of Credits:
Program Advisor:
Catherine Bogle
Course(s) Offered:
ENVS 4995/5995, GEOG 4995/5995
Faculty Leader:
Rafael Moreno
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Program Description:


  • Visit to La Paz Waterfalls
  • Exploration of the tropical forest in “La Selva” Biological Research Station & Arenal Volcano
  • Visit to the town of Puerto Viejo
  • Field visits to different tropical crops and plantation production systems
  • Visit to Rio Canas coastal wetlands and riparian system
  • Visit to Las Baulas Turtle and Marine National Park


Costa Rica offers a rich and unique stage with some of the best examples in the world for the study of socio-cultural, economic and environmental systems and their interactions, including: humid tropical forests, plant, animal and insect diversity, historical and socio-cultural influences from Mesoamerica and South America, the use of ecotourism as a development alternative, one of the largest water transfer projects in the world (Lake Arenal), environmental justice and development, large hydro-electric production plants and wind energy farms, resort developments, natural hazards, extensive vs. ecological/integrated tropical cattle ranching, agriculture and forestry, and unique turtle nesting sites and conservation projects.

Visit this CU Denver Costa Rica Field School YouTube channel to see short videos by alumni of this course. They are grouped in two playlists: "Highlights" and "Reflections."



Course Information

  • 4 Credits
  • GEOG 4995/5995 OR
  • ENVS 4995/5995
  • Course Prerequisites

    • 3.0 GPA or permission from faculty leader based on improvement of grades in recent semesters
    • Two faculty recommendations (via Global Education online application) from student's primary major department
    • Ability to walk 2+ miles per day
    • Priority will be given to students who satisfy one or more of the following:
      • Completion of an introductory environmental science/environmental studies course
      • Camping, hiking, outdoor experience
      • Higher GPA
      • Graduate students
      • Currently enrolled in full-time degree programs




    $2,960 (approximately)

  • Includes: tuition and fees, shared accommodations, entrance fees, most meals, ground transportation, and international health and evacuation insurance
  • Not Included: international airfare, some meals, exit fees, and personal expenses
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    Faculty Leader


    This program is directed by Rafael Moreno, with assistance from Matthew Cross. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez has a bachelor degree in forestry from the Chapingo Autonomous University in Mexico. He received his Ph. D. in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University in the USA. He has research, teaching and administrative experience including: Researcher for the National Institute for Forest, Livestock, and Agriculture Research (INIFAP) in Mexico; Director of the National Center for Disciplinary Research in Conservation and Improvement of Forest Ecosystems INIFAP (Mexico); Post Doctoral Fellow with the Organization of American States--SEMARNAP in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario (Canada). He has 20 years of experience as a fulltime professor teaching natural resources management, sustainable development, and geographic information science and technology. He is currently teaching and doing research in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver.

    You can contact them at and

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Financial Aid

    CU Denver students may be able to use their existing financial aid for Global Study programs. Note that Maymester programs are considered part of the Summer term for financial aid. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must be registered for at least half-time status (6 credits for undergraduates, 3 credits for graduates) during the Summer term. For more information, schedule an appointment with Mary Morales in the Financial Aid Office before you have been accepted to the program.


    CU Denver Global Study Scholarship

    CU Denver students participating on a CU Denver Global Study program during the Maymester, Summer, or Winter terms are eligible to apply for this scholarship from the Office of Global Education. Awards range from $500- $1,000. Apply here.

    Additional Scholarship Information

    We encourage you to seek additional scholarships for which you or your program may be eligible. See if your academic department or college/school offers study abroad scholarships, or visit the following websites to learn about external funding:

    This program is currently not accepting applications.