Marine Science in International Program | Saint Francis University
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Marine Science in International Program

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  • Contact us! 
    Juliana Horvath
    Office of Study Abroad

    Discover the wonderful underwater world, and earn credits in marine science through the Marine Science in Belize Program at Saint Francis University. Participation in this program is possible only by registering for a minimum of three credits from the offerings listed. 

    Learn more about our Marine Biology program > 

  • Academic Offerings

    MS 101 Open Water Diver

    Entry-level diving certification. This course will cover the basic knowledge and skills required to be certified as a scuba diver. Student must complete lectures, pools, and 4 open water certification dives to complete the course.

    MS 102 Advanced Diver

    Exploration, Excitement, Experiences. They’re what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about. And no, you don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed so you can go straight into it after the PADI Open Water Diver course.

    This course helps you increase your confidence and build your scuba skills so you can become more comfortable in the water. This is a great way to get more dives under your belt while continuing to learn under the supervision of your PADI Instructor. This course builds on what you’ve learned and develops new capabilities by introducing you to new activities like deeper diving and underwater navigating.

    The Open Water Scuba Diver Course will meet according to the following schedule:

    • Day 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Introduction; Paperwork; Class Lecture
    • Day 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Pool modules only
    • Day 3 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Class lecture
    • Day 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Pool modules only 
    • Day 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Class lectureDay 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Pool modules only
    • Day 7 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Class Final

     The final dives are in the warm tropical waters of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Once the open water dives are completed, students will continue on to the Advanced Open Water Diver course while still in Belize.


    MS 471 Research Diver Techniques

    Aquatic research methods using SCUBA as a research tool. Students will experience various research methods that are best completed with the use of SCUBA equipment. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 (Biology Introduction), BIOL 111 Lab and basic SCUBA certification. As needed, summer only (3 credits).

    Classroom sessions during the spring semester will be online so students should consult Canvas for all assignments. : MS 471 Lab, hands-on in Belize.

    NOTE: Students must buy the textbook, read the required sections, and complete all knowledge reviews prior to travel to Belize. All dives will be completed in Belize along with material discussions. Please contact Dr. Sue Shoemaker ( or Mr. Nick Weakland ( prior to registration with any questions and to make certain that all dive requirements can be met while in Belize. Students may take all four of the 1-credit classes if they are already certified.

    What to Bring to Diving Class

    Students should bring course materials (including dive tables and any paperwork received), pen/pencil and notebook.

    Needed for Pool Sessions

    To each pool session students should bring a swimsuit, towel, clean T-shirt (to swim in if you tend to get cold easily), and old socks that you don’t mind getting wet or aqua shoes (you will wear these under your fins to make them more comfortable).

  • Angelica Blanco testimonial

    "Studying abroad in St. Lucia took me out of my comfort zone. I will never forget the amazing adventures we had under the sea!"

    Angelica M. Blanco, Marine Biology Major