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RIT Global

Learn about the Galapagos Islands during a semester course at RIT, then take a two-week excursion to the Galapagos Islands. During the semester class, you'll learn about the islands' volcanic origin and about the unique animals and plants that live there. You'll see how this combination of geology and wildlife served as a key inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution and learn about the human history of the Galapagos, and the difficulty of balancing science and conservation with human needs such as fishing, farming, and tourism. In the Galapagos, you'll visit sites on several islands to observe the geology and wildlife first hand.

To inquire about the 2023 program, contact the faculty director, Bob Rothman (

• Once in a lifetime opportunity to explore one of the earth's natural and unspoiled wonders. Get up close and personal with giant tortoises, iguanas, albatross and other birds, lizards, and sea life.
• Walk in the steps of Darwin and learn how his studies of the Galapagos led to his theory of natural selection.
• Learn about the modern challenges of balancing science and conservation with human needs such as fishing, farming, and tourism.

Program Term: Spring Course/Summer Travel
Credits: 3

Course Details:

  • BIOL-207-01 - Galapagos: Evolution & Ecology

Students will enroll in a spring class in Rochester, with travel to the Galapagos in early summer.
Open to all undergraduate majors. No pre-requisites.

In the Galapagos, you will stay in hotels in two towns on the main inhabited islands, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, and travel by bus to nearby visitor sites on those islands and to several close-by islands by day cruises to observe the geology and wildlife first hand. There will also be snorkeling excursions where you will be in the water with sea lions, sea turtles, and, if lucky, penguins and marine iguanas.

Galapagos wildlife has evolved in the absence of man. Therefore, the animals are unafraid and can be approached closely, making for endless opportunities for nature photography. The program also includes a tour of Quito, Ecuador's capital in the Andes, and an excursion to the equator.

If this program plans to run again in 2023, applications would open in September 2022.

COVID-19 & Study Abroad

The RIT Education Abroad office is constantly monitoring how COVID-19 is affecting international travel, with student safety as our top priority. Students will be required to be vaccinated, follow all applicable CDC and/or state/international travel guidelines when traveling, and may need to take additional precautions. For the most up to date information and FAQs, please visit COVID-19 & Study Abroad 

Galapagos Islands
Language of Instruction: 
Course Discipline: 
Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science
Open To: 

RIT Students Only