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Field of Study: Science

After first exploring biodiversity in the classroom, you’ll go out and conduct your own investigation on a Malaysian island. You’ll learn about tropical freshwater and seawater ecosystems and investigate distinct habitats including a mangrove swamp, rainforest, and coral reefs. To complement your understanding of the Singapore environment and its communities, you’ll get an introduction to the local language. 

Unique study opportunities

  • Embark on a weeklong program field trip to Pulau Tioman, an island off the coast of Malaysia.
  • Conduct scientific research alongside experienced field biologists.
  • Participate in course culture activities and field trips.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Required

You will take either a Beginning Chinese or Beginning Bahasa Indonesian language course, which teaches the basic skills of communicating on common topics. The rest of instruction is in English.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take two courses for a total of 12 quarter/8 semester UC units. 
    • One biodiversity course; 8 quarter/5.3 semester UC units; upper division; letter grade required.
    • One language course; 4 quarter/2.7 semester UC units; lower division; pass/no pass or letter grade.
  • Participate in all required field and travel activities, including physically active hiking, swimming, and transporting personal belongings in a tropical environment.   
  • Submit a final written report by the deadline after the program ends.

Current Program Courses

LSM4263 Field Studies in Biodiversity

With the help of experienced field biologists, you’ll participate in field work, analysis, and discussions each day, followed by a debrief with the group​ each evening. In addition to field research, this course focuses on the study of multiple species-rich habitats through lectures and practical learning. To complete the course, you’ll take a quiz, give a presentation, and write a required research paper that is due one week after the program term ends.

LAC1201 Beginning Chinese or LAB1201 Bahasa Indonesian Language

This beginning course covers speaking, listening, reading, and writing with various communicative tasks. To complement language learning, the class includes activities in the local culture.

Additional or alternative coursework, internships, or research outside the program are not possible.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

The National University of Singapore emphasizes group projects, field research, and class presentations. In this academic environment, you’ll readily be able to meet other students and embark on a deeper exploration of your academic interests.

Teachers in Singapore are highly respected, and relationships between students and teachers are different from those at UC. Students are expected to be polite, never confrontational or demanding. At the same time, many professors in Singapore have been trained in US and European universities. If you approach professors after class, you’ll likely find them friendly and interested in helping. If you have a difference of opinion or want to make suggestions, speak respectfully with the professor privately, out of class.


You’ll earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades for the biodiversity course are based on a quiz, presentation, and written report. The written report is due one week after the end of the program. Late papers are not accepted. Failure to turn in the written report by the deadline will result in an F for this course.

Grades for this program are usually received in early September.