Tropical Ecology + Conservation in Monteverde, Costa Rica (CIEE)

  • Location: Costa Rica - Monteverde
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 GPA
  • Other Requirements: two semesters of college level biology
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: Tropical Ecology + Conservation in Monteverde, Costa Rica (CIEE)

Program Dates:

Spring 2023: (tentative) January 23 – May 13

Fall 2023: (tentative) August 14 – December 2

Where: Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is a small, international community, nestled along the edge of the cloud forest in the Tilarán Mountains.  Drawn to the area’s spectacular beauty and opportunities to see quetzals and monkeys, tourists now contribute the principal revenues to the zone, although coffee plantations and dairy farms still dot the landscape.  This area is famous as an epicenter for grassroots conservation and private reserves, and the community is emerging as the vanguard of innovation for Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality program..


This demanding program is designed for energetic, outdoorsy students who are committed to fully immersing in academics, nature, and local culture.  Tropical Ecology and Conservation is for students who are studying biology and related fields. Students learn about tropical ecology and conservation through rigorous work in the classroom and field, including two extensive trips and an independent research project.  Work is complimented with Spanish language study.

Courses are taught by biology professors from universities in Costa Rica and the United States who hold degrees in ecology and have extensive tropical experience.  Guest lectures include resident and visiting biologists.

There is a wet laboratory, an herbarium, plus organic gardens to support a wide array of STEM studies and research opportunities.  An extensive trail system through forest and fields, links classrooms to a botanical garden, animal stables and coffee and vegetable production areas.


2.75 G.P.A, two semesters of college level biology. One semester of college level ecology or environmental since is recommended. Some college level Spanish is recommended but there is not specific language requirement for the program.

Housing & Student Life

Students stay in shared rooms with bunkbeds and en suite bathrooms.  There are indoor and outdoor areas for recreation and study with access to forest trails and gardens. Three meals are provided daily.

Visa Information

Please connect with CIEE regarding visa or residency permit requirements.


Students pay Allegheny tuition and fees, double room and meal plan C, as well as a study abroad fee of $300. Allegheny financial aid, except work study/campus employment, is applied to program costs. Allegheny students do not have to pay the program deposit requested by CIEE. Additional costs include CIEE application fee, airfare & local transportation, personal expenses and books and supplies.

Application Process

Allegheny students must first be approved to study off-campus before applying to their chosen program. Application deadlines are February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. For more information about the off campus study application process, please visit: Apply