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Programs : Brochure

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Program Description:
Program Overview

University Center in Svalbard (UNIS), is the world's foremost institution of the Arctic sciences, offering courses and laboratory experience in Arctic biology, Arctic geology, Arctic geophysics, and applied Arctic technologies. If you are a student of biology, geology, physics, chemistry, and environmental sciences and are interested in the unique situation of the Arctic, the program provides you with a unique, immersive, hands-on learning opportunity. 

The language of instruction at UNIS is English, as the student population is 50% international students from around the world (and 50% Norwegians). You will join a carefully selected group of approximately 400 students who are all intensely interested in Arctic sciences. 

Academic Details

If you are highly motivated to pursue scientific studies of the Arctic within the Arctic environment, this program is designed for you. You may take courses in Arctic biology, Arctic geology, Arctic geophysics, and/or Arctic technology. Studies at University Center in Svalbard (UNIS),  require a very high level of prerequisite science course work. 

All courses at University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) are taught in English, and English is the official language of the entire campus (many of the participating scientists and students are not from Norway and do not know Norwegian).

In most cases, you will complete only two or three intensive courses, as the typical course load in the European system is 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. Given the amount of independent reading and study required for both 10- and 15-ECTS credit courses, you should anticipate a busy schedule of study, though there is also ample time for social life in the community of 400 students and for outdoors pursuits in the Arctic surrounds. (Indeed, in many ways, even a recreational outing for snowmobiling or snowshoeing may contribute to your learning experience of science in Svalbard.) Course content is highly specialized.

Course offerings at UNIS in any given semester are quite limited, so you are strongly encouraged to plan ahead, carefully studying course descriptions with your academic advisors and choosing courses wisely, though back-up options may be needed.

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 07/15/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Academic Year 2019-2020 07/15/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.