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Courses & Credits

This program is offered in two schedule options: spring semester and spring quarter/trimester. For all students, the program curriculum includes four required courses:

The Spanish Language and Culture course is taught in Spanish; the other three courses include most portions taught in Spanish and some portions taught in English.

Second-year level college coursework in Spanish, taken in the year prior to the start of the program, is recommended. Students are expected to have a level of Spanish proficiency appropriate for their proposed research projects. Projects involving personal interviews typically require higher-level Spanish language skills than some other types of research projects. ACM will review applications on a case-by-case basis and may recommend that a student arrange to refresh or augment his/her level of Spanish prior to the start of the program.

Recommended credit

For semester students: Recommended credit is 16 semester credits, which includes four semester credits for each course.

For quarter/trimester students: Recommended credit is 12 semester credits, which includes three semester credits for each course.

  More information about credit distribution and grades



Spanish Language and Culture

Required course
Semester students receive 4 semester credits; quarter/trimester students receive 3 semester credits

Spanish Language and Culture syllabus

This class will integrate language practice and learning, while it also includes a study of linguistic-cultural aspects. Students will learn to use Spanish in real-life contexts closely related to their areas of research during the field research period, and will be able to acquire language tools allowing them to learn and interact with the Costa Rican culture and enrich their sociolinguistic experience in the program. In order to achieve this objective there will be a series of cultural and pedagogical activities that are an integral part of the course. The language department will work together with the students’ field research classes as they develop and carry out their research, so there will be a constant monitoring of the students’ language proficiency.

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Field Research Design

Required course
Semester students receive 4 semester credits; quarter/trimester students receive 3 semester credits

Field Research Design in the Natural Sciences syllabus
Field Research Design in the Social Sciences syllabus

This course is designed to immerse students in the planning and designing of a research study and the writing of a research proposal. Students will be matched with a local research advisor — an expert in their chosen field of research — who will assist in the development of a research question, research design, and student placement in a research project. Students will receive instruction in research methodology and design, write several drafts and a final proposal, and give an oral presentation on their proposal.

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Field Research

Required course
Semester students receive 4 semester credits; quarter/trimester students receive 3 semester credits

Field Research course syllabus

This course is designed to immerse students in the implementation of a research study. Students will carry out the research outlined in the proposals written for the Field Research Design course. Students will take and record data (including entering onto computer), adjust the study as necessary, carry out preliminary data analysis, and give a mid-term oral presentation.

View more details about field research »

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Research Paper & Seminar

Required course
Semester students receive 4 semester credits; quarter/trimester students receive 3 semester credits

Research Paper & Seminar in the Natural Sciences syllabus
Research Paper & Seminar in the Social Sciences syllabus

This course will cover the topics necessary to analyze research data and prepare the final research paper and oral presentation. This includes coursework in statistical data analysis, technical writing of a scientific manuscript, and oral presentation techniques. Students will work with on final reports (written and oral) and will include data organization and analysis, several written drafts and a final oral presentation.

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Credit Distribution & Grades

The course credit you receive for programs is determined according to policies at your college. Check with your advisor and college registrar in advance to find out how much credit you will receive and how it will be distributed — especially if you plan to use your courses to fulfill college or departmental requirements.

Grade reports

All students who complete an ACM off-campus study program receive a grade report which lists their courses, credits, and grades. Most colleges accept this grade report as an official academic document. If a college requires an official academic transcript, ACM can arrange to have an official transcript issued through Beloit College for a $350 processing fee. To request an official transcript, students must make a formal request through ACM at the time of acceptance.