Frequently Asked Questions
(and Answers) about GEOL 375 and H375....

QUESTION: "Why should I take the course?"  ANSWER: Geology 375 (Bahamian Field Study) provides a unique opportunity to learn by directly observing in the field. Most students find this type of experience to be a very effective and enjoyable way to learn and an excellent alternative to a traditional lecture course. It's fun to experience the history, culture, and natural beauty of a different country. Many students also enjoy being outdoors and the chance to study marine environments such as beaches and reefs.  

QUESTION: "Is the course open to all majors?"  ANSWER: Yes, the course is open to undergraduate students of all majors.

QUESTION: "What is the pre-requisite for taking the course?"  ANSWER: You should have already completed an introductory-level college science course. Contact the instructor (jcastle@clemson.edu) if you have questions.

QUESTION: "Who teaches the course?”  ANSWER: The course is taught by Dr. James Castle, Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. Dr. Castle joined the faculty at Clemson University in 1995 and has taught the course several times beginning in 2001.

QUESTION: "Can the course be taken for Honors credit?"  ANSWER: Yes. An Honors section, GEOL H375, is offered.

QUESTION: "Does GEOL 375 count as a General Education lab science course?"  ANSWER: GEOL 375 does not count toward fulfilling the General Education lab science requirement. GEOL 375 provides students with a unique opportunity to learn by direct experience in the field. It is not a lab course. There are other courses, such as GEOL 101/103 available for meeting the lab science requirement.

QUESTION: "Which course requirements does GEOL 375 fulfill for geology majors?"  ANSWER: GEOL 375 counts as the "Field Experience" required for B.S. Majors in the Environmental Science concentration. It counts as a "Geology Requirement" for B.S. Geology majors (including those in the Hydrogeology concentration), and B.A. Geology majors.

QUESTION: "Is the course open to students from other universities?"  ANSWER: Yes. The university simplifies the application process for students wishing to take courses at Clemson for transferring the credits to another college or university. Call the Registrar's Office at 864-656-2171 for an application form and complete information. Also, if you are from another college or university, please inform the course instructor (jcastle@clemson.edu) that you are interested in taking the course.  

QUESTION: "Will there be any assignments or other work to do before we go to the Bahamas?"  ANSWER: Yes. Beginning in early May, there will be online assignments and quizzes that must be completed by May 17. This will provide you with some background to better understand the field observations.

QUESTION: “Will there be any lectures?”  ANSWER: Yes, there will be a lecture or other activity most evenings while in the Bahamas.

QUESTION: "How will my grade for the course be determined?"  ANSWER: Your grade will be determined by online quizzes, participation, field exercises, and an online exam after returning from the Bahamas. The field exercises will involve making observations while we in the Bahamas and will usually be done by groups of two or three students working together.

QUESTION: "I've never taken this type of course or been on a field trip like this before. How do I know what to expect?"  ANSWER: Most students find this type of learning experience to be special and memorable in a very positive way. If you have never taken a field course like this before, you may want to ask one of the students who took the course in a previous year. Also, you may want to see some photographs (click here) from our previous field trips to the Bahamas.  

QUESTION: “Will I need a passport for travel to the Bahamas?”  ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: “Will I need any additional vaccinations for travel to the Bahamas?”  ANSWER: None are required.

QUESTION: "Where will we stay in the Bahamas?"  ANSWER: We will stay at Forfar Field Station or nearby accommodations on Andros Island. Forfar is operated by International Field Studies, which is a non-profit, educational organization. International Field Studies also provides meals, classroom and meeting space, van and boat transportation, and local guides on Andros Island.  

QUESTION: “How will we get to the Bahamas?”  ANSWER: The program fee includes round-trip air transportation from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas on direct flights booked by International Field Studies. Students must arrange their own domestic transportation from school or home to Ft. Lauderdale (cost of travel from school or home to and from Ft. Lauderdale is not included in the program fee). Some students carpool from Clemson, while others fly to Ft. Lauderdale. Students should arrive in Ft. Lauderdale by 6:00 PM on Friday, May 17. We will meet in the evening of May 17 at the hotel where we will stay that night.

QUESTION: “Do we have to be in Clemson before or after the trip to the Bahamas?”  ANSWER: No. We will meet in Ft. Lauderdale for travel to the Bahamas.

QUESTION: "How much does it cost?"  ANSWER: Cost includes a program fee plus tuition and fees. The program fee, which is $1,350, includes all meals (except one) and lodging for 7 days and 7 nights on Andros Island; round-trip air transportation from Ft. Lauderdale to Andros Island; local van and boat transportation in the Bahamas, and one night shared lodging (May 17) in Ft. Lauderdale. In addition to the program fee, tuition and fees for a 3-credit course, which are $1,805 (same for in-state and out-of-state students) must be paid to Clemson University.

QUESTION: "Is financial aid available?"  ANSWER: Financial aid to help cover tuition and fees may be available depending on your individual situation.  For additional information, contact the Study Abroad Office (E307 Martin Hall) or the Financial Aid Office (G01 Sikes Hall). 

QUESTION: "How do I apply and register?"  ANSWER: The registration procedure for GEOL 375 and GEOL H375 (Honors) is the same as for other courses at Clemson. Information and forms from the Study Abroad Office will be sent to all students registered for the course. An application for the course must be completed. The application can be downloaded from the Study Abroad website at http://www.clemson.edu/academics/programs/study-abroad/study_abroad_students/application.html and turned into the Study Abroad office (E307 Martin Hall).

QUESTION: "Is there a deadline for registering?"  ANSWER: You should register for the course as soon as possible because enrollment is limited and the course is likely to fill. Applications are due in the Study Abroad Office by February 1, but applications after the deadline will be accepted as spaces remain. A deposit of $300 is due at the time of application.

QUESTION: "I would like to take the course, but the course is already full. What can I do?"   ANSWER: Add your name to the request log and contact the instructor (jcastle@clemson.edu).

QUESTION: "I would like to take the course, but missed the deadline for applying and registering. What can I do?"  ANSWER: Students can apply to be added to the course as space remains. Contact the instructor (jcastle@clemson.edu).

If you have any unanswered questions, please email Dr. Jim Castle at jcastle@clemson.edu or call 656-5015.

This page was last updated on October 26, 2012. Maintained by Dr. James Castle.