Program Sites

lemur with students observing in background


TIP’s Field Studies program takes place at two US college campuses as well as unique destination locations. The college campuses host a variety of courses at one location, while the destination sites focus on individual courses. At all locations, students take advantage of the site’s academic and dining resources, stay in group housing available at the site, and are well-supervised at all times. See our Academic Life and Residential Life sections for more details.

Please note that course space is limited and classes fill quickly. Families that are flexible about which sites they attend when they apply have a greater chance of being placed. Review our Application Instructions to learn more about the process.

Details about the 2019 Field Studies Program will be announced in December. Information about 2018 is included below to give an overview of the program.

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Las Cruces Biological Station, Costa Rica June 17–July 1 No second session No third session
La Selva Biological Station & UGACR, Costa Rica No first session July 8–July 22 No third session
Duke University, North Carolina June 16–June 30 July 7–July 21 No third session
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico June 17–July 1 No second session No third session
New College Of Florida No first session July 14–July 28 No third session
PARI Observatory, North Carolina June 10–June 24 July 1–July 15 July 22–August 5

College campuses

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University, consistently recognized as one of the world’s finest educational institutions, attracts exceptional students from around the globe for liberal-arts, graduate, and professional studies. Field Studies take place on Duke’s campus, which was initially developed in 1892 as Trinity College. Centered around grassy quads, Duke’s East and West Campuses create close-knit community atmospheres that give students a sense of what college life will be like while still making close supervision possible.

New College of Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Situated on Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, New College of Florida is the designated honors college of the state of Florida. New College is recognized as a national leader in active and student-centered learning. New College is ranked number four among all public liberal-arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of the best national liberal-arts colleges for 2016. New College offers an intimate learning environment, excellent learning laboratory spaces, proximity to world-class marine research facilities, and a unique ecological environment, including its signature mangroves.

Field Studies destination locations

A landscape mountain scene on a sunny day

PARI Observatory

Rosman, North Carolina

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the study, promotion, and advancement of astronomy and its related disciplines. Formerly known as the Rosman Research Station, the site was a NASA facility used during the 1960s and 1970s for tracking manned and unmanned space flights. In 1981, the facility was transferred to the Department of Defense for use as an intelligence gathering facility for US defense and satellite communications. Situated on two hundred acres in an optimal “dark sky” location of the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina, PARI’s current activities are conducted using a variety of state-of-the-art equipment. For more information, please visit

La Selva Biological Research Station & University of Georgia Costa Rica Campus

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Students will spend part of the program in San Luis, Monteverde at the UGA Costa Rica campus (UGACR). UGACR aims to advance understanding of the interconnected nature between human and environmental systems. Students will also visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Learn more at

Students will also spend time at La Selva Biological Station, situated at the confluence of the Sarapiquí and Puerto Viejo Rivers. La Selva’s protected ecosystems and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are unique in the world’s wet tropics, and it is home to more than the half of the 886 species of birds, 5 of the 6 species of felines, more than 70 species of bats, and more than 1,850 species of vascular plant flora in Costa Rica. Student sleeping quarters at the field station consist of open-air, screened-in buildings containing bunk beds and shared restrooms. Rooms are separated by gender and program staff are housed close by to allow for student supervision. For more information, visit the Organization for Tropical Studies website.

Students crossing a hanging bridge in Costa Rica

Las Cruces Biological Station

Costa Rica

After a brief stay in San Jose, students will travel to Las Cruces Biological Station, located just a few miles from the Panamanian border in the Pacific highlands of southern Costa Rica. Bordering the station is a 632-acre forest reserve, and on the station grounds is a twenty-five-acre garden. The gardens are considered one of the most important botanical gardens in Central America. Plantings include exotic, endangered, and native Costa Rican species with representatives of underutilized species that have potential for food, medicine, and horticulture.

Owned and operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies, a nonprofit consortium of more than fifty-five universities in the United States and Latin America, Las Cruces Biological Station is a center for education, scientific training, and biological research. Students will stay in station housing with approximately four to six students in a single-gender room with shared bathroom facilities. For more information about Las Cruces Biological Station, please visit the Organization for Tropical Studies website.

Ghost Ranch

Abiquiu, New Mexico

Some of the most breathtaking scenery in New Mexico surrounds Abiquiu Lake—including gigantic cliffs in layers of color, created over a two-hundred-million year period by sandstone deposits. The village of Abiquiu itself is rimmed by a landscape of rugged rock formations in bright crimson and white. The area has a rich history: from dinosaurs roaming the land to prehistoric people gathering flint for their arrowheads to offering the final stop on the Old Spanish Trail before travelers headed west to the Pacific. Georgia O’Keeffe, well known for her paintings of the desert Southwest, lived at Ghost Ranch for many years and drew much of her inspiration from the magnificent surroundings. Duke TIP students will have access to the Ghost Ranch Library, which provides a wealth of books and periodicals to enhance their studies. To learn more about what students can expect when they stay at Ghost Ranch, visit

A girl writing in a notebook in the desert

These two-week residential programs for students in ninth through twelfth grade take place at Duke University, New College of Florida, or one of several unique field study locations. Courses take place during the summer and cover a variety of different academic disciplines.