About the courses:

Students are recruited and selected in October before the spring course. Early in the spring semester students learn oceanography, marine biology, coral ecology, and obtain their SCUBA certification. Student research teams are mentored in research design, develop testable novel research, and conduct their coral reef research after the formal semester ends. Research is conducted in conjunction with the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) ( at Anthony’s Key Resort ( ) in Roatan, Honduras. The student research topic is tweaked to parallel the students’ academic and professional goals and interests. Students pursuing medical schools can develop research projects studying coral or sponge disease. Upon return to campus, the data is statistically analyzed and results compiled into a professional abstract and poster or PowerPoint presentation for submission to MCC Scholar Day and professional conferences.

Requirements and Cost

Complete one of these courses with a B or better:

      BIOL 1406 or 1407 (recommended), 1411, 1413, 2401, 2402, or 2420

Faculty recommendation is required. Physicians approval for SCUBA and field research is required.


The fee includes transportation to and from Waco; dive insurance; 1-3 dives per full day in Honduras; boat transports to research sites with captain and dive master, 7 nights lodging at Anthony’s Key Resort , Dolphin instruction and encounter; and tips for AKR staff.  Not included: Passport fees, baggage fees, meals/beverages in transit, medical evaluation for trip and SCUBA and/or for prescription evaluations or needs, professional photos or videos, souvenirs, medical costs, notary fees, tuition, textbooks, costs associated with acquiring professional journal articles, and any additional travel costs or fees associated with attaining Open Water SCUBA certification and other advanced SCUBA certifications.

MCC: $3100.00 – Includes SSI SCUBA Open Water certification course

TTU: $3200.00 + 350.00 study abroad fee -– Includes SSI SCUBA Certification course 

The fee may be paid with financial aid, including Pell grants, student loans, and scholarships.

For more information:

Stephanie Randell (MCC) –

Stephanie Lockwood (TTU)