Clownfish hiding in sea anemone

University Study in Australia: James Cook University

  1. Program Details

    Study at James Cook University, highly regarded for excellence in tropical research, marine science and biology, and environmental science. The university's location in tropical northern Queensland offers proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest, and the outback.

    Location Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Term Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester
    Housing Apartment, Dormitory
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.8
    Student Type UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  2. About University Study in Australia: James Cook University

    Australia's varied landscape, cultural diversity, and rich history offer something for everyone. If you are looking for beach or desert, bustling cities or quaint towns, Australia has it. With campuses in two attractive coastal cities, James Cook University provides the perfect academic base from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforest, and outback.

    Study at James Cook University, one of Australia's top research universities, highly regarded for its excellence in tropical research, marine science, and environmental science. You will find top-notch facilities, qualified staff, excellent support, and smaller classes at James Cook

    Select JCU's main campus in the regional hub Townsville, or farther north at the Cairns campus, right next door to the Great Barrier Reef.   

    Visit the At a Glance Comparison page to learn some quick facts about the Learning Abroad Center's other University Study in Australia programs.

    Housing & Meals

    Visit JCU's Accommodation page for information about housing options. Most students live on campus with Australian and other international students. Housing is guaranteed for students who apply by the deadline.


    The International Student Centre staff organize excursions during orientation week. International Student organizations provide low cost excursions throughout the semester on the Townsville campus. Students at the Cairns campus have excursions coordinated by Arcadia, the Learning Abroad Center's on-site partner.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Augment cross-cultural understanding through interaction with Australian and international students and community members
    • Experience Australian and international perspectives on academic disciplines through direct enrollment at the Australian host university
    • Enhance intentionality through independent, though supported, living and learning opportunities. 

    Faculty & Staff

    James Cook University has staff available to provide orientation, on-site support, and advising to help you adjust to a new educational system and integrate into campus life.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Host University Study
    Program Level Lower- and upper-division classes available

    16-17 credits per semester; 32-33 credits per Academic / Calendar Year



    Grade & Credit Conversion Scale

    You receive resident credit for the courses you take. Your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Academic Policies page for more information.

    CBS, CFANS and BLOCK mode classes

    JCU has identified a number of classes across several departments that match well with UMN's CBS and CFANS majors. Note that some classes are taught as BLOCK mode.  BLOCK mode classes are intensive, 2-week classes offered after the end of the semester, usually including a field trip component to one of JCU's research stations.  BLOCK mode classes can be used as a replacement for one of your regular classes during the semester (Example: you could enroll in three regular semester classes and one BLOCK mode class, rather than four regular classes during the semester).  Doing so will require you to budget for an additional two weeks abroad.  

    CBS, CFANS and BLOCK mode classes at JCU


    JCU offers credit-bearing research modules in a number of STEM fields. Placements work with on-going research projects under the supervision of JCU instructors and researchers. Placements are competitive and open to students with extensive background in their field. Current placements available (only projects with a checkmark in the "UG/SA" column are open to study abroad students):


    Environmental Management


    Marine Biology & Aquaculture

    Physical Sciences

    Zoology & Ecology

    Cairns campus

    JCU's satellite campus in Cairns is an ideal spot for explrong the outdoors, surrounded on three sides by rainforest-covered mountains and in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.  As one of Australia's top tourist destinations, Cairns is an excellent alternative to the main campus in Townsville for those seeking a smaller campus environment.  NOTE: Due to the distance between them, it is NOT possible to take classes at both Townsville and Cairns in the same semester.  

    Finding Course Information

    Other academic information, as well as program dates, housing options, special classes, etc., can be found at JCU's main study abroad page.

    Major Advising Pages

    James Cook University offers coursework, and has been identified as a strong curricular match, for the following UMN degree programs,

    Global Identity

    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Spring Semester Early Feb–late June Nov. 15
    Calendar Year Early Feb–late Nov Nov. 15
    Fall Semester Early July–late Nov May 15
    Academic Year Early July–late June May 15

    *If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials by the following business day.

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Fall 2021 TBD TBD
  5. Fees for University Study in Australia: James Cook University

    Fall 2020

    The Total Program Fee reflects the host university’s international tuition rate converted into US dollars (minus a 10% partner school discount), plus the Learning Abroad Center’s APAAC ($2050) and required UofM international health insurance.

    Upon acceptance to JCU, in order to obtain the student visa, you will need to pay roughly $400 USD directly to JCU to cover student service fees and their required Overseas Student Health Coverage. 

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates for term options
    Program Name University Study in Australia
    Track Name See Program Dates for track options
    Country Australia


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    Once you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    Submit to the Learning Abroad Center:

    • University Study in Australia Academic Statement
    • Dowload the JCU Application form from your LAC checklist, complete the form and drop it off in the LAC along with an official academic transcript (which can be ordered through OneStop). 

    James Cook University will email you with further information/instructions once they have reviewed your completed application.

    Affiliate organizations and partner universities will not accept applications from UMTC students without the endorsement of the Learning Abroad Center. Students must participate in affiliate organization and partner university programs through the standard Learning Abroad Center application process. 

    Next Steps

    1. Upon submitting the online application, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application was received.
    2. Follow the instructions on your application checklist to submit all of the items. Your application is not considered complete until all items on your application checklist are either received or waived.
    3. You will have applications with both the Learning Abroad Center and James Cook University—make sure to follow instructions for both applications when they're sent to you. 
    4. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist. Log in to the online application to review the confirmation checklist and submit the required items.

    Affiliate organizations and partner universities will not accept applications from UMTC students without the endorsement of the Learning Abroad Center. Students must participate in affiliate organization and partner university programs through the standard Learning Abroad Center application process.

  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Ryan McCarthy or call at 612.626.9373.

  8. Contact Program Alum

    Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

    Chantal Kloth: Spring 2019; Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior major and Nutrition minor

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for fall semester 2021 due to COVID-19.

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship