Double degree La Rochelle University / University of Costa Rica

Students enrolled in the Major in Environmental Management and Coastal Ecology (GEEL) of the Master Degree in Environmental Sciences (SPE) are eligible for a Double Degree between La Rochelle University and the University of Costa Rica. To participate, candidates must have a B2 proficiency level in Spanish, and will spend 1 or 2 semesters with the GIACT Master program ( Gestión Integrada de Áreas Costeras Tropicales ) at the University of Costa Rica.


Due to different academic calendars between Costa Rica and France, successful candidates will be offered different participation schedules each year. Depending on the starting semester (odd or even year), candidates may spend either 1 or 2 semesters at the University of Costa Rica.

For more details on these mobility opportunities, please contact directly the International Relations Coordinator of the Biology Department.

The minimum requirement for obtaining the Double Degree is to spend at least one semester of classwork with the GIACT Master Program. Completing only the final internship during the last semester of the second year (M2) at the University of Costa Rica does not qualify for the Double Degree.


Candidates wishing to apply for the double degree must declare it in their letter of intent, submitted with the online application form for the GEEL SPE Master Course. The final selection of candidates will be made in La Rochelle University at the beginning of the first semester of M1, after an individual interview according to the following criteria:

  • academic level at the end of the first university cycle
  • proficiency in foreign languages (levels B2 in Spanish and English)
  • motivation, open-mindedness, ability to adapt to a foreign culture and university
  • consistency of the request with the professional project

Candidates admitted to the second year (M2) of the Master SPE-GEEL without having completed the first year (M1) of the SPE-GEEL cannot apply for the Double Diploma.

Once selected, the candidate’s file is transferred to the University of Costa Rica for verification and final admission. For the 2019-20 academic year, the deadline for sending this application is 16 October 2019.

Registration, financial aid and obtaining the two diplomas

Throughout the duration of the Master Degree program, the successful candidates remain enrolled at La Rochelle University, including during their stay in Costa Rica. Candidates will also be enrolled at the University of Costa Rica for the duration of their stay, without additional registration fees.

Students from La Rochelle University enrolled in the Double Degree program are entitled to international mobility aid granted by the University’s International Relations Department (for example, Erasmus+, University mobility grant, CROUS international mobility grant, etc.).

Once each semester’s courses are validated (obtaining an equivalent 30 ECTS per semester) in La Rochelle and in Costa Rica, students will be awarded two degrees: the Master of Environmental Sciences (SPE) of La Rochelle University and the Master of Integrated Management of Tropical Coastal Zones (GIACT) of the University of Costa Rica.

The partner university

The University of Costa Rica is the first public university in the country. Its teaching and research covers all major academic fields, with over 42 Research Centers. In the field of Biology in general and Environmental Sciences in particular, the following Centers are worth mentioning:

Its main campus is located near the capital San Jose. The UCR is ranked between 15th and 20th among Latin American universities, and between 400th and 450th in the world.

Thanks to a series of cooperative agreements, the partnership between La Rochelle University and the University of Costa Rica has been ongoing since 1998. The GIACT Master Degree was created through a European-Latin American academic project in which La Rochelle University participated and which contributed to the complementarity between the two Master Degrees.

Links & Contacts

A few slides presenting the Double Degree are available here.

University of Costa Rica

La Rochelle University