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Admissions - How to Apply to SEA Semester: Gap Year

Applying to a Gap Year at SEA

Gap year programs are limited in capacity with a maximum of 24 or 25 student spots per class. Therefore, we welcome applications as early as one year in advance of the program start and encourage students to apply early to ensure placement.

We review all  gap year applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the class is full.

SEA Fall Program Planning: COVID-19 

Upcoming Application Deadlines
Admissions for our gap year programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, and we are currently enrolling students for Fall 2021.

Essential Eligibility Criteria
In addition to the eligibility requirements outlined on the program pages, please refer to our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

  1. Complete an application form. Please select that you are currently a "Gap/Winter Start Student" when creating your application.
    Apply online.
  2. Submit two writing samples (500-750 words each)
    List your full name on each. Use the red button below to upload or submit via email to or fax to 857-386-7986.

    Upload Essay and Writing Sample

    1. Two-part essay (500-750 words): Why have you chosen to apply to a gap year program and what do you expect to gain from your experience? How will this program complement your future educational goals? Be sure to address all questions.
    2.  Academic writing sample of your own choosing (2-4 page excerpt, if longer than 4 pages). This should be a reflection of your best written work from a recent class, and on a topic applicable to the gap year program you are applying for. Please include your name and the context of the sample (class title and brief description of the assignment).
  3. Request and submit transcript
    A complete high school transcript is required for all applicants. Transcripts may be submitted directly from your school via email to; via fax to 857-386-7986; or via mail to:
    SEA Office of Admissions
    P.O. Box 6
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
  4. Submit two (2) references
    The online application will provide a link to email the reference form to your references directly. If you require a PDF version, please download the PDF reference form. One reference should be from teacher who has taught you within the past year. The other can be from a teacher, college counselor or guidance counselor. We also welcome additional references (i.e. coach, academic, personal, etc.). Letters of reference will only be accepted as supplemental to the online form.
  5. Schedule an interview with your Admissions Counselor
    Email to schedule your interview.
    Interviews may be conducted over the phone or via Skype. Topics of conversation may include life at your school, academic and extracurricular interests, why you’re taking a gap year, your expectations for life aboard our tall ship, and how you learned about our program. The interview is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about us!

Apply for a Passport: Please note that all gap year students must have a valid passport - NOT a Passport Card - before joining the program.

Apply for Financial Aid: If you plan to apply for need-based financial aid, click here to learn about the requirements for gap year students.