Tanzania Program (ACM): Ecology and Human Origins

Photo of Maasai child herding livestock
Final App Deadline: 
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Language Requirement: 
Lewis Fortner

Sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

Please note: Only students registered in the undergraduate College of the University of Chicago may apply to ACM-sponsored programs through Chicago. Students at other ACM colleges should apply through their home institution. Students at non-ACM colleges should contact the Chicago office of the ACM (Phone: 312.263.5000; email: acm@acm.edu) to inquire about submitting an application.

The College of the University of Chicago works with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), to sponsor programs in Tanzania and Botswana. These programs are available, by application, to Chicago students and are considered officially to be Chicago-sponsored programs in terms of credit transfer, registration, billing and financial aid.

This long Autumn semester program (mid-August to mid-December) is entitled “Ecology and Human Origins.” Participants take three courses—Swahili Language, Human Evolution, and Ecology of the Maasai Ecosystem—at a local institution in Arusha and develop, as a fourth course, a field project with a faculty advisor. While the headquarters for this program is in Arusha, students will devote a significant amount of time to field research conducted in Tanzania’s national parks and research sites (depending upon a student’s project these may include the Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, the Serengeti Plain and the Ngorongoro Crater). While in Arusha students are housed with local families. During the two-week field exercise they will stay in campsites. While there is no absolute language or course requirement for this program, students are encouraged to take preparatory courses in Swahili as well as paleoanthropology, ecology, geology and so forth. Because this is an Autumn semester program, students are registered for Autumn quarter and pay tuition at a rate slightly higher than Chicago’s one-quarter tuition. 

Credits and Registration

Study abroad students remain registered as full-time students in the College. They receive full credit for their work in the ACM Tanzania program. Course titles, units of credit and grades are placed on the College transcript. Since the use of these credits in a specific degree program is variable, students should consult with their academic adviser and program chair to determine the exact distribution of credits.


Students who participate in this one-semester program will pay tuition at a rate slightly higher than Chicago’s one-quarter tuition. They would then pay one-third of the annual tuition for each quarter that they are back on the home Chicago campus. The tuition is paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule. All participants pay the non-refundable study abroad administrative fee when accepting a place in a program. Finally, program participants pay a program fee that covers room and board and related expenses. Precise figures for the ACM Tanzania program for the 2016-17 year are listed below:

Autumn tuition: $20,100 (Autumn 2017 tuition TBD)

Study abroad administrative fee: $650

Please note that an additional $400 is required to be paid by students as a deposit directly to ACM. (2017-18 figure TBD)

Tanzania program fee: $800 (2017-18 program fee TBD)  


Program fee includes:  Out-of-pocket expenses include: 
accommodation round-trip airfare to and from the program site
partial board transportation on site
some program excursions some meals
  course materials
  personal entertainment and travel
  communications (most students bring or buy a cell phone)
  health insurance and upfront payments for care
  other miscellaneous expenses

Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, & Funding section.  

Eligibility and Application

Students who are registered and in good academic standing at Chicago may apply to the ACM-sponsored Tanzania Program. In addition to meeting ACM’s specific eligibility requirements, they are asked to present cogent academic reasons for taking part in this program, as well as a solid academic record. In general this program is open to second-, third-, and fourth-year students.

Chicago students are directed complete the profile portion of Chicago’s online application and to download the PDF version of the Tanzania application from ACM’s Tanzania website and submit the completed application to the UChicago Study Abroad by Chicago’s deadline (two weeks earlier than ACM’s). They should not complete ACM’s online application. The application is reviewed by a Chicago committee, which decides whether it should be forwarded to ACM. Assuming that it is forwarded, the final admission decision is made by ACM.

Further Information

To discuss the Tanzania Program (ACM): Ecology and Human Origins program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Lewis Fortner. Syllabi for ACM courses are available by calling ACM at 312.263.5000.

What you’ll see: 

Photo of Maasai child herding livestockPortrait of Maasai man