STEM in London

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore
Location: Europe, United Kingdom, England
GPA: 2.75
Program Overview

This unique, interdisciplinary study abroad program provides you an opportunity to study contemporary and historical issues such as climate change and public health from the perspective of the United Kingdom.  London will create the context for your learning with field trips, classroom discussions, role playing simulations, and reading, all designed to immerse you in the way scientific developments and controversies shaped -- and continue to shape -- modern London, the United Kingdom, and the broader global community. Classroom instruction will be supplemented with local science-based excursions and experiential learning exercises. 

The program is designed for STEM students across all disciplines with ample opportunities to examine the interdisciplinary nature of scientific discoveries. Courses may be particularly relevant to students studying biology, physics, data science, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry, history, and global studies.  Students in non-STEM majors are welcome.

Students will also have the opportunity to engage directly with professionals and UO science alumni who live and work in London.

This program is hosted at our GEO London Center!

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date







Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Academic Details

Students will take two four-credit courses: Contemporary Issues in Science and Reacting to the Past.  

Contemporary Issues in Science: Life – or sailing through chaos on quantum mechanics (4 credits) - Fulfills PHYS 301 course. Students will investigate research and scientific discoveries with broad interdisciplinary implications and ways in which the properties of quantum mechanics relate across STEM disciplines. Each major topic will start with an excursion and disciplinary focus: Q-eating Kew Gardens and biodiversity, Q-feeling Alan Turing Institute and artificial intelligence, and Q-being Natural History Museum and geology. Students will learn how quantum physics, which analyses the behaviour of everything on an extremely tiny scale – protons, electrons, quarks or photons – is closely related to our life. For example, through excursions and classrooms activities we will explore how biology is directly influenced by quantum physics and how important a pair of electrons may be for a bird or how crucial a few protons could be for evolution. With the broad scientific topics of study, the course is open to students across all STEM majors build to their interdisciplinary scientific skills.

Reacting to the Past (4 credits) - Fulfills HIST 211 Reacting to the Past Group 2 RTTP course.
(London 1854: Cesspits, Cholera, and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump and Acid Rain in Europe 1979-1989) employs an exciting approach to learning with elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by historical texts, emerging scientific discoveries, and geographic location in London. Students construct arguments through reasoned, sometimes impassioned, writing and speeches. As students take control of an unfolding historical drama and struggle for their characters to prevail, they will become deeply engaged, both intellectually and emotionally, with the subject matter.  The Cholera game immerses students in the scientific debates and methodologies that led to the founding of the modern fields of microbiology and epidemiology in the mid-to-late 1800’s. The goal of Acid Rain is to introduce students to a complex issue of environmental science, specifically acid precipitation, in the context of the economic, political, social, and philosophical factors that come into play in the effort to protect the environment. 

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Application process

This program has a rolling admission application processGEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.

Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application.  This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement.

Faculty and Staff

Elly Vandegrift, is a Senior Instructor II in the Global Studies Institute and the Program Director for the University of Oregon's Global STEM Education Initiative. Elly has received four pedagogy awards selected by her peers: the inaugural 2019 UO Biology Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for outstanding contributions; the 2017 UO Thomas F. Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy; the 2016 UO Williams Fellow for Teaching Excellence; and the 2015 Association for the Study of Food and Society Pedagogy Award (for Bread 101).  See Reacting to the Past in action.

As a biology and ecology student, Elly studied abroad in Kenya, the Canadian Boundary Waters, the Galapagos Islands, and the United Kingdom.

Richard Wagner, earned his PhD at the University of Oregon in quantum optics. While a graduate student he was an active participant in the Science Literacy Program for which he helped co-develop the course: Information, Quantum Mechanics, and DNA which focused on the application of quantum mechanics to biological systems. Richard was named a 2015-216 National Academies Fellow for Scientific Teaching. Richard teaches physics and astronomy courses at Lane Community College and Oregon State University.

Housing Description

Students will join a community of residents from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as part of life in one of the University of London residence halls. The hall is located in central London, close to the GEO Centre, the British Museum and the London Tube. Students will have their own single study bedroom and share bathrooms with other residents.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.