Highlands Biological Station is open to visitors. Masks are still required in the Nature Center, but are no longer required on campus, including the Botanical Garden. Highlands Biological Station is offering academic and public programming this summer. For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.

HBS currently intends to run Summer Courses and Workshops for 2022. As per WCU policy, HBS will assess and if necessary adjust or cancel course offerings due to the impacts of Covid-19. Please check back in late winter for Summer 2022 course offerings.

Station Workshops

Throughout the year the Highlands Biological Station hosts workshops open to all audiences for personal and professional development. Guest lecturers join us to cover a variety of nature, science, and art topics. Stay tuned for new workshop announcements.

Accredited Courses

Each summer the Highlands Biological Station offers courses at the advanced undergraduate/graduate level dealing with the ­special biological features of the southern Appalachians. These courses are also open to life-long learners and those seeking CEUs or CECs. Stay tuned for new course announcements.

Fees for College Credit

Universities and colleges around the country are raising their tuition and fees, but summer courses at the Highlands Biological Station are very affordable. Course fees are $200 per credit hour, or $160 per credit hour for students and alumni from universities and colleges that are members of the Highlands Biological Station in good standing.

2-Week Academic Courses

2 week academic courses are worth 4 credit hours, and cost $800 per course ($640 for students and alumni from HBS member institutions in good standing).

1-Week Academic Courses

1 week academic courses are worth 2 credit hours, and cost $400 per course ($320 for students and alumni from HBS member institutions in good standing)

Students Seeking Credit

Courses at Highlands Biological Station can be taken academic credit through UNC-Chapel Hill (BIOL 459) or Western Carolina University (BIOL 493 or BIOL 593). Our courses are transferable to most universities but it is your responsibility to transfer the credit to your home institution. It is a good idea to check with your registrar for transfer credit equivalencies, and talk with your advisor.

Any course(s) taken for undergraduate credit through UNC-Chapel Hill will appear on your transcript as BIOL 459 – Field Biology. The only thing that varies is the section number. Any course(s) taken for undergraduate credit through Western Carolina University will appear on that transcript as BIOL 493 – Special Topics, and will include the course name. Any course(s)  taken for graduate credit through Western Carolina University will appear on that transcript as BIOL 593 – Special Topics – and will include the course name.

Undergraduate Credit Fees

Courses through UNC- Chapel Hill (non-UNC students may transfer credit):  $55 per course

Courses through Western Carolina University:  $90 per course

Graduate Credit Fees

WCU: $90 per course

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) and Environmental Education (EE) credits

Teachers can earn Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) based on hours completed for both courses and workshops.  Please check with your individual administration to confirm the necessary documentation and credit acceptance. In addition, those enrolled in the NC Environmental Education Certification Program can receive EE credits for courses and workshops at no extra cost.

Additional Information

– Students are not required to stay on campus during their course(s) or workshop(s), but we strongly encourage it due to the nature of these classes. Most classes meet all day, and often involve evening work. All student housing is $150/week (Howell, Wright and Deacon Cottages and Valentine House). Students will be notified of housing assignments approximately 1 week prior to the start of the course/workshop.

– HBS is fortunate to offer limited financial aid with the support of The Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc., on a first-come, first-served basis. Aid must be requested at the time of application, and recipients must either be enrolled for credit, or be able to present a compelling case for need. In addition to your transcripts, two documents are required along with the application.  First, you will need to include a Statement of Need, which is simply a letter explaining why you are asking for aid and reasons why the course you are applying for is important to your education. Second, you need a Letter of Recommendation from either your major professor, or a faculty member who is well acquainted with your academic qualifications. BOTH DOCUMENTS NEED TO ACCOMPANY THE APPLICATION OR YOUR PROFESSOR MAY EMAIL THE LETTER. Please email the letter to Katie Cooke or upload here: https://wcu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_enR8ygLTO71kaOx.