Landers Family Scholarship to attend Williams College – Mystic Seaport’s Maritime Studies Program

The  Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is pleased to announce the availability, for the first time, of this competitive scholarship, solely for UCLA environmental science undergraduate students, to participate in this prestigious program.  

Generously provided by Richard Landers and his family, this scholarship assists with fees and expenses for one semester for admitted students with demonstrated financial need. 

Program Description

Williams-Mystic is a life-changing semester: a 17 week interdisciplinary program that offers an intensive 4-course curriculum in the science, policy, history, and literature of the sea.  Along with a focus on conducting original research (many of which projects continue on as senior or graduate theses) in all of these disciplines, students are also immersed in hands-on, experiential learning at Mystic Seaport, the nation's largest maritime museum. To understand the breadth and depth of how the ocean's have influenced human endeavor, we go to sea on a 130-foot sailing research vessel, we explore the bayous and shores of Louisiana, and travel along the Pacific coast, often encountering food every 120 minutes.

A class of 20 students – typically representing 15 different colleges and as many different majors – comes together to interact closely with faculty, working under the philosophy that approaching complex challenges through cross-disciplinary thinking offers a striking method to better understand the past, present, and future of the world's oceans. Described by the majority of alumni as the most important semester of their college career, Williams-Mystic is structured to create a unique and dynamic educational experience. Beyond the academic curriculum, students live in co-op housing, cook their own food, and become life-long friends.

The Marine Science curriculum allows a choice between Oceanography (which focuses on the geology, physics, chemistry and biology of the oceans) or Marine Ecology (which explores the ocean's biodiversity through experimental ecology and environmental history). The Marine Policy course explores national and international contemporary issues in marine law, fisheries, coastal zone management, shipping, and pollution, among other ongoing topics at the cutting edge of policy debates. The Maritime History curriculum seeks to understand how the sea acted as both a fundamental barrier and as the sole corridor to global human interchange for millennia, with a focus on America's multicultural maritime heritage through the daily study of the Seaport's vast collections.  Literature of the Sea explores poetry, ballads, plays, narratives, and essays in which the sea is a crucial physical, philosophical, and psychological element. 


Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may all participate. Students earn a full semester of credit and a transcript from Williams College. To learn more, please come visit us at:

* Website    * Williams-Mystic Videos    * Viewbook

Students wishing to be nominated should submit:

1. Complete the Williams-Mystic Application
2. Provide contact information for three references: two academic and one volunteer/employment (on the application form)
3. A current DPR; if selected, a copy (scan) of your official college transcript will be required
4. A personal statement
5. A short writing sample from any class you've taken
Provide all materials via email to IoES SAO Royce Dieckmann at rdieckmann@ioes.ucla.edu

Students wishing to be considered for fall 2012 or spring semester 2013, please contact me at rdieckmann@ioes.ucla.edu

Students nominated by the IoES will then have these materials submitted to Williams-Mystic who will make the final determination on admission, which will include an interview and may require the submission of additional materials, per their usual application process.

This special opportunity exclusively for Environmental Science B.S. majors at UCLA assists with fees and expenses for one semester for admitted students with demonstrated financial need.  Federal or other grants and loans may transfer and Williams-Mystic also awards several small grants each semester, made possible by gifts from alumni, parents and friends to the Williams-Mystic Scholarship fund.

The Landers Family Scholarship GUARANTEES to fulfill ALL demonstrated financial aid need for UCLA students to attend Williams-Mystic.  The scholarship anticipates both (1) the current UCLA quarter costs, adjusted for both in-state and out-of-state residents, (2) that there may be scholarships, loans, fellowships, or other financial aid packages that cannot travel with the student to Williams-Mystic, and (3) that a semester at Williams-Mystic costs more than a quarter at UCLA.

Williams-Mystic tuition 2012-2013

Total = $28,385 (Tuition = $22,910 Room/Board = $4,575 Misc fees= $900)

The fall 2012 Williams-Mystic semester begins August 28 and ends December 21, permitting fall quarter IoES students to attend. Williams-Mystic is a need-blind program; financial need is not an impediment to admission.

Questions? Please contact:

Royce Dieckmann
Student Affairs Officer
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300
Phone: 310/206-9193