Frequently Asked Questions from Applying Students

How are students chosen for field study?

Interested students should attend an Info Session, held each quarter. Applications are available at the meeting.

Students are chosen for field study based on three criteria: qualification, preparation, and class standing. All students who are senior or junior declared psychology majors in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Students with some upper division work, demonstrated interest in the program and maturity are ready for the challenges of field study. Seniors are accepted first, followed by students with junior status, if there is room.  Don’t despair, your time will arrive.

How many students are accepted into field study?

The number of students accepted varies from quarter to quarter; it really depends on the number of placements and faculty sponsors available. 

Do I need to know where I’m going to be an intern before I apply?

No. Here are the steps to follow: attend an Info Session, then apply for the program. Upon acceptance you will have time to explore internship options or create one (with advanced planning). You will get access to an online list of our community partners.  If you are curious about placements, you can find a general description of the types of positions available here. Feel free to also peruse the Career Center's Internships & Volunteering page at  The Field Study Director is available to provide insight on the various agencies and the internships they offer. Students are encouraged to interview at 2 or 3 community organizations.

I already know where I want to be an intern, what if it’s an agency that is new to the Field Study Program?

Talk with the Field Study Director about your situation, often something can be worked out if the agency is not already a placement.

Do I have to find a faculty member to sponsor me?

No.  The Field Study Director will assign you a faculty member to work with based on your learning goals for the quarter and the placement you’ve chosen to work with.

Do most students take field study and then three other courses?

No. It is not recommended that you take more than two other courses alongside your field study. Field study is very demanding of your time both logistically and emotionally. You will need all the time you can get to reflect carefully on your experience and allow yourself much needed “down time.”

If one quarter of field study can count toward my upper division requirements, what area will they count toward?

This depends on what is written on the Learning Plan portion of your contract. You determine the academic focus relative to your academic interest.

Example: A student works in a special education setting. If she is very interested in speech pathology maybe she’ll focus on an aspect of how children learn how to speak or a particular philosophy of speech aquisition and complete an academic project working with a cognitive psychologist. A second student might approach field study with through the lens of social psychology, with a focus on special education as a system and look at school reform and effects of the system on individuals and families. 

I’m an intensive Psych major, have other intensive psych majors found time to fit research and field study during their time here?

Yes! Research and field study can be done simultaneously or staggered (junior year research, senior year field study). Plan early and you can do it.