Advanced Field Study

Advanced Field Study (AFS)

Advanced Field Study, led by Associate Professor Jessica Borelli, provides a small number of students an in-depth, three-quarter Field Study experience primarily focused on addressing issues and challenges in the community through civic engagement. 

Students will be matched with a local non-profit or public sector organization and will complete approximately 8 hours of in-person fieldwork per week during Fall, Winter and Spring quarters.

Fieldwork activities may include serving in a day-to-day capacity in support of operations, conducting research that enhances the work of the organization, developing new activities or programs, working intensively with clients, engaging in outreach and community organization, participating in organizational development and advancement efforts, and more. 

The third quarter (spring) of the AFS year is designated as satisfying the UCI writing requirement for undergraduates. With that in mind, students will, in addition to the work they do with their community partner, produce an analytical and reflective paper that distills the lessons they have learned from their community placement and, in the process, hones and deepens their writing skills.

The three-quarters of Advanced Field Study can fulfill a number of degree requirements.

  • SocEcol 195A, taken in the Fall, counts for elective units only. 
  • SocEcol 195B in the Winter will satisfy the School of Social Ecology 195 Field Study (4 unit) requirement. 
  • SocEcol 195CW in the Spring, with a grade of C or better, will satisfy the upper-division writing requirement. 






How do I find my placement for AFS?

Community partners are currently being recruited by our program staff and will continue to be recruited until there are sufficient and diverse placement opportunities for each of the students selected for the AFS cohort. Over the summer, students will receive a catalog with a list of placement opportunities and the types of potential projects offered by each placement. Students will then submit resumes and cover letters to placements of interest. Placement supervisors will review these materials and invite students to remote interviews over the summer. After interviews conclude, both the students and the placement supervisors will submit ratings of their top choices to our department, and we will complete a matching process based on mutual interest. NOTE: If you have a particular agency and/or you are interested in working on a particular issue, please note that in your application so that we can reach out to the agency and/or agencies that might offer opportunities that match your interest.


Will placements during Fall quarter be in-person?

With the University planning to resume on-campus activities in the Fall, we are likewise planning on offering mostly in-person field placements starting Fall quarter. However, it’s possible that we may be able to offer a limited number of remote placements. 


What are the prerequisites to apply?


  • Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA (at the time of application)
  • Major within the School of Social Ecology or an Environmental Science and Policy major.
  • SocEcol 10, Research Design (may be completed in Summer 2021 or earlier)
  • Lower Division Writing completed by Summer 2021
  • 90+ quarter units completed at the time of application
  • Good academic standing
  • A commitment to enroll in all three courses of the Seminar sequence for the academic year (this means being in residence at UCI all three quarters)

***Additional prerequisites for those wishing to complete a research project as part of their Advanced Field Study: 

  • Completion of SocEcol 13 (Statistical Analysis in Social Ecology)
  • Minimum one-quarter of prior participation in a research lab/research project, not including projects assigned as courses work in SE 10 or SE 13
  • Previous volunteer experience in a community setting preferred

What materials are required to apply?

In addition to completing several short answer questions, the following materials will need to be uploaded with your application:


A current resume. Upload your resume as a .pdf. Please name it AFS_LastnameFname. In addition to work experiences, please be sure to include any civic engagement, community or volunteer activities you have participated in during the past four years, including year(s) and length of service. Indicate any positions of leadership you have held and special awards or honors you have received. Please describe activities you played a direct role in rather than a general description of the organization’s activities.


One letter of support. Your letter should be from a faculty member, professional or academic mentor, employer or volunteer manager. The letter should address why your recommender believes you to be a strong candidate for this program and why they believe you will benefit from such an experience. Please name it LOR_LastnameFname.


Unofficial transcripts. Please upload transcripts as a .pdf file. You should name the file: TS_LastnameFirstname.


When are applications due?

Submit an application and supporting materials to the link below by 9:00 p.m., Friday, May 14.

2021- 2022 Advanced Field Study - Student Application 



  • Instructor 2019-2021:  Jessica Borelli, Associate Professor, Psychological Sciences
  • Program Management: Dmitry Tsukerman Ph.DDirector, Field Study Program 
  • Program Support: Lizet Ceja-Trujillo, Coordinator, Field Study Program

Archive of Past Projects & Cohorts