• Social Ecology 10 is required
  • Social Ecology 13 and 194W are recommended
  • Declared major in the School of Social Ecology in good academic standing (2.0 GPA) and junior standing (90+ units)
  • Accepted a placement at listed Field Study Community Partner and submitted course enrollment form by the deadline.

Academic Requirements

  • Attendance at regular class meetings with a faculty sponsor is required. Faculty will arrange small group or individual meetings (per week or biweekly) to facilitate the integration of academic and field experiences.   Attendance to ALL CLASSES IS MANDATORY!
  • Students are REQUIRED to complete an analytical, academic paper. Papers should be 10 pages in length and incorporate at least two references to scientific journal articles, legal case studies, etc. for every 4 units.
  • Social Ecology faculty may add to the requirements listed above or establish additional grading criteria.


  • 25 hours of field work=1 unit of academic credit
  • Four (4) units of Social Ecology 195, Field Study are required to graduate
  • During the academic year, field study may be taken for 2-8 units; summer for 4 or 8 units
  • Field Study may be repeated for up to 24 units


Suggested Timeline


3 quarters in advance

  • Self-Assessment & Goal Setting – Field study is an opportunity.   Spend some time considering what field study means to you and how field study can enhance your education and align with your goals. 
  • Resume and Cover Letter – Prepare or update your resume and cover letter.  In your cover letter - identify yourself as a UCI Social Ecology Student, applying for field study opportunities.  Include the deadline date, placement period and the number of hours/week you will be at the site and WHY you are interested in the particular placement.   
  • Attend a Field Study Information Session.
  • Placement Opportunities – Learn about the wide-variety of placements by checking out the Field Study Catalog on the Social Ecology Field Study website early and attending Meet and Greets.


1-2 quarters in advance

(more for law enforcement or academic year opportunities)

  • Apply directly to at least 6-8 field community partners.  See the Field Study Catalog for specific application instructions for each agency.  If there are no instructions send an introductory email (cover letter) and attach your resume. Keep in mind background checks can take six weeks or more.
  • Follow-up and follow through on your applications.
  • Getting close to the deadline?  Check out the Important Notes and Site updates page on the Field Study website for openings.
  • Interview.  The Career Center has workshops and services to build your confidence!
  • Keep records of your contacts so that you can follow-up as necessary.


1-2 weeks prior
to deadline

  • Evaluate offers in accordance with your goals and accept a placement.
  • Confirm the placement dates with the supervisor at the site.
  • Talk with your supervisor to ensure sure you understand what you will be doing at the site.  You need this information for the course enrollment form. 


by the

  • Submit the course enrollment form.  Be sure to fill out the form accurately and completely.  The form is on-line at:
  • As a professional courtesy, once you accept a placement, inform the other community partners.
  • Confirm the placement dates (first and last day) and your weekly field work hours with your supervisor after you have your tentative class schedule.


via WebReg or Summer Sessions

  • Enroll in SOCECO 195, Field Study.  Input the correct units under variable units.  1 unit = 25 field work hours.  To satisfy requirements, students must complete a minimum of 4 units field work.  This can be done in 1 or 2 academic quarters or 1 summer session.  
  • NO authorization code required.