Immersive Field Study experience provides a unique experience for Social Ecology undergraduate students to gain a powerful educational experience that builds the skills and understanding they need to flourish through poverty-focused projects and programs that are desired and impactful in the communities in which they are carried out.  Students complete 320 hours of field work (32 hours week) while enrolled in 12 units including field work, research and an Immersive Field Study seminar.

In developing this experiment in Field Study, we are exploring sites both close to home in Orange County as well as other parts of the United States and beyond!   In spring 2015 the School of Social Ecology, in collaboration with the UCI Blum Center, launched the pilot program in immersive Field Study.  Four students had a unique opportunity to do fieldwork for 10 weeks on a full-time basis for an organization that concentrates on poverty alleviation and social injustice. The students were placed not just locally in Orange County, but also across the nation.  Read about their experiences by clicking here!


  • Major within the School of Social Ecology
  • Completion of SocEcol 10 prior to beginning the placement for Immersive Field Study
  • 90+ units,
  • 3.0 or better cumulative GPA
  • Students are expected to be at UCI for at least 1 quarter after completion of Immersive Field Study

Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2017 for: 

Over the course of the academic year, the program offers current students special opportunitie to work full time in a community on issues of social justice, equility, racial reconciliation, and poverty alleviation.  Opportunities have included:  

  • Anaheim, California: Professor Ray Novaco is working with Orange County Family Justice Center (OCFJC), which offers a full spectrum of services for domestic violence victims. The mission of OCFJC is to increase victims’ access to legal and social services to help them survive domestic, sexual, child, and elder abuse.  APPLICATION DEADLINE: June 2, 2017

Past Applications:

  • La Paz, Mexico: Professor Richard Matthew has developed a field study site in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where students will work with community-based organizations on local projects in the areas of urban development, environmental restoration and management, and public health. Students will have the opportunity to live in a secure field camp and assist UC faculty conducting research in this area. APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 4, 2016

Past Opportunities: 

  • Oxford, Mississippi under the mentorship of Professor Geoff Ward which revolved around the work of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.The Institute ( works in communities and schools, in Mississippi and beyond, to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all division and discrimination based on difference. This placement included learning about the work of the Winter Institute statewide and contributing to the organization.
  • St. Louis, Missouri under the mentorship of Professor Carroll Seron which involved working with Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion & Equity, student and community leaders to address poverty and inequality in the community surrounding Saint Louis University and assisting grassroots community organizers in nearby Ferguson, MO who are working to address similar social justice issues there.
2016-2017 Dates and Deadlines
  Winter 2017 Spring 2017
Outreach April 1 September 19
Application Deadline October 21 November 4
Interviews Begin October 24 November 9
Placement Offers October  31 January 13
Financial Aid/Scholarship Review October 31-November 4 January 16-27
Student Acceptance Decision November 4 February 3
Enrollment Windows Open November 14 February 27
Preparation/Orientation - Week of November 20 February 20
Program Dates Jan 4-Mar 17 Mar 29-Jun 9