Student FAQ

How many field hours are required to fulfill the field study requirement?

  •  As of Fall 2021, students must successfully pass 4 units of Social Ecology 195 or 195W in conjunction with 80 hours of fieldwork to fulfill their graduation requirement.

If I want to complete both Field Study and Upper Division Writing, what class do I enroll in?

  • By enrolling in at least 4 units, and successfully completing SOCECOL 195W with a 'C' or better, you will satisfy BOTH the field study and upper-division writing requirements. 
    • NOTE: If you receive at least a 'D-' but less than a 'C', you will ONLY satisfy the field study requirement; you will have to retake a different upper-division writing course to satisfy the upper-division writing requirement
  • 4 Units = 80 hours

How should I keep track of my hours?

  • The best way to keep track of your hours is to follow the procedures established by your field study site and to maintain a log for your own records to ensure no discrepancies. Google sheets or an excel document can be a great way to do so. Check-in with your supervisor regularly regarding hours and progress.

What if my placement requires that I complete training prior to the start of the quarter or if they ask me to start before the start of the placement period? 

  • This is a common situation, we do allow students to complete one standard week's worth of hours prior to the start of the placement period to account for these kinds of requests by the placements. 
    • Here's the breakdown by units and hours, on what the standard week means
      •  Enrolled in 4 units - can complete up to 8 hours prior to the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 5 units- can complete up to 10 hours prior to the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 6 units - can complete up to 12  hours prior to the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 7 units - can complete up to 14  hours prior to the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 8 units - can complete up to 16  hours prior to the start of the placement period. 

Can my job or volunteering count for field study?

  • Field Study has to be completed at an approved site within our field study catalog. Organizations that would be a good fit for the field study program can apply to become one of our approved partners. However, new sites can take some time to be on-boarded and approved so this requires advanced planning.
  • If you are wondering if your employer or a great organization you know of can become a field study site for the next field study quarter it is unlikely to happen that quickly. There are limited dates for site visits and with the numerous schedules involved sometimes it is difficult to find an agreeable time for the visit. Sites have to understand and agree to the terms and processes of our program, have a site visit, agree to place students for 2 years and sign our agreement.
  • You can refer your employer or a great organization to apply to become an approved field study site at this link:

I've applied to tons of sites and haven't heard back or gotten an offer yet, what do I do?

  • Have you followed up? How many times? Is there an alternate email you already contacted? Have you called to ask if they received your materials? 
  • Keep applying to other sites! If you don't hear back keep going. 
  • If you have applied to numerous sites, been thorough in following up by trying to contact them several times through different methods, reach out to the field study office for assistance. Field Study staff wants to be aware of sites that are not being responsive to students and will offer additional support if possible when a student has done everything they were supposed to within their control. Such as following the Steps to Success in a timely manner and not waiting until the last minute.  
  • Go to the Division of Career Pathways office or website to make sure you are putting your best foot forward with your resume, cover letter, interview skills, etc. 

I've heard that the placement site has to evaluate my work. Is this true -- and if so, how does my supervisor get an evaluation form?

  • The fieldwork evaluation is needed to verify that you did complete the fieldwork hours and to provide feedback to you and to your faculty sponsor about your field work
  • Social Ecology emails the link to the evaluation form to the supervisor you listed on your course enrollment form by the end of the first week of the quarter and a reminder at the end of the quarter
  • Your supervisor should complete your evaluation during the last week of your field study ‐ and return it to the Social Ecology Student Services Office
  • We recommend you schedule time with your supervisor during your last week to review and discuss the evaluation and make sure the evaluation is completely filled out
  • If your site supervisor does not complete and submits your evaluation on time, you may receive a grade of ʺIncompleteʺ in your field study. This doesnʹt mean that you wonʹt pass your field study, but we would have to receive the evaluation form verifying your hours and satisfactory work in order for you to pass.

What should I do if I'm having trouble at my field site? Can I change sites if I don't like my current placement?

  • We will make every effort to resolve problems with your current site. ʺChanging sitesʺ is not generally approved but is occasionally necessary when problems cannot be resolved. Please let the Field Study Program know if there is an issue at your placement site ‐‐ even if you plan to finish your field study, this info is helpful for when we review placement sites for future quarters
  • Generally, the first step toward resolving difficulties at your field placement site is to speak directly to your supervisor. If the problem is more serious, or if you are not comfortable speaking directly to your supervisor, please contact the field study team or set up and notify your faculty supervisor.

I am concerned about expenses related to field study.

  • If there have been significant changes to expenses/income as reported on your FAFSA or adjusted by Financial Aid, consider seeing a financial aid counselor to make appropriate adjustments during field study.
  • Split field study into 2 quarters. 2 units in SocEcol 195 and 40 hours x 2 quarters = 4 units 80 hours
  • Seek on-campus opportunities
  • Speak to the field study team

What do I do if I want to continue my field study for a second quarter?

  • Submit a new ʺField Study Course Enrollment Formʺ for the other quarter you want to continue your field study during

I have no job experience and am worried I won't get a placement

  • Many sites do not require previous experience and understand that often students experiences are limited due to their academic work and appreciate their passion and willingness to learn
  • Visit the Division of Career Pathways so they can help you showcase any relevant experiences such as volunteer work, leadership experiences, or otherwise on your resume
  • If you are having trouble finding a placement come to speak with the field study team