Admissions Overview

The School for Field Studies (SFS) welcomes a diverse student body, and students come to us with a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. In keeping with our interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem solving, we strive to build teams that represent a cross-section of the global student body, including liberal arts, science, and economics majors.

The SFS program will likely be very different from your traditional academic experience and traditional study abroad program. Before applying, be sure to read the program components and relevant information.

To apply for admission, please review the section called How to Apply, then click Apply Now to complete the online application. Please contact the SFS Admissions Office if you have any questions. Call 800.989.4418 or email

Notice to 2014-2015 Applicants: Please note that we will be closing the current application form and opening a new form on Tuesday, August 5th. If you have not submitted your online application by Friday, August 1st, then the data entered will be lost and you will have to fill out a new online application. Please complete your online application by August 1st or be prepared to start over! Please email if you have questions about this change.


SFS and Your Home School

The School for Field Studies (SFS) participants are registered at and receive transcripts from the University of Minnesota, our School of Record. The only exceptions are students from SFS Affiliate schools, who receive credit directly from their home institutions. Click here for a list of current affiliated institutions.

SFS courses are approved and assigned course numbers by the University of Minnesota. Our semester programs in Australia and Turks & Caicos include four courses and carry a total of 16 semester-hour credits in biology or environmental studies. Our semester programs in the Mekong region, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and East Africa carry 18 semester-hour credits in biology, environmental studies, and language. Summer courses carry four semester-hour credits in environmental studies or public health, except for our Bhutan program, which offers six credits. Our summer sessions in Australia, Costa Rica, and East Africa are designed to be taken either individually for four credits or back-to-back for eight credits.

Participants receive an official transcript from the University of Minnesota approximately six to eight weeks after the conclusion of the program for delivery to the office responsible for credit transfer at their home institutions.

Students from more than 300 colleges attend SFS programs each year and most are able to transfer credit for their participation. The final decision regarding credit and grade transfer rests with the home institution. Therefore, you should check with your advisor/registrar when applying to our programs to learn how your SFS course work will be applicable for credit in your degree program.

If you have questions regarding credit transfer, please call the SFS Admissions Office (800.989.4418). In most instances, we can direct you to someone on your campus familiar with credit transfer for SFS programs.

Admissions Policies and Procedures

The School for Field Studies (SFS) reviews applications on a rolling basis, beginning approximately one year before the session begins. While there is no admissions deadline for semester programs, we encourage students to apply early to ensure admission to their program of choice. Semester students should check with their home institution regarding school-specific deadlines. Decisions are generally available within two to four weeks of the date when your application becomes complete. Review cannot begin until all application materials have been received.

All acceptances are contingent upon medical approval. It is important that you understand what is required of you in the Medical Approval Process. All medical paperwork will be reviewed by the SFS Director of Safety and Student Life. You must be able to meet the physical challenges presented by SFS programs without undue risk to yourself or others. Academically qualified individuals may be disqualified from participating on medical grounds. You will not be allowed to join an SFS program without providing details of your current medical insurance in your SFS Online Medical Review.

If you have any special dietary needs or restrictions, please contact the SFS Director of Safety and Student Life within two weeks of acceptance and document the restrictions on your SFS Online Medical Review. Students with dietary preferences (e.g. vegetarianism, veganism, etc.) should discuss these with their Admissions Counselor. SFS makes every effort to accomodate diet needs within the limitations of local supply, availability, cultural practice, and cost. All dietary restrictions require discussion and approval prior to arrival.

Students with disabilities are welcome on SFS programs; however, students with disabilities or learning differences requesting accommodations are responsible for notifying the SFS Director of Safety and Student Life. Notification of disability or learning differences must be made in writing and submitted within two weeks of acceptance. Please be aware that the level of accessibility, services, and accommodations to which you may have access at your home campus may not be available overseas. Please also refer to the SFS Program Manual for your program of choice for more information.

Contact Molly Hurst, Director of Safety and Student Life at 978-219-5132 or

Non-Discrimination Policy

SFS is an equal opportunity institution.

SFS admits students of any sex, religion, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or economic status to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of SFS.

SFS does not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, or other protected status in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship loan programs, and other School-administered programs.