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How to Apply


1. Please review the following admission prerequisites and policies to confirm eligibility:

  • All applicants must be 18 years of age to participate in an SFS program.
  • Applicants for semester programs should have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 at minimum (2.6 for summer programs). Students with GPAs slightly below this mark are still encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants to semester programs must have completed at least one college-level ecology or biology course.
  • Costa Rica and Panama semester program applicants must have completed a college-level course in ecology or environmental studies. Costa Rica applicants must have one college-level course in Spanish or otherwise demonstrate a working knowledge of conversational Spanish prior to participation.
  • All applicants are encouraged to have taken coursework in international development, economics, statistics, or anthropology.
  • There are no course prerequisites for summer programs.
  • Gap year students are welcome to apply. For more details please contact the Admissions Office at 800.989.4418.

2. Check with your home school for their requirements and deadlines.

3. Before you begin filling out your application, we suggest that you collect the following information. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or guardian sign your application.

  • Names of the individuals who will complete your SFS reference forms
  • Courses you intend to use to fulfill SFS prerequisite requirements (if applicable)
  • Credit card information (for application fee)

Application Steps

1. Complete online application or download the PDF of the application for printing. SFS is currently accepting applications for all Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016 programs. Please use the 2015-2016 application to apply to all programs.

2. Pay non-refundable application fee of $50 (credit card number required for online application). If paying by check, please make it payable to "The School for Field Studies" and send to:

Tanja Berbic
The School Field Studies
100 Cummings Center, Suite 534-G
Beverly, MA 01915


3. Submit the online Reference Request Form or download the PDF reference forms to be mailed or faxed to the SFS Admissions Office.

SFS Academic Reference completed by a teacher, professor or academic advisor who is well acquainted with your current academic performance.

SFS Character Reference completed by someone who knows you well, such as an academic source, a job supervisor, volunteer advisor, athletic coach, etc. It is not appropriate for this reference to be completed by a relative, peer, or family friend.

4. Request current, official transcripts from all schools attended. It is not necessary for college students to submit high school transcripts after a full academic year of college coursework has been completed.

Many colleges and universities now issue official transcripts electronically. If your university offers this option, you may request for your electronic official transcript to be sent to If this is not an option for you, please have your official transcript sent via mail to SFS.

5. Participation Approval Form (not part of online process): obtain approval from your institution's study abroad office. If you attend an SFS Affiliate Institution that offers direct credit for your SFS program of choice, please just complete pages 1 and 2 and have the form signed by the designated Affiliate representative. A list of Affiliate institutions and representatives can be found by clicking here. If you will earn University of Minnesota (U of M) credit for your SFS program of choice, please have a representative from your institution's study abroad office complete the U of M Transcript Request Form on page 3.

Send supporting documents (Transcripts, Participation Approval Form, References if not completed online) to:

The School for Field Studies
100 Cummings Center, Suite 534-G
Beverly, MA 01915

P: 800.989.4418
F: 978.922.3835

Important: SFS requires students to have a valid passport for travel to all program locations. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months following completion of your program. If you do not currently have a valid passport or if your passport will expire before the required time, you should immediately begin to apply for a passport through the U.S. Department of State website. Passport processing times can be lengthy so you should begin this process as early as possible, even if you have not yet been admitted to an SFS program.

After You Apply

Once an application is received, you will be contacted by email with information about any missing materials. If your application is incomplete, it is your responsibility to follow up on any missing materials. SFS is unable to begin the application review process until all necessary materials are received. To expedite the completion of your application, we suggest that you submit all of your application materials together.

Once your application is complete, we will contact qualified candidates to schedule a short, informal phone interview. Admissions decisions are generally available within two to four weeks of completing your application. You should apply early to allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.

Please note that final acceptance to all programs is contingent upon medical approval. You will also be sent information on completing the Medical Approval Process and the Financial Aid Application after acceptance. If you would like to check the status of your application materials received by SFS, please click the “My SFS” link to log in to your account.