Programs are open to any student, from any major, and any university in the world. Attending students will be awarded 12 quarter credit units (equivalent to 8 semester units) through our academic partner – UCLA Extension. UCLA is a top ranked research university and the quality of its education is recognized across the world (see the National Academy of Sciences rankings). You must be at least 18 or older to participate. Most participants are undergraduate students or graduate students early in their graduate school careers.
Admission requirements differ from program to program. At a minimum, you must fill out an application (click here for a shortcut). Some programs require phone interviews and other programs require recommendation letters. Please review each program webpage for enrollment information.
Once your application is approved you will be asked to submit a $500 nonrefundable deposit payment. This payment is the only way to ensure a space in the program. The remaining portion of your payment should be paid by the tuition payment deadline -- listed on each program web page -- to avoid the $100 late fee.
Spaces in each program are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The IFR does create waiting lists for programs but these usually do not get used as enrolled students tend to attend programs.
If space is still available for the program, two weeks prior to program departure to the field.
Payments may be made online, by check or cashier check sent to the Institute for Field Research (for our address, click here). Payment information is avaliable to all accepted students on their enrollment webpage. A student ID (usually the student email address) and password is issued via email to all applicants.
Students may begin making payments immediately following acceptance. Students will be notified via email of status when the field school director complete the review process -- usually within 48-72 houts after application.
Final payment deadline are different for each program. Please check the program web page for the deadline date. Payments made past the deadline will incur a $100 late fee. Financial aid students may be exempt from this deadline (and late fee) but must contact the IFR to make appropriate arrangements and must submit Financial Aid Agreement forms.
It is difficult to predict. Some programs fill up within a few weeks, others take longer. It is a good idea to apply early and pay the deposit to secure a space in your preferred program.
Each program requires different type of application. Some require the completion of the online application form only, others require recommendation letters or online interview. The process is described for each program once you begin the application process.
Once admitted, all students must download, sign and mail back to the IFR the following forms:
Students attending a Domestic Program (any program within the US), must also provide Proof of Health Insurance. The IFR is unable to provide health insurance for students attending domestic field schools.
You will need to contact the nearest passport agency. Many post offices offer passport services. The passport process usually takes 10-12 weeks. Expedited service is available for an extra fee. For more information, please visit the US State Department Passport Section. If you are not a citizen of the US, please check passport application procedure with the relevant government agency at your home country.
If your passport is not ready within the 60-day deadline, try to expedite the process. You must have a valid passport to travel internationally. You will not need a passport for domestic programs.
Most of our programs do not require student visas, but some countries require tourist visas. Instructions about visa requirements for each program (if any) are posted on each field school web page under the "Travel Information" tab. Additional visa information may be obtained at the US State Department International Travel website.
We recommend you visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site for more information about health and safety abroad. Our syllabi provide some information about immunization at the specific location where the field school will take place.
Students receive 12 quarter credit units (equivalent to 8 semester credit units) from our partner institution – UCLA Extension (for more information, see here and here). All IFR field schools are listed as XL Classes -- courses that are equivalent to undergraduate courses offered by the UCLA regular session and thus are transferable courses, depending on the student major, standing, GPA, etc. Most universities accept UCLA credit units – there are very few exceptions. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss the transferability of the credit units with their own school official(s) BEFORE attending the field school. When meeting with school officials – usually the Registrar or Academic Adviser – students should print and bring the field school syllabus with them. It is also advisable to forward school officials the IFR website URL address so they may independently review the IFR academic merits and the way by which we manage our field schools. It is simple and easy to download the syllabus from the field school web page. Go to your field school web page and click on the ‘Syllabus’ button – it is located just under the green square to the right of the ‘Overview’ text. The syllabus will load as a PDF file and you may print or save to your computer.
Accommodations at each field school are as diverse as the research projects themselves. Some are rudimentary, others more comfortable. More information is available at each field school web page under the "Accommodations" tab. Complete details for housing, including address information, will be sent to all program participants and discussed during the pre-departure orientation.
Usually no. All students and staff are normally required to stay in the housing the project arranges. The cost of accommodations cannot be deducted from the program fee.
Guests (includes spouses, children, other family members and friends) are not allowed in program housing or on any program-related activity. The Institute for Field Research does not assist with housing arrangements for family, friends, or other guests of program participants.
It is very important that you submit a valid e-mail address that you check regularly when filling your application. Periodically, you will receive notices from the Institute for Field Research with important information about your program. An orientation session for your program will be arranged at least six (6) weeks prior to departure. This orientation will take place online and will be run by your own program director.
Each program consists of a required course curriculum of 8 semester credit units. Students are automatically enrolled in this curriculum. This curriculum is mandatory and cannot be dropped without terminating participation in the program.
For more information about each program's curriculum, please visit the section marked "Syllabus" on the program's web site.
Please do not enroll in a program unless you are sure you intend to participate. Remember that your deposit is nonrefundable. Please read our Cancelation Policy carefully.
If you cancel your registration, the following applies:
* The $500 is not refundable under any circumstance.
* Tuition (minus the $500 deposit) is refundable until the tuition payment deadline. Visit the program page for the specific deadline for each field school.
* No refunds are available past the tuition deadline.
In order to cancel once you have registered, you must complete the Letter of Program Cancelation and sent to the Institute for field research as an email attachment or via regular mail. Failure to formally notify the IFR of cancelation will result in a bill for the full program fee. For more, detailed information, click here.
Always travel light: Limit yourself to one checked bag and one carry-on. With less luggage, you can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
Prescription medications: Remember to bring any prescription medication with you in your carry-on bag. Bring enough to last the duration of your trip. Keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first.
Money: Bring ATM cards, one or two major credit cards, and at least $100 in $20 dollar bills. You may want to bring a few traveler’s checks for emergency back-up.
Passport: Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen. Leave extra copies of these items with someone at home.
Airline tickets and travel itinerary: Make sure your itinerary is in order and that the name on your airline ticket matches the name on your passport. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency. Make sure to send your itinerary to your field school directors as well. If your field school has airport pickup, you we will be met at the airport only if the program staff knows when your flight arrives.
Calling cards: Consider getting a telephone calling card. It is a convenient way of keeping in touch. If you have one, verify that you can use it from overseas locations (you may need to sign up for an international plan in order to get the lowest rates possible). 1-800 numbers do not work overseas, so find out the local toll-free access number for your calling card before you go.
Cell phones: Contact your cell phone provider and inquire if your cell phone will work in the country to which you are traveling. Most cell phone service providers will need to “unlock” your phone before you leave the U.S. Contact your cell phone provider for details on using your U.S. SIM card while abroad. It is fairly cheap and easy to buy a local prepaid SIM card for your unlocked phone in most countries around the world. This gives you a local telephone number while using the SIM card. If you do not have a GSM phone, many companies have world phones available for rent. Rental services are becoming more common in international airports, and it is usually less expensive to rent a phone in-country.
Security: Put your name, address and telephone numbers on the inside and outside of each piece of luggage. If possible, lock your luggage, although be sure to consult the airline about their locked luggage policy. Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home valuable or expensive-looking jewelry and irreplaceable family objects.