The Institute for Field Research is not your average study abroad provider. Students learn from the best faculty researchers in the world and work alongside the experts through the physical and intellectual exercises of field research. The main focus of the IFR is archaeology, however, in 2018 we have added field schools in Environmental Sciences, Architecture, Museum Studies, Anthropology, and Ethnography to our global curriculum. The information on this page will help you advise students, learn about our academic model, and facilitate course approval and credit transfer. Important documents to download or share can be found at the bottom of the page.

Who should go on an IFR field school?

IFR field schools are open to all majors and do not have pre-requisites. Students in the following majors will find our offerings particularly relevant to their course of study: Anthropology (Physical, Cultural, Social, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Psychological), History, Classics, Art History, Museum Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography, and all sub-disciplines of Archaeology. Field Schools accommodate a wide range of experiences – some student seek to gain professional experience prior to pursuing further education in graduate studies, while others seek to expand their horizons, go on adventure, and experience other cultures in a unique setting.

Enrollment Process

Historically, applications to our field schools open annually on November 1st. In 2020 and leading into the 2021 season, with the added management to address COVD-19 protocols, our 2021 programs stared opening on November 15th with our entire program catalog to be finalized in late January. We have rolling admissions for all our field schools. All field schools require students to fill a general application. A selection of programs require additional materials such as a letter of recommendation, interviews, or references. All the steps in the application process will be done through, apart from tuition payment which is completed through the Payment & Finances page, under the Student tab of the IFR website. We encourage students who want to attend their first choice program to apply early and make themselves aware of the unique requirements of the field school they are interested in.

Students must pay a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure their spot in any of our field schools. The first Friday in April is the payment deadline for the full tuition of all our summer programs. Students may apply and pay after this deadline, however they should expect to incur a $100 late payment fee. Please urge your students to read and fully understand the IFR Cancellation Policy prior to any payment for an IFR program.

Students applying to scholarships will be exempt from the late fee if they do not hear back from the IFR scholarship committee prior to the payment deadline in April.

If students need assistance through the application process, IFR staff is available M-F 8:30-5:00 to answer any questions they or you may have. Please refer to our contact page to get in touch.

What should students expect from an IFR field school?

IFR field schools are about learning by doing. Theory is put into practice. Students from across the U.S. and the world participate in our programs, working side by side, and are taught by the top researchers in the world. Field work is physically and intellectually demanding. Our programs allow students to take action and actually practice the hands-on work of archaeology, paleontology, ethnography, and environmental research. IFR places the utmost importance on students engaging their own research questions and taking ownership over their contribution to the team effort. Students become invested in the work as they are fully immersed and treated as researchers themselves. The field component of every discipline requires communication and collaboration. Participating in a field school is like participating in a team sport in which each individual has a stake to make the season successful.

How much will it cost?

Our field schools are 4-5 week long and the average cost of an IFR field school in 2017 was $4,350. See graph below to see average cost trend. Every year the IFR works diligently to reduce costs, while increasing accessibility and quality of our programs. Students are encouraged to speak to their academic, study abroad, or financial advisors about the option of transferring financial aid towards an IFR field school. The IFR will readily sign Consortium Agreements from universities. In addition, students are able to apply to several scholarships offered through the IFR and externally every year.

Included in the cost of an IFR field school are 8 semester credits through Connecticut College, cost of instruction, room and board, local transportation, and comprehensive health and evacuation insurance.

Academic Partnership & Credits

Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through our academic partner – Connecticut College. Connecticut College is a private, highly ranked liberal arts institution with a deep commitment to undergraduate education. Students will receive a letter grade for attending this field school as describe in the grading assessment and matrix on each syllabus. We encourage students to present the course syllabus and discuss transferability of credits with their advisors prior to attending an IFR field school. If you have any questions about our programs after meeting with your advisee, please contact us.

With the exception of our short programs, IFR field schools provide a minimum of 160 direct instructional hours. Students will find that the reading load, time investment, and intensive methods training components of these courses are congruent with expectations of advanced undergraduate research seminars at most universities and colleges.  As such, these courses are best regarded as consistent with upper division classes at your home institution.  As a point of comparison, students who complete an IFR field school can use this course to satisfy a methods requirement in the Department of Anthropology at Connecticut College.

All IFR field schools are peer-reviewed annually by the IFR Academic Board.

Student Safety

Student safety is a top priority for the IFR. Every student enrolled through an international IFR field school will be enrolled with a comprehensive health insurance coverage, provided by GeoBlue. Students enrolled in domestic programs must have proof of insurance to participate in our field schools. During the field season, from the first day of the first field school to the last day of the last field school, a 24/7 Emergency Hotline (+1 (424) 226-6983) is available to all participants. Working in the field presents students with physical and mental challenges that they likely do not encounter in their day-to-day routine. Those challenges often compound or exacerbate existing emotional & physical issues. To help prevent adverse impact on student health, IFR requests that students honestly describe any health conditions in the application for any IFR field school. The IFR and field school director(s) will evaluate whether pre-exiting conditions may be accommodated in the typically remote, rustic locations where we operate that usually offer minimal health care services.

All students will be given a safety orientation by IFR staff and the field school directors, which will reiterate the IFR Health & Safety guide.  All IFR participants are required to read and comply to the IFR Nondiscrimination and Harassment Policy. We request that student read both the guide and policy very carefully. These documents contain the standards by which we expect all affiliates to the IFR, students and staff alike, to behave.

Important Documents

If you advise students who are to receive financial aid to pay for their field schools, they must fully read and understand the Financial Aid Agreement with the IFR. This binding agreement allows students to delay their full payment of the field school tuition to five days prior to the first day of the program.

An official copy of transcripts will be mailed to the permanent address listed by students on their online application. One additional transcript may be sent to the student’s home institution at no additional cost. Additional transcripts may be ordered at any time through the National Student Clearinghouse.

If you are a faculty or you know of a faculty member interested in running a field school with the IFR, please share our Partnering with IFR pagePlease contact IFR Staff regarding new project proposals, the IFR academic approval process, and any general questions pertaining to academic affiliations of the Institute.