Summer Field Studies Program

The SESP Field Studies Program gives students the opportunity to make solid professional contributions to an organization while benefiting from experiential learning. The one-quarter program carries 4 units of credit. Students intern at their sites for 30 hours a week and attend a Friday morning Practicum Analysis Seminar.

In the workplace, students record and analyze events and processes, integrating concepts and theories from their social science courses. The field notes lead to a final paper analyzing some component of the practicum/field study experience.

During Summer Session any Northwestern undergraduate student is able to complete the program in Washington, DC (SESP 384-0 Practicum in Human Development - Washington, D.C.), or San Francisco (SESP 389-0 Practicum in Human Development - San Francisco) in addition to the Chicago area. Program sites expose students to the breadth and depth of issues and activities within a field. They experience new skills and responsibilities through the projects they carry out from start to finish. Their supervising mentors meet with them individually for at least one hour per week.

The prerequisite course—SESP 372-0 Methods of Observing Human Behavior—teaches students how to take and analyze notes for a field study. Students complete a qualitative field study of their practicum experiences.