Field Study

Although the HDSR Field Study resembles an internship in many ways, there is a crucial difference: that is, the Field Study entails ethnographic fieldwork (participant observation) that allows the student to analyze and interpret the organization and its workings.

Students select the specific setting in consultation with HDSR's Program Coordinator. The purpose of the Field Study is to allow the student to gain valuable work experience while using theoretical perspectives learned in the classroom as a means of gaining insight into the workings of the organization.


The Field Study helps students become more conscious of the relationship of social roles, institutional dynamics and professional development. It is designed to:

  • Help students integrate cognitive and experiential learning
  • Allow for the exploration of roles outside the context of Earlham classrooms
  • Provide an opportunity for independent study while fostering a greater sense of self confidence
  • Assist students in gaining valuable work experience
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