Field Studies


Field studies offer you a chance to put theory into practice through local, regional, and international field study semesters and individual courses. Field Study Semesters are packages of McGill courses aimed at upper-year students that focus on the physical and social aspects of the environment. They are offered in various regions around the world in the Fall or Winter term. Currently, Field Study Semesters are offered in East Africa, Barbados, and Panama.


You could become an:

  • International aid worker
  • Human rights activist
  • Foreign service officer
  • NGO advisor

Student experience

Africa Field Study Semester

The Africa Field Study Semester (AFSS) provides one term of integrated field study in East Africa, with emphasis on environmental conservation, culture change, and sustainable development. Students investigate challenges of sustaining biological diversity and social justice in African environments subject to cultural change, economic development, and environmental stress. Cultural and ecological variation is examined in highland, montane, rangeland, desert, riverine, salt- and fresh-water lake, coastal, and urban settings.

Barbados Field Study Semester

The Barbados Field Study Semester (BFSS) provides one term of integrated field study for students with an interest in global issues related to natural resource use as affected by socio-economic, management, urban, and physical constraints. This program challenges students to be more effective environmental decision makers, policy makers, and managers. The overall goal of the BFSS is to equip future leaders to address the complexity of issues associated with the formulation and implementation of organizational strategies compatible with the societal goal of sustainable use and development of our natural resources.

Barbados Interdisciplinary Tropical Studies

The Barbados Interdisciplinary Tropical Studies (BITS) Field Semester is an activity-filled, hands-on experience for students with an interest in international studies with a Caribbean flavour. The focus is on sustainable agri-food, nutrition, and energy production on a tropical island with a tourist-based economy. It is offered annually (in the Summer). This program integrates intensive course work with group project work and contributes to the formation of professionals with planning, managing, decision-making, and communication skills. The program addresses a global need for experienced professionals capable of interacting with various levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

Panama Field Study Semester

The Panama Field Study Semester offers hands-on experience gained through research projects organized around multidisciplinary environmental issues. The nature of these projects centers on practical environmental problems/questions important for Panama. Students will form teams that will work with Panamanian institutions (NGO, governmental, or research).

Ready to apply?

For this program, you'll need to apply to the Faculty of Science.

See the full eligibility information for more information about deadlines and required documents for your application.

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