Field Study, Human Development and Social Relations | Earlham College
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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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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.