The School for Field Studies programs teach students about critical environmental problems and train them to do field research that will help address these problems, from wildlife conservation to rainforest restoration.

SFS field exercises complement classroom lectures and help students to develop skills needed for directed research projects.

Davidson is an affiliate school of SFS, so students receive:

  • Priority acceptance to SFS programs.
  • Biology course credits for SFS programs.

Each SFS program focuses on environmental issues at one of six international centers, located in:

SFS Application

The SFS program is open to all students regardless of academic major. To qualify, you must have completed one college-level biology course and at least one full semester of college. Some SFS programs have additional requirements.

Before you apply to SFS you must first receive permission from the college's Office of Education Abroad to study abroad. You should also plan a meeting to discuss SFS with our SFS affiliate representative.

Program Fees

To participate in an SFS semester program, you must pay regular SFS tuition and fees as well as an administrative fee for studying with an external institution. Students who qualify for Davidson financial aid also qualify for aid for the SFS semester.

Course Credits

As a Davidson student, you can receive biology course credits for completing SFS programs.

  • Semester Programs: You can earn four biology course credits (BIO 184 and BIO 381-383), graded pass/fail, for completing a semester program. BIO 184 also fulfills the cultural diversity credit.
  • Summer Programs: You can earn one biology course credit (BIO 385), graded pass/fail, for attending a summer program.
  • Credits for Majors: Three SFS semester courses (BIO 381-383) and the SFS summer course (BIO 385) may count towards a major in Biology. SFS courses do not fulfill the Davidson core requirement for laboratory science. Note that seven of the courses required for the Biology major must be Davidson courses taught by Davidson College faculty members, so SFS courses do not count towards those seven courses.
  • Pre-med students: When applying to medical school, you must list the SFS courses as pass/fail on your American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) document. Contact Pre-Medical Director Naila Mamoon at with any questions about SFS on your AMCAS application.