Fieldwork/Service Learning (Fieldwork/SL) Course Description

Under the supervision of both a faculty supervisor and field professional, students take the theories and principles learned in the classroom and apply them to their work in a field setting.  Students acquire knowledge and new skills while providing service to the community.  The field experience facilitates awareness of the working world and helps students with their career development.  A minimum of two 3-credit fieldwork experiences are recommended for all Psychology majors.  Students have the option of taking Fieldwork/SL I during either their second semester of junior year or during their senior year.  Students who choose to take Fieldwork/SL I during their second semester of junior year are permitted to do 3 credits of fieldwork in that semester.  During the senior year, students may choose to take Fieldwork/SL courses concurrently or across separate semesters to create part-time or full-time experiences.


  • Prerequisites: Follow this link to determine the academic prerequisites for the "old psychology major" requirements and the "new psychology major" requirements.
  • Fieldwork is graded as P (Pass) or NC (No Credit).
  • Fieldwork experiences may NOT be used to fulfill the Psychology Electives Requirement of the Psychology Major.
  • Students shall not register for more than 12 credits of Fieldwork/Service Learning in one semester (because registering for 12 credits in one semester would require that students work a full-time fieldwork schedule: 36 to 40 hours a week for a total of 500 work hours).
  • Students cannot complete more than 15 credits of Psychology Fieldwork/Service Learning during the Undergraduate program.
  • Students must attend an orientation meeting for Fieldwork.
  • Students must complete the Code of Ethics and Professional Behavior Form, which must then be reviewed by the Fieldwork Coordinator and found to be satisfactory.  Students must agree to act within the bounds of the Code of Ethics of the American Psychological Association (see
  • Students cannot begin at a fieldwork site without the review and approval of the Code of Ethics and Professional Behavior Form and the Fieldwork Contract by the Fieldwork Coordinator.

Note: Second semester Juniors who are in the Marist International Programs may propose to do a part-time (3 credit) fieldwork abroad.  See the section in the Fieldwork Manual: INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS PERFORMING FIELDWORK ABROAD
These students must:

  • Follow all of the regulations of the Marist Abroad Program.
  • Speak with their Psychology Major Advisor regarding planning their academic program.
  • Complete the Marist Abroad Program's Academic Planning Form.  This form must be signed by the Academic Advisor, Fieldwork Coordinator, and the Chair of the Psychology Department in order to authorize the abroad fieldwork.
  • Follow the Psychology Fieldwork Manual.


The Fieldwork/Service Learning (or Fieldwork/SL) Sequence of Courses and their respective Course Numbers are:

  • Fieldwork/SL I: PSYC487N (3 credits; Required for PSYC Major)
  • Fieldwork/SL II: PSYC488N (3 credits; Required for PSYC Major)
  • Fieldwork/SL III: PSYC489N (3 credits; General Elective only; NOT counted as a PSYC Elective)
  • Fieldwork/SL IV: PSYC490N (3 credits; General Elective only; NOT counted as a PSYC Elective)
  • Fieldwork/SL V: PSYC491N (3 credits; General Elective only; NOT counted as a PSYC Elective)

As stated above, Fieldwork/SL I can be completed during the junior or senior year.

During the senior year, students can register for more than one Fieldwork/SL course in one semester in order to achieve the desired workload.  For example, a senior student who can choose to do 6 credits of fieldwork could register for PSYC487N and PSYC488N, concurrently.  Students can also choose to spread out their fieldwork across multiple semesters.

Each 3 credits represents about 9 hours of work per week over 14 weeks of a semester for a total minimum of 125 fieldwork hours.

It should be noted that during the summer, there are only about 12 weeks.  Thus, each 3 credits represents slightly over 10 hours of work per week with a total minimum of 125 fieldwork hours.  Students cannot do fieldwork during the winter intersession semester.


The Fieldwork Program provides a culminating experience that will challenge students to meet the student learning outcomes of the Psychology major as outlined below:

Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology
Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems.

Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods.

Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity.

Goal 4: Communication
Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.

Goal 5: Professional Development
The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation.