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 and required 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: Completion of PSYC101, PSYC200, PSYC309, and at least two PSYC electives; Academic Good Standing; Junior/Senior standing.
  • 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.  Specifically, students will be able to:

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, interpretation, and dissemination.
  • respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • understand the applications of psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect on the underpinnings of psychology as a science.
  • demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  • communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  • recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  • develop insight into their own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  • emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.