Purpose of the Field Experience

The purpose of the field experience is to obtain valuable involvement, apply skills and knowledge you’ve learned in the classroom, and to gain exposure to various learning opportunities.  A field experience is a structured experiential learning opportunity on location with a company, organization group, or academic department.  A field experience is required for both GEOG and MTRG majors. For double majors, two separate field experiences must be completed for credit (one, 3-credit experience for MTRG and one, 3-credit experience for GEOG).

Determine which kind of experience that fits best for you!  To find an appropriate experience, gather ideas from the advising office, faculty within the GEOG department, VT career services resources, VT Engage (service learning), or VT Education Abroad for ideas.

3 Ways to Complete the Field Experience Requirement:

1.     Study Abroad

This credit bearing experience must be at least 3 credits and be part of an approved study abroad program. This could include; any VT 3954 course, any discipline specific VT course taken as part of an approved study abroad, any transfer credit taken from a foreign institution, or through a third party as part of an approved study abroad.

2.     Undergraduate research: GEOG/MTRG 4994

This experience must be supervised by university affiliated faculty or staff and will be graded A-F based on project or work completed. Students must complete a CNRE research proposal form to receive academic credit. This form can be obtained from the CNRE website here.

3.     Field Experience/Internship or Service Learning:
        GEOG/MTRG 2964 or GEOG/MTRG 4964.

Internships can be full-time or part-time and paid or unpaid. A significant service learning experience may also count toward the requirement. To receive P-F academic credit, students must complete a minimum of 150 hours of work and provide the necessary documentation:

-      An approved field experience proposal

-      A supervisor evaluation at the end of the experience

-      A student reflection paper at the end of the experience

Forms for Field Experience Credit:

1.     Proposal:

Your proposal MUST be submitted and approved by the Department of Geography before starting the field experience. The proposal must include a description of the following to receive academic credit:

-      The scope and duties of the work

-      How the experience relates to your major

2.     Student Evaluation:

The student evaluation must be filled out upon completion of the field experience.

3.     Employer Evaluation:

Your employer will fill out an assessment of your work upon the completion of the experience.

Other Notes:

·       Retroactive credit will not be granted for past experiences and the experience must be proposed and approved before beginning the experience.

·       Students must have completed at least 12 credits of GEOG/MTRG coursework by the beginning of the experience.

·       Once credit hours are added to the schedule, students are responsible for all tuition and fees associated with the credit hours and its associating semester.

For more information or questions about the undergraduate field experience requirement, please contact:

Julie Burger
Academic Advisor
Department of Geography
138 Cheatham Hall
Phone: (540)-231-5482