Field Experience

Incoming Student Information


Field Experience is an opportunity to practice what you have learned in previous classes and grow your leadership while working on a project of value or in direct service to the community.

Field class sections have themes such as Youth & Education, Health Equity, Social Entrepreneurship, or Environment and Sustainability, which determine the types of field project options you’ll choose from.


You can take Field Experience in the fall, spring or summer semesters.  In the fall or spring, you will meet weekly in class + spend around 35 hours throughout the semester (5-10 hours a week) outside of class working on a community-based field project in a team or individually through direct service. 

In the summer, we offer a couple of options. First, the Twin Cities Field Experience, a 13 week blended class using a combination of in-person and online learning to support your field project. Plus the opportunity to work individually on a field project with a community partner for about 90 hours.

The second option is the New York City internship Field Experience, in which you prepare for 1 week through active learning classes here in the Twin Cities, and then live and intern full time in NYC from 6 weeks before returning to the Twin Cities to complete and present your final project on campus. In this option, you will meet with an internship coordinator to find a good fit for your skills and interests.


You’ll be matched with a field site to work on a project for that organization. This is an opportunity to learn from leaders and organizations working toward social change in our community.  You are practicing leadership by supporting the organization.

The field site offers a place to practice, improve and develop your leadership skills. Class time will be spent connecting previous and new leadership concepts to your field work and practices, while processing your experience at the field site. 


Here are some of the projects you might work on:

  • Planning a Community Day event for an urban research center
  • Volunteering at a teen drop-in shelter
  • Surveying women-owned businesses to identify opportunities for growth
  • Identifying partnerships for a mental health organization
  • Conducting interviews with participants in an afterschool program for youth
  • Developing the concept for a new social impact startup
  • Gathering research to inform outreach materials for a school
  • Acting as a “secret shopper” for a social venture to evaluate the appeal of their product
  • Contacting clients of an arts organization to gather feedback on their programs
  • Improving food access through work with corner stores, delivery of affordable food, or developing a coop model
  • Creating curriculum that trains young people on leadership skills
  • Facilitating leadership skill building groups with young people
  • Serving as a volunteer at the local Ronald McDonald House or NorthPointe Health Services


Field is an opportunity to see how concepts show up in a work space or organization and how you might use your skills effectively. You have the opportunity to learn about your leadership through practice and emerge with a clearer sense of your strengths, challenges, and purpose. It also provides you with real experience you can share with prospective employees.