Field Course FAQs

What is a Field Course?

Field courses are university credit courses that take place away from the university campus usually at a research station in a rural or wilderness location. Most field courses have a very small class size (usually 20 students or less), so they provide an opportunity for students to interact closely with the course instructor(s), and to collaborate with other students who share the same interests.

How do I apply/register?Application 

Students who wish to take a University of Toronto EEB field course must complete the U of T Field Course Application and submit it (via email) to the EEB Undergraduate Office (undergrad.eeb@utoronto.ca) by the stated deadline. See How to Apply for details on applications to specific courses.

Priority for spaces is given to applications received by the deadline. Applications will continue to be accepted until a course is full. If you are still interested in a field course that is full you will be put on a waiting list. If an opening occurs, we will contact you.

The application period is not first come, first served. Students will be accepted into courses based on the requirements of their program and their academic preparation. Students must ensure that they have the prerequisites for the course(s) they are requesting. Successful applicants will be contacted by e-mail.

U of T students who wish to take one of the Ontario Universities Program inField Biology (OUPFB) course should apply via the department coordinators on their respective U of T campus (see OUPFB for contact information). The OUPFB application form can be found online from the OUPFB website.

Registration

Students do not enrol for field courses on ACORN as they are "E" type enrolment courses. Students are added to field courses by the EEB Undergraduate Office at the beginning of the session in which the field course is offered.

Going through the application process does not automatically register you in the course. Students who successfully apply for an EEB field course offered through the St. George campus will be registered by the EEBUndergraduate Office. Details will be provided (such as deadlines for deposit payments) in the e-mail of offer sent.

Students who take field courses in the summer should be aware that often grades cannot be processed during that session. For example, if you take a field course in August and are registered in the Summer session, grades may not be available to post on ACORN until the end of the Fall session. If this is a concern for you regarding convocation in November, please email undergrad.eeb@utoronto.ca. to find out more information.  

St.George students who take a two-week field course offered by OUPFB will be registered under the U of T course code EEB406H0/1. 

For those students who are paying the program tuition fee, you are exempt from paying summer tuition and incidental fees; but the field course must count towards your program.

You will be charged tuition for a 0.5 FCE course if you are paying tuition per course. If you do not pay the required amount of summer session tuition by the deadline, you will not be registered, you risk being removed from the course and not receiving a final grade.

How much does it cost?

The cost for field courses will vary depending on the location of the course. In the past field course prices have ranged from $600 to a few thousand dollars.

All field courses will have a cost for room and board. Some field courses will have an extra cost for travel, while others will expect you to get to the destination on your own. This will be stated clearly in the course description (PDFs posted on either our website or the OUPFB website, depending on the course you are interested in).

A deposit may be required by a specified deadline -- deadlines will be given in the email of offer. For example, U of T students must pay their course deposit (to take an EEB field course) to the EEB department. Make your cheque payable to “University of Toronto” and include on the cheque the course number, your name, and your student number.

If you plan to take an OUPFB field course, a deposit cheque of $350 is due with your application form. If you are accepted, the cheque will be cashed immediately.

Again, remember, the field course fee is for room and board -- it does not cover your tuition (if applicable). If you pay tuition per course, you will be charged for tuition once you have been added to the course(s). If you pay tuition as a flat program fee, you are not required to pay tuition if the course counts towards satisfying a requirement for your program.

Is financial aid available?

The University of Toronto offers grants to assist students with unmet need with respect to their educational expenses. Requiring financial assistance to help cover the cost of travel and the course fee associated with taking a field course does qualify as reasons to apply for a grant. Grants for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science are administered by the colleges. Contact your college registrar's office to obtain information on how to apply. An application is required where you present a budget and a personal statement. It is expected that prior to applying for a grant, students will have explored all sources of funding (e.g., OSAP or other government assistance,lines of credit, assistance from family, etc.). Please click on the following link for the application: Undergraduate Grant Application.

EEB also annually awards the James D. Rising Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. This is awarded to a student with financial need and academic merit in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who has participated in a EEB field course.  

How do I withdraw from a field course?

U of T Field Courses

If you wish to cancel a U of T field course at any point, please contact the EEB Undergraduate Office. Please note that if the field course balance has been paid and you are unable to attend, you may be eligible for a refund if the space can be filled.

Please note: The University's Grading Practices Policy states that some graded work be returned before the date to cancel a course without academic penalty. Please be aware that this is not practical for a two-week field course. 

OUPFB Field Courses

If you have been admitted into a course and later decide to be removed, you should inform the EEB Undergraduate Office (not the instructor of that specific course) as soon as possible.

Remember that the OUPFB deposit you paid is non-refundable unless someone else can be found to take your spot. Please keep in mind that the University cannot guarantee that the spot will be filled and that the deposit will be refunded. The sooner you inform the office you are unable to attend the course, the better the chance of recovering your deposit.

How do I obtain more information?

For information, please email undergrad.eeb@utoronto.ca