Internships and Field Studies

Student interns do archaeological work within UCSC's Cowell Lime Works Historic District and help to promote and support it. [Photo by Jim MacKenzie]


Alejandra Kramer
Social Sciences 1, 405


Internships, field study projects, study abroad programs or independent research (all Anthropology 198) enable you to put your ethnographic, archaeological, or physical anthropology skills to work. You can:  

  • Learn how anthropology applies to diverse occupations in medicine, nutrition, law, forensics, social work, social justice work, education, international development, human rights, social policy, immigration, architecture, business, design, cultural resources management, environmental conservation, museums, zoos, tourism.
  • Build your resumé with practical experience and gaining marketable skills - giving you that edge in today's job market.
  • Develop research skills through independent study projects supervised by UCSC Anthropology faculty.
  • Transform a study-abroad experience into anthropological research.

NOTE: Only ONE 5-unit Independent Study course can count towards the Anthropology Major requirements as an Elective. Independent Study courses CANNOT be counted towards the Minor requirements.


  • Locating a field study school, existing internship, or research opportunity or setting up a new one with an agency or employer in which you are interested.
  • Filling out Anthropology 198 Course Request Form.
  • Committing 12-15 hours per week to on-site internship activity or independent (but supervised) research or participating in organized field study.
  • Completing internship with reflective 10-15 page paper to earn Anthropology 198 credit.


  • Locate existing opportunities:
    • Check out our Anthropology Internships/Field Studies Useful Links & Databases page.
    • Visit the UCSC Career Center, on campus or on-line, then link to "Jobs and Internships"
    • Check the bulletin board outside the Anthropology Office, Social Sciences 1, 351 for field schools and internships.
    • Meet with the Internships Coordinator.
    • Visit other campus departments that run internship programs for their majors (Economics, Psychology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Community Studies) - speak with their staff members, browse their listings.
  • Create your own project:
    • Contact an organization, agency, or business with whom you would like to work.
    • Working with a faculty member, design a supervised independent research project.
    • Conduct independent research while on a study abroad program.
  • Organize the internship:
    • Find a faculty sponsor.
    • Discuss ANTH 198 requirements.
    • Fill out an Anthropology 198 form (available from the Undergraduate Assistant or Internships Coordinator).


While not all internships are paid, they differ from volunteer work where you basically plug into the ongoing work of the organization. Internships structure your involvement to allow you to gain specific skills, knowledge, and experience in that field. Generally students work with sponsoring agencies to design a project that contributes to the goals and needs of both student and agency.


UCSC anthropology undergraduates have done internships at the following local agencies (partial listing):

  • ABC/African-American Community Health Group
  • American Civil Liberties Union, Northern California
  • California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA)
  • CalPIRG, UC Santa Cruz
  • Dominican Hospital
  • Life Lab Science Program, UCSC
  • New Leaf Community Markets
  • Santa Cruz AIDS Project
  • Santa Cruz County Immigration Project
  • Santa Cruz Natural History Museum

PLUS students have also done independent or supervised research projects on such diverse topics as NASCAR and the Scottish Fiddlers' Camp.