Overview of UGA IFP

The UGA Interdisciplinary Field Program (IFP) is an eight-week course in introductory Geology, Anthropology, and Ecology that travels throughout the Western U.S. during summer semester. It uniquely integrates basic concepts from each discipline and applies them to North American landscapes through hands-on learning in a mobile, outdoor classroom. The IFP is a rewarding and challenging program co-sponsored by the UGA Geology Department and Honors Program. Students learn to balance life and learning in the field, while developing important technical skills useful to career and professional development (e.g., maintaining a field notebook of academic observations, producing written reports, and creating maps).

The goals of the program are to

  1. provide students a science-based, interdisciplinary understanding of the natural processes that formed and continue to shape our environment,
  2. understand how humans and other organisms are dependent upon, interact with, and alter the Earth’s landscape, and
  3. predict how variation in environmental changes and adaptations will reshape life on Earth.

The IFP fosters critical thinking skills by presenting multiple working hypotheses in discussions of past and current scientific questions and environmental issues.

Tuition & Trip Costs

IFP Program Fee:  $4500 covers all transportation, meals (except for days off in town – about 7 days during the trip), camping fees, park/museum entrance fees, and instructional materials (there are no textbooks to buy).

Tuition:  This amount can vary depending on the number of hours you sign up for. Currently a full semester at UGA costs $4776 in tuition for Georgia residents. HOPE and Zell Miller scholarship funds will apply normally, as with any semester on campus. Non-residents of Georgia participating in the IFP pay tuition at the in-state rate!

University Fees:  These are fees required by UGA. They include the Institutional, Technology, Connect UGA, and Green fees. We expect these fees to total $540-550. Other UGA fees required for classes on campus (such as Health and Transportation fees) can be waived. Check with the Bursar’s Office for current tuition and fee schedules.

Pre-trip expenses:  Students must provide some basic camping gear (tent*, sleeping bag, sleeping pad) and outdoor clothing/footwear for a wide range of temperatures and conditions. See our full list of required and recommended gear. Most students have to purchase at least some equipment and clothing prior to the IFP. Many items can be borrowed or bought used to save on trip expenses.  *IFP now provides individual tents for students to borrow for the summer. This is an option if you do not want to acquire your own.

Living expenses during the trip:  There is very little need to spend money during the trip. There is about one day off per week in which students purchase their own meals in town (about 7 days total during the trip). We make occasional shopping stops for students to replace toiletries and other supplies, as necessary. All other expenses are covered.

Unnecessary expenses during the trip:  We also make frequent stops, of course, at gas stations/convenience stores. Students can spend a lot of money over the 8 weeks buying drinks and snacks during these stops.  We provide plenty of healthy food each day, so these extras are not necessary.  There are also many, many opportunities to buy souvenirs from the places we visit. Restraint and careful selection of purchases is key to keeping unnecessary trip expenses low.

How to Apply