• The deadline for applications for Fall Semester programs is March 1st at 1:00pm.
  • The deadline for applications for Spring Semester programs is October at 1:00pm.

What Fields is

The Fields program provides you the opportunity to pursue advanced-level language study within the context of an academic discipline or professional area of focus (typically not language and literature, or any other language and discipline combination for which there is advanced coursework available at Yale). In addition to doing your own independent study with selected instructional materials, you will also have two weekly sessions with a native-speaking (or fluent) language partner on your discipline-specific language goals. Fields is only open to Yale undergraduate, graduate and professional school students who are currently-enrolled, not on leave of absence, and not studying abroad during the semester of your Fields study.


If you are a currently-enrolled Yale undergraduate, graduate, or professional school student in good academic standing, and at the equivalent of an L5 or beyond in your language ability, you are eligible to apply. For undergraduates, this requires evidence of having taken coursework at the L5 level at Yale (or at the highest level offered in the language to be studied).

How Fields Works

Fields is an independent language study program. It does not provide course credit, nor does it show up on your transcript.  The program supports your learning through the following components:

  • Independent Study: You are expected to engage in daily self-study, introducing yourself to new material using a text or other learning resources.
  • Language Partner: You meet weekly with a Language Partner—typically a native (or fluent) speaker of the target language (not a formal instructor)—in two 1-hour sessions for 12 weeks. The sessions aim to develop linguistic and cultural competence related to your field of study through active conversation and practice of what you are studying on your own. Each language partnership includes one language partner and up to three students (when students have similar or complementary academic interests, or as program needs dictate).
  • Instructional Materials: With the help of the language partner and Fields program staff if needed, you will identify appropriate authentic texts and audiovisual materials that are appropriate to your academic area of focus to be used daily for self-study between sessions.
  • Assessment: You will be tested before and after your Fields program to determine your language proficiency and progress. Whenever possible, assessments are administered and evaluated according to national and standardized ACTFL testing scales.
  • ePortfolio: As a means of self-assessment, Fields students are encouraged to maintain an ePortfolio of language learning experiences, providing an opportunity for self-reflection on and documentation of their growth and progress in the program.
  • Field Experience: You are encouraged to take advantage of existing study abroad opportunities, internships, or other experiences in the field as part of your overall academic plan.
  • Coursework: When available, relevant advanced-level language courses at Yale, including content-based language courses, should be included in your overall plan for language study.
  • Consultation: Staff at the Center for Language Study are available to provide guidance and coordination on the overall Fields experience, advice on learning strategies and techniques, ePortfolio setup, and resources to support ongoing independent language study.

Accepted students are typically funded for a second semester, and sometimes more, dependent upon evidence of progress, attendance at sessions, and funding/demand.

What Will I Invest in the Program?

Participation in the Fields program requires time and dedication. As a Fields student, you must be self-motivated and willing and able to assume full responsibility for your learning. You will be expected to:

  • attend all of your scheduled sessions, two 1-hour sessions weekly for 12 weeks (and to notify your language partners if you are sick or are leaving town for one of Yale's scheduled academic breaks); 
  • identify the language study materials you will be using, with the help of your language partner and Fields staff (you are responsible for purchasing any self-study materials you choose);
  • take responsibility for your own learning through independent study, goal setting, and session planning with your language partner; and
  • participate in oral and written proficiency assessments at the end of your Fields study.

What Will I Gain from the Program?

Beyond the positive experience that results from integrating your language study and academic studies, participation in the Fields program may help you in:

  • preparing for a research project or final thesis;
  • shaping your academic and career goals;
  • planning for possible study abroad, internships, and other field experiences; and
  • establishing rewarding intercultural and professional relationships at Yale and around the world.

How to Apply

Fields is only open to currently-enrolled Yale undergraduate, graduate and professional school students in good academic standing, and not studying abroad during the semester of Fields study. To learn more about the application process and eligibility criteria, review the Fields Application Process.

More Information

For further information about the Fields program, please contact