Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning As a Whitman student, you will balance a theoretical and interdisciplinary exploration of the liberal arts and sciences with a wide array of hands-on learning experiences. You’ll test your theories and put your knowledge to work in real-world contexts and situations. It’s an innovative and challenging blend that crosses boundaries between the classroom and the workplace, and between different fields of study, to ensure you remain connected to the world throughout your Whitman experience.

Experiential learning opportunities at Whitman include:

Undergraduate research. A great advantage of working closely with highly qualified faculty is that you get to collaborate with them on real-world research projects of real impact. Our students not only find many opportunities to conduct faculty-supervised research in their fields of interest, but also are able to present their research findings or showcase their creative work to the entire campus community at the annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference.

Internships and seminars. Whitman makes internships a priority by helping students locate opportunities through our Career Center. The Whitman Internship Fund offsets expenses associated with unpaid summer internships. The Washington State Work-Study program provides money to support employer contributions toward your summer salary.

Semester in the West. This innovative and acclaimed program puts 20 students on an odyssey a through the American West to study environmental, biological, and political issues. Students get exposed to all sides of pertinent debates. Offered every other fall semester, Semester in the West is a workout in interdisciplinary critical thinking and an exploration through the hard realities of a complex region.

Service learning projects. These are opportunities that allow you to integrate your academic work with community service and make a real difference to the lives of others even before you graduate. The Student Engagement Center helps Whitman students locate volunteer opportunities while the residential Community Service House serves as a hub for service-oriented programming and discussions.

Study abroad. Off-campus study opportunities form an integral part of the Whitman experience and nearly half of our students study abroad. These experiences not only help deepen their understanding of the world, appreciate the complex nature of international relations, and acquire the skills necessary to become global citizens, they also allow Whitman students to increase their fluency in foreign languages and understand and respect the cultural differences between various regions of the world. Similarly, the nine-day U.S.-Mexico Border Trip takes 12 Whitman students into communities who live in the borders between the two nations to give them firsthand insights into the implications and consequences of issues such as globalization, immigration, and border security.