Experiential Learning


The world is your classroom

Concepts that may be difficult to grasp in the classroom are sometimes easier to understand in a real world experience. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, BGSU is a national leader in providing opportunities in service learning and experiential education.  We are the first institution in Ohio to offer an “internship guarantee” to our incoming students.  BGSU is a charter member of the ACCI, which accredits cooperative education programs.

You can:
  • gain valuable experience in your field during a co-op or internship
  • study in a global setting
  • volunteer your time and talents for the good of others
  • ramp up your leadership and survival skills as a member of the Air Force or Army ROTC program
  • participate in our nationally ranked mock trial, forensics or sales teams
  • participate in meaningful research and creative activities in all fields of study.

Real-life lessons

Cooperative education (co-ops) and internships put you into the working world classroom. In co-ops, you earn an income while gaining valuable and practical experience in your related academic field. Internships help you gain professional-level work experience in businesses and organizations related to your studies. High-level, well-known companies and organizations recruit BGSU interns and co-op students, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co., the Grand Ole Opry, Ernst & Young LLP, Habitat for Humanity, Mayo Clinic, E! Network, The Olympics, U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Labor, and the Walt Disney Company. You can participate in one, two or three semesters of co-op in a full-time or part-time work experience.

Explore the World

Between studying business in the bustling Asian economic powerhouse of Hong Kong; art in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance; and student teaching in the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, home of Carnival and the famed Ipanema beach, BGSU students have the opportunity to take advantage of experiences abroad that enrich their personal and professional lives. Programs focused on any combination of studying, interning, volunteering, and teaching are situated across the globe and are available for students in all colleges and majors. For many options, students pay the same tuition that they would on-campus. The Office of Education Abroad works hard to provide a diverse array of opportunities that reflect the multiplicity of student experiences and backgrounds at BGSU.

Learning to serve–serving to learn

Many life lessons are free when you volunteer your time at area agencies and organizations throughout the academic year. Also, several times a year, usually during breaks, special trips are scheduled to immerse students in other cultures or learn about social justice issues or community organizing. Civic responsibility and service to the community are also possible through student organizations involved in service projects or for students interested in serving as peer educators.

Adventure beyond textbooks

The Air Force and Army ROTC provide a significant path to personal and leadership development through their intense, physical programming. Scholarships and a monthly stipend are among the attractive options if you choose ROTC. BGSU is nationally rated in Best for Vets: Colleges by Military Times EDGE and recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School.

Active participation

Active participation in actual research is encouraged as a way to provide intellectual stimulation and scholarly discovery. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship provides support to foster meaningful and engaging undergraduate research experiences. Many faculty, across most fields of study, are focused on research and eager to involve students in real-world experiences. Among them are:

  • Dr. Hans Wildschutte, who has received a National Institutes of Health grant, to study a type of marine bacteria that may provide the basis for new antibiotics with therapeutic properties.
  • Dr. Sheryl Coombs, who involves students in research projects designed to answer questions about how animals find their way in the dark.
  • Dr. Verner Bingman, whose research allows students to work side by side with him to understand how the brain controls the navigational and spatial memory behavior of birds.
  • Dr. Moira van Staaden, who asks students to play active roles in a range of projects that focus on understanding the sensory and ecological forces underlying evolutionary change, looking at fish and grasshoppers.

Whether for credit or personal experience, BGSU offers you options to grow beyond the classroom and develop such skills as communicating well, understanding global issues, appreciating diversity, and leadership.