Experiential Learning

Watch undergraduate students conducting research at the Koffler Scientific Reserve north of Toronto.

Learn by Doing

In experiential learning, students apply academic concepts to real-world projects and challenges, either within or outside the classroom — from excavating bones in Peru, to interning at a local tech company, to testing water for microplastics.

Experiential learning:

  • Engages you in a practical and authentic experience
  • Counts towards academic credit in many cases
  • Helps you achieve your academic goals
  • Enables you to engage in experiences that are accessible and inclusive by design
  • Helps you build professional skills and connections

There are many ways for A&S students to engage in experiential learning. Find the opportunity that's right for you by exploring the options below.

Student standing in front of a window in an office, Queen's Park building in the background

Build Work Experience

Find opportunities to build your resume, make professional connections and develop workplace skills. 

Students doing an experiment in a lab

Gain Research Experience

Explore opportunities to gain hands-on research experience within or outside the classroom. 

Group of students on top of a hill

Explore International Opportunities

Discover the world beyond the classroom by spending a week, a term, a summer or a full year abroad. 

Class in session with one student in the foreground looking intently at the professor

Find Course-Based Experiential Learning

Enrol in courses where experiential learning is an integrated part of the curriculum.

Engage with Communities

Connect with your academic unit to discover curricular and co-curricular community-engaged learning activities. The Centre for Community Partnerships is also a great resource to learn more. 

Student presenting to a room

Develop Entrepreneurship Skills

Learn about courses, supports and resources available through the Arts & Science Centre for Entrepreneurship


Frequently Asked Questions About Experiential Learning

No. Experiential learning supports learners with various strengths. While some experiential learning programs require that you meet specific academic criteria, many programs do not. Please refer to your department's website and the Academic Calendar for more information.

It depends. While many experiential learning opportunities are free to participate in, others have a cost.  

Financial support is available for many international opportunities; some are almost fully funded through the Faculty of Arts & Science. If transportation, childcare or other costs pose a barrier to participating in your experiential learning opportunity, you may be able to request funding support through your College Registrar’s Office to help offset your expenses.

Not necessarily. Often faculty are seeking students who exhibit strong interest, curiosity and commitment more so than students with previous research experience.

Yes. Experiential learning can be highly energizing and can be more demanding of your time, as you may be learning how to integrate into a new organization, communicate professionally and adapt to new situations. However, in doing so, you will gain valuable skills, such as time management, teamwork and communication skills that will help you in your future career.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact the Experiential Learning & Outreach Support (ELOS) office at experiential.artsci@utoronto.ca.