Saint Louis University

Experiential Learning/Internships

All American Studies undergraduate majors will complete three credit hours for the "Experiential Learning" requirement. This can either be through a Service Learning Course or an approved Internship.

American Studies master's students are not required to pursue experiential learning, though they are welcome to if they so choose.

American Studies doctoral students are strongly encouraged to develop an experiential learning component to their studies, either by completing the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) certification process or by organizing and completing an internship for formal course credit. Doctoral students who plan to teach someday generally pursue CTE certification, while those envisioning future careers in public humanities frequently arrange an internship.

The experiential learning requirement can be fulfilled according to your interests and the discretion of the department. 

If you choose an internship, the terms of your work are set forth in a contract, normally requiring ten hours per week on site, completion of all projects set forth by your supervisor, and the production of a final essay to include in your portfolio.


The Experiential Learning requirement challenges you to test and expand your knowledge gained in the classroom through dedicated work beyond the campus.

The goal is to build connections between what you learn in your American Studies courses and the practical and intellectual challenges that you will face in the world.

An internship will provide you with experience and skills in a collegial, engaging environment. With a service project, you will have the opportunity to connect in a sustained, meaningful way with the Jesuit mission of the university.


You should begin thinking about how and when you want to satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement as soon as you declare your major (for undergraduates) or as soon as you arrive (for graduates.)

For a spring-semester project, make an appointment with Prof. Ott no later than October 15; for a fall-semester project, March 30.

If you choose an internship, once you identify the organization with which you will work, you should obtain all forms required on their end. You will then enter into a contract with the institution and the department that clearly defines the purposes, goals, and outcomes of the project. 

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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