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Experiential Learning

SOIS believes in learning through experience.

Experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing.  This is an opportunity for learners to immerse themselves in an experience and then complete substantive reflection on new skills, knowledge, attitudes and ways of thinking. 

Per the 2025 Strategic Plan, RIT will provide an “educational experience that includes considerable time learning outside the classroom—either working in a paid cooperative education position, designing new products and businesses in the Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or participation on interdisciplinary research teams.”

Starting with the 2018 academic year, all students accepted into the SOIS program are encouraged to complete one of the following experiential learning options*.  Current SOIS students - Talk to your SOIS advisor to learn more!

* other options can be reviewed for approval


  • This is a paid experience registered through the office of Co-op and Career Services as well as SOIS.  Students work with their SOIS academic advisors and SOIS Career Services advisor regarding scheduling logistics and opportunities.  More information can be found at the SOIS Co-op Quick Start Guide.   


  • This is an unpaid experience that may or may not be associated with an independent study credit.   Credit-bearing or not, internships provide students the opportuntiy to network with professionals in the field and job-skill training.  To see if an internship could be considered for credit towards their degree, students should consult with their SOIS advisor.

Undergraduate Research

  • This is usually under the direct supervision of a faculty member, could also be developed into an independent study and potentially taken for credit.  Students are encouraged to participate in either the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is held annually.  

Study Abroad

  • Organized through RIT's Global Office, This is typically a semester-long experience abroad that allows for student to explore a new country while also taking RIT approved courses.  

Independent Study

  • This is a variable credit course that allows students to design and implement their own learning project to be completed over the course of a term.  In order for this to count towards the experiential learning requirement, it must contain a hands-on learning opportunity.  

Entrepreneurship Project

  • This is a specific independent study approved by Richard DeMartino and supported by the Simone Center at RIT.  


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