Case Western Reserve University offers undergraduates a variety of experiences inside and outside the classroom that are built on a process of guided inquiry, preparation, action and reflection. Many research, internship, and employment opportunities are aligned with academic programs. Linguistic and cultural immersion characterize the study abroad experience. Courses that incorporate community service or internships into the curriculum forge links between Case Western Reserve undergraduates and schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and governmental and health care institutions in Cleveland and elsewhere.
In disciplines as diverse as psychology, journalism, engineering, Spanish, Russian, nursing, anthropology, history, and biology, Case Western Reserve students engage in experiential learning beyond the on-campus classrooms and laboratories. Experiences that form the basis for reflection and synthesis under the guidance of faculty include working with hospitalized children, designing engineering solutions for a problem presented by a municipality, interning at a local media outlet, tutoring in Cleveland’s Hispanic community, gaining experience in public health clinics, studying history with “the city as classroom,” or collecting aquatic specimens from the ponds at the university’s 389-acre farm.
Undergraduate students who have completed at least 24 semester hours of coursework at Case Western Reserve University, have declared a major, and are in good academic and disciplinary standing, with no pending judicial actions, and are otherwise eligible to register on campus at Case Western Reserve University for the proposed semester(s) (no financial holds, e.g.) are eligible to participate in programs of study or practical experience that immerse them in the culture and language of another country.
After matriculation at Case Western Reserve University, students are permitted to earn at other accredited colleges or universities or through an approved program of study abroad no more than 38 semester hours toward the totals required for the degree, including courses taken through the cross-registration program, with no more than 15 semester hours taken as part of domestic programs or as summer study in a student's home country; any off-campus study credits beyond 15 may only be taken through approved programs of study abroad. Any additional credit earned at other institutions after matriculation at Case Western Reserve beyond 15 domestically or as summer study in a student's home country and beyond a total of 38 including study abroad will raise the total number of semester hours required for the degree by a corresponding number.
Case Western Reserve does not require students to complete any foreign language prerequisites before studying abroad, though students wishing to study in a country where the native language is not English are advised to develop their language skills to the extent possible. However, students studying in a single location where English is not an official language for at least a semester must take a course that advances their skills in a language of the host country during each semester of study abroad, provided such courses are available; this may be a course of language instruction or a course taught in a language of the host country. Students participating in study abroad experiences that are comparative in nature and visit several sites with the same semester are not required to include language study in their academic programs.
Specific study abroad programs may have their own admissions guidelines that exceed these standards; students need to be accepted by those programs.
Students participating in semester or academic year study abroad pay tuition to Case Western Reserve University and maintain their student status during the period of study abroad. Case Western Reserve University will, in turn, pay the tuition costs for the student's program, but the student will be responsible for all non-tuition costs associated with study abroad. Students eligible for financial aid continue their eligibility during study abroad.
There are several approved program types for semester- or year-long study abroad programs throughout the world.
Case Western Reserve University has bilateral exchange agreements with overseas institutions enabling students from those institutions to attend Case Western Reserve as visiting students and permitting Case Western Reserve undergraduates to receive academic credit for study at those institutions. In addition, Case Western Reserve University is a member of the Global Engineering Education Exchange (GE3) program, which enables qualified engineering and computer science students to receive academic credit for courses taken at selected engineering institutions and universities in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Australia, and to have an internship experience in a foreign setting.
CWRU in London and CWRU in Jerusalem are programs which are organized by Case Western Reserve University to allow students to travel in a cohort to London and Jerusalem, respectively. The CWRU in London program is a theater/humanities program that is offered in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which allows students to sharpen their acting skills and gain a solid understanding or theatrical history while living and studying alongside some of the world's best performing artists. The CWRU in Jerusalem program allows students the opportunity to gain from the academic environment of the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University while experiencing the history and culture of Jerusalem.
Other opportunities exist for students to study abroad in almost all parts of the world through direct enrollment at leading universities around the world or by enrolling in a study program offered through an accredited American university or program provider. The selection of location and institution for study abroad is made in consultation with the study abroad advisor in the Office of Education Abroad, Tomlinson Hall.
Case Western Reserve University offers a robust portfolio of short-term study abroad options. These programs, which allow students to travel with a group of Case Western Reserve students, are often one to three weeks in duration and are offered over Spring Break, Winter Break, and Summer. Program offerings vary each year, but recent short-term study abroad locations included Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. All CWRU students in good standing are eligible to participate in short-term study abroad programs. For more information, contact the study abroad advisor in the Office of Educational Abroad, Tomlinson Hall.
All Case Western Reserve University undergraduates in good academic and judicial standing are permitted to study abroad during the summer. With approval, up to 15 credit hours of summer coursework can be transferred to Case Western Reserve University. In the summer, study abroad students pay tuition and fees directly to the school/provider overseas. A wide variety of summer programs is available through the Office of Education Abroad, Tomlinson Hall.
Case Western Reserve University is a research-intensive community with a historic tradition of involving undergraduates in research and creative endeavors. Regardless of a student's major or academic interests, there are numerous opportunities to engage in research either on campus with Case Western Reserve faculty or elsewhere during both the academic year and the summer. The SOURCE (Support of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors) Office provides assistance to students throughout the undergraduate educational experience, including:
For more information, contact the SOURCE Director, Sheila Pedigo, Sears 451, 216.368.8508.
In many cases, students pursuing research under the guidance of a faculty member may earn degree credit by registering for “Undergraduate Research” or "Independent Study" in the appropriate department. These are advanced-level courses and require departmental approval. However, students may not earn both degree credit and pay for the same work. Students may discuss academic credit for research with their major advisor.
The Center for Civic Engagement and Learning connects students and the community through service. The center coordinates both curricular and co-curricular activities that promote learning through service to communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Service learning venues include academic course work, work-study positions, residence hall and Greek Life programs, the University Circle Literacy Corps, and weekly service opportunities.
The Center for Civic Engagement also offers regular, weekly and bi-monthly opportunities for community service through the Case SERVES projects; assists faculty and students in designing and implementing community-based courses and SAGES capstone projects; coordinates on-going volunteer and work-study tutoring; and schedules Days of Service for one-time community service projects.
Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an academic program that enables students to alternate classroom studies with career-based experiences in industry. It is a learning experience designed to integrate classroom theory with practical experience and professional development. Co-op is a paid full-time work experience designed to enhance the student’s education. Case Western Reserve co-op assignments are typically for two seven-month periods, each period consisting of a summer and a contiguous spring or fall semester. While participating in co-op, students maintain their full-time student status. This program is available to students pursuing degrees in engineering, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, engineering physics, geology, mathematics, physics, and statistics. For additional information, contact Ms. Mary Rose Tichar, 304B Nord Hall, 216.368.4447.
Practicum is an experiential learning collaboration between a student, an employer, and the student’s practicum advisor (a faculty member), that is coordinated by the Career Center’s Experiential Learning Specialist. The program is open to undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the Weatherhead School of Management. The primary goal of a practicum is the intellectual, personal and professional growth of the student. In order to ensure that this goal is achieved, the collaborators establish learning objectives prior to the start of the practicum. These objectives are reviewed throughout the semester, and the student’s progress is evaluated at both the mid-point and end of the practicum.
While completing a practicum assignment, a student works full-time for a minimum of 14 weeks in a professional setting and does not take classes. The student will maintain full-time student status during the practicum period. Though credit is not awarded, students who successfully complete the practicum assignment will receive transcript notation. A student may participate in up to two practica, but it is recommended that at least one intervening semester be spent on campus. Students interested in participating in a practicum should contact the Career Center a semester prior to the intended practicum assignment.
The Washington Study Program provides students with the opportunity to complete a full-time, research-intensive internship in Washington, D.C. By participating in a semester-length program during the fall or spring (WASH 2A Washington Center Internship), students earn 9 credit hours; for a summer internship (WASH 2D Washington Center Summer Internship), they earn 3 credit hours. In addition, students earn 3 credit hours by developing a portfolio based on their internship experiences (WASH 2C Washington Center - Portfolio). The credits earned can be counted as general electives or applied to a student’s major or minor, with the prior consent of the individual department(s). Finally, as part of the Washington Study Program, students participate in a seminar and attend a weekly lecture/discussion group (WASH 2B Washington Center - Politics and Public Policy Course).
To be eligible for the program, a student is expected to be a junior or senior and have at least a 3.000 GPA. The program director (Professor Kathryn Lavelle, 111 Mather House, 216.368.2691), the student’s major advisor, and the appropriate dean must approve each application. Students must ensure that their participation will not prevent them from meeting on-campus residency or other university requirements.