Experiential Learning Requirements

Wells College is committed to programs and activities that encourage students to connect their classroom studies with hands-on experiences.

Off-Campus Study

Wells has both domestic and international off-campus study options available. Most Wells students participate in either the Wells College program (Wells in Florence) or an approved program. Wells in Florence is administered by Wells College and enrolls both Wells- and non-Wells-matriculated students. About 20 additional approved programs are available to Wells students, but Wells does not run these other programs on its own and instead helps students to access the educational offerings of an institution abroad or a program provider who offers courses abroad or elsewhere in the United States.

A student who studies off campus is expected to maintain satisfactory academic standards. Grades earned on a Wells College program or on an approved program appear on a student's Wells transcript and are included in the Wells grade point average. If enrolled in a non-approved program the student is responsible for the submission of official transcripts to the registrar of Wells College; courses are treated at Wells as transfer work (minimum grade of C- required) and are subject to approval.

While acceptance into a program is dependent upon the specific program to which you apply, Wells College has some general regulations for approval to study off campus that must be met by all students. These include:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8.
  • As a general rule students must complete at least one year in residence (on campus) at Wells College. Students transferring in with fewer than 60 credit hours must complete two consecutive semesters at Wells College before studying off-campus. Students transferring in with 60 or more credit hours must complete one semester at Wells College and must receive written approval from their academic advisor, the Director of International Programs, and the Dean of Students before studying off campus.
  • Student must be in good academic and behavioral standing at Wells.
  • Student's financial account must be paid in full. If the student is on the payment plan, the account must be current.
  • Enrollment in or completion of OCS 271 and OCS 272: Cross-Cultural Preparation and Cross-Cultural Reflection (if you are studying abroad).
  • All students must return to Wells for at least one semester after studying off campus.

Wells College Programs and Approved Programs

Students participating in Wells College or approved off-campus study programs pay Wells College tuition, room, board, and fees. Students receive their institutional aid for one semester when studying on a Wells College or approved program; should a student choose to study abroad for more than one semester on a Wells College or an approved program, the student will be charged Wells College tuition, room, board, and fees, but institutional aid will not be available. Wells will cover the cost of tuition, room, and board on the Wells College or approved program. If program fees exceed the cost of tuition, room, and board at Wells, students will be billed for the cost difference.

Non-approved Programs

If the Wells College or approved programs do not fit your academic or cultural objectives, you may apply to study on a non-approved program. Students applying to a non-approved program must meet the same eligibility requirements and general regulations for approval as students on a Wells College or an approved program. Your institutional aid will not be available and you must withdraw from the College for the semester. Students participating in non-approved programs must pay the College an administrative fee of $150. Please note that credits earned on a non-approved program will be treated as transfer credit. This means the credits only, not the grades, will transfer and that only courses in which grades of C- or better are earned will transfer. Students may not be approved for a non-approved program if Wells offers a Wells College or an approved program with similar learning objectives. Students exploring non-approved programs should speak with the Director of International Programs before applying to any program.

Learn more about semester-long off-campus study.

Intersession Off-Campus Study

Students may also study off campus over January during intersession through faculty-led courses. These short courses introduce students to areas of interest both aligned with and outside the faculty’s normal course offerings. The topics, which change annually, have included genealogy research in Salt Lake City taught by a professor of chemistry, anthropology studies in Hawaii taught by a professor of anthropology, tutoring on a Navajo reservation led by a professor of education, and study of theatre in London led by a professor of theatre.

Learn more about off-campus study courses:
OCS 110. January at the Art Students League — New York City
OCS 215. London Theatre
OCS 275. Women and Public Policy Seminars
OCS 280. Women and Science/Technology Policy Seminar
OCS 285. Topics in Experiential Learning
OCS 300. The Anthropological Experience in Hawaii
OCS 305. The Anthropological Experience in Belize


One of Wells’ most successful and popular ways to meet the experiential learning requirement is through the internship program. Almost every Wells student will complete at least one internship during their years at Wells; many will complete more than one. Students may elect to participate in credit-bearing internships with individuals, organizations, or businesses. A student plans an internship by working closely with a faculty sponsor, the academic and career advising staff, and an on-site sponsor who supervises and evaluates the on-site work. In many cases, Wells alumni help to arrange internships and act as sponsors. Internships may take place during January intersession, a semester, or summer. For each semester hour of credit, a student must work 40 hours. For students to earn academic credit for the internship, they must complete all necessary paperwork to register for the appropriate course. Students work with their faculty sponsors and on-site supervisors to develop learning contracts. The contracts as well as the internship agreement forms must be submitted to the Center for Academic and Career Advising prior to registration (wells.edu/advising). Deadlines are posted in the Center for Academic and Career Advising and on the Globe (global.wells.edu).

Internships for First-Year Students

From the moment they arrive on campus, Wells students are encouraged to explore career options. First-year students can complete internships during January Intersession through either discipline-based internships or the course WLLS 190 that allows students to explore their interests through individually-arranged field experiences.

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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