The Independent Learning Experience
The Independent Learning Experience (ILE) requirement may be fulfilled in several ways, among them through independent research, study abroad or an internship.
In addition to the extensive research skills acquired through standard coursework, many history majors may undertake independent research under a faculty mentor. They may do so during the regular semester, by signing up for History 400 (independent research) or History 491/492 (honors research), or by participating in the UC Summer Fellows Program. Our most ambitious student researchers strive for three semesters of independent research, enough to be considered for distinguished honors.
Many history majors choose to study abroad in order to fulfill their ILE. Approximately 200 Ursinus students study abroad each year, both in programs designed and run by the college and in programs sponsored by other institutions or consortiums. Ursinus students have studied abroad on every continent except Antarctica--in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
History majors have undertaken a wide array of internships, a reflection of the diverse career possibilities for history majors. Some have been paid; some unpaid. Some have involved state- or nation-wide competition; others have been completely student-initiated. The duties of interns have also been varied, but in each case interns have been able to “shadow” their on-site supervisors, to learn the ropes of the different enterprises, and to process what they have learned from the experience. Students who have undertaken internships for academic credit have either compiled portfolios of work done during the internship or completed a related independent research project. These internships have invariably been rewarding experiences, leading to personal growth, valuable work experience, “resume-worthy” credentials, a leg up in graduate school admissions, and, sometimes, job offers.
Some of the places Ursinus history students have completed internships include: