Carnegie Mellon University

Experiential Learning: Action and Reflection

At Dietrich College, put your education into action through experiential learning opportunities – internships, undergraduate research, study abroad and community service. Reflecting on what you learn during the process is also an integral part of your education.

Undergraduate Research: Why is it important?

Research and creative projects are at the heart of the CMU intellectual community, and they include significant work in the humanities and social sciences. From your very first year, you can participate in the thrill of discovery and creation of new ideas.

Explore a few of the options here:

Meet Your Peers

Sarah Shaheen

Pursing a Passion, Lifting Those in Need

Sarah Shaheen, a member of the Class of 2021, put her interest in environmentalism and policy to work at Just Harvest, a nonprofit organization that reduces hunger through sustainable, long-term approaches that lift those in need.

“This internship has allowed me to become more politically aware and engaged. I have a deeper insight into what equality is and how it can be materialized.”

Learn more about the Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program
Roshni Mehta

Developing More Inclusive Communities

Roshni Mehta, a 2020 graduate who majored in ethics, history, and public policy, has received a Coro Pittsburgh Fellowship in Public Affairs, a nine-month leadership program that helps civic-minded professionals take their career to the next level.

“I like that [the fellowship] had a lot of practical, hands-on experience, not just in government, but also in nonprofit and in business because I feel it’s important to understand how these three cooperate in forming policies.”

Learn more about Coro Pittsburgh FELLOWSHIP
Kathy Zhang

Setting the Roots for Your Future

Kathy Zhang, a member of the Class of 2021, put her interest in environmentalism and sustainability into action as an intern at Grounded Strategies, which aims to improve the social, economic and environmental health of Pittsburgh’s communities by building capacity to reclaim vacant and underutilized land. 

“This internship has helped me learn about Pittsburgh communities. It has also helped me visualize where my major can take me.” 

Learn more about the Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program

Anirudh Narayanan

Unraveling How We Listen

Anirudh Narayanan, a member of the Class of 2021 majoring in behavioral economics, researched how language can influence the way a person receives political messages as part of his Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. 

"People have a tendency to listen to what they already agree, even if the other side has valid points. We're trying to figure out how we can make people go toward country over party, based on all the information, not just what someone is looking for and purposefully finding.”

Learn more about summer undergraduate research fellowship grants

Roni Sosis

Leveraging Language to Break Boundaries

Roni Sosis, a member of the Class of 2022 majoring in global studies and creative writing, has won a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.

"For me it's more about why I wanted to learn Arabic. It's a show of respect to reach out to people in their own language. Especially in Israel where Hebrew is the de facto language. To be able to speak to people in their native tongue and in the words they're more comfortable with is a wonderful thing."

Learn more about Critical Language Scholarships

Dominique Powell

Uncovering What People Seek in a Mate

Dominique Powell, a senior in biological sciences and biopsychology, created a test to understand how people select mates as part of her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

“Science is meant to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, and focusing exclusively on heterosexual people is not representative of reality. My research seeks to include the LGBTQIA+ community in conversation about how people pick partners. Because while it's the same, it's different.” 

Learn more about summer undergraduate research fellowshipS

Internships: Classroom Learning Meets Real-World Experience

Whether you choose an internship based in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. or another part of the world, it will be an experience that contributes additional context and meaning to what you’ve learned in the classroom.

Opportunities include:

Study Abroad: Gain a Global Perspective


There are many opportunities to study abroad for the summer, the semester or an entire academic year.

Community Engagement: A Vital Component of Learning

At Dietrich College, we believe that serving the community is an important part of your growth as both a student and a citizen of the world. Through these engagement opportunities, you’ll enhance your cultural understanding as well as your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

Opportunities include:

  • Service Learning: Because some of life’s most important lessons take place beyond the classroom.
  • Capstone and Practicum Courses: These classes encourage you to engage with corporate or nonprofit partners and make an impact on the world. Read more about these courses in the stories below.