Beyond the Classroom

At the College of Arts and Sciences, the classroom opens onto the world.

Liberal-arts education at Valpo doesn’t impart a fixed body of knowledge; it introduces students to ways of learning about the world — approaches and skills that persist far beyond graduation. This training begins with coursework, including laboratory and field courses in which students learn techniques. Research projects, independent study, internships, service-learning projects, and study abroad are among the important ways A&S students pursue learning off campus during their Valpo years.

The World in the Classroom

Many Arts & Sciences courses incorporate fieldwork, laboratory work, and research that give students a chance to practice research methods and teamwork under faculty supervision. Valpo professors know how to create projects that are meaningful to students, making learning experiences memorable and relevant to their interests.

Breaking Down Barriers

The Inside Out Prison Exchange Program introduces sociology and criminology majors to individuals who are incarcerated at a local correctional facility — as classmates.

The Thrill of Discovery

The chance to make a real contribution to human understanding is one of the most exciting things about studying at Valpo’s College of Arts and Sciences. Many A&S students participate in research each year, taking advantage of an opportunity rarely afforded to undergraduates at large research universities who may not share in such work to the same extent that Valpo undergrads do. Most A&S programs offer honors work and independent study, curricular options that encourage more in-depth research by undergraduates. In a number of majors, research is a requirement for the undergraduate degree.

The Office of Undergraduate Research helps students identify research opportunities and funding. It also supports students’ efforts to share their work, at regional and national conferences as well as Valpo’s Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship.

Valparaiso University students and faculty in the mechanical engineering and kinesiology departments collaborate regularly to collect and analyze data in the Human Movement Research Laboratory, located in the College of Engineering, to develop an injury prevention metric. Students engage in this service-based research with the ultimate goal of establishing a testing and training protocol to prevent overuse injury in Valpo athletes and students.

Learning in the Community

The College of Arts and Sciences offers multiple opportunities to learn practical skills while serving community members in Northwest Indiana. Local agencies and the people they serve benefit from Valpo students’ work at field placements, internships, and other programs. Students may also earn academic credit through paid or unpaid summer internships in Indiana and around the world. Through these programs, Valpo students gain valuable experience that is impressive to employers in many fields.

Valpo’s Career Center offers strategies and advising on finding relevant internships. It offers regular workshops and maintains a database of internship openings and potential co-operative education placements.

Arts and Sciences students often learn from community-service activities like this project in which members of the Biology Club stabilized a local creek to make it a better wildlife habitat.

Cultural Exchange

Valpo’s well-established study-abroad programs — at 18 locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America —offer a rich variety of experiences that can complement many academic interests; some students pursue other opportunities to study abroad, with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences. The University also sponsors a number of extracurricular opportunities to travel abroad.

Semester-away programs offer further options for off-campus study. The University participates in four such programs; all are intensive study experiences, often encompassing supervised internships and independent study. Programs focus on the urban areas of Chicago and Washington, D.C.

About 30 percent of students in the College of Arts and Sciences engage in study abroad