Hello, ELO!

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Earn money or academic credit while you work on challenging and meaningful hands-on projects. Whether during the summer or the academic year, experiential learning opportunities (or ELOs, for short) connect you to important, real-world projects in MIT research labs, maker spaces, PK12 schools, start-ups, nonprofits, and global industries.

Find your ELO on ELx!

An easy way search and apply for all kinds of ELOs 🙌

The Experiential Learning Exchange (ELx) is an easy-to-use “front door” to find programs of all types (think UROP, MISTI, PKG, and more!).

What kinds of learning opportunities are available?

There is something for everyone. 👏

What else do I need to know about ELOs?

Experiential Learning Opportunities, or ELOs, are the “secret sauce” of an MIT education: hands-on, authentic experiences in research labs and maker spaces, K12 schools and start-ups, NGOs and global industries. The vast majority of undergraduates participate in at least one and often many ELOs over the course of their MIT journey– a MISTI program, a UROP, a corporate internship through CAPD, a PKG public service fellowship, an entrepreneurial venture with Sandbox support, an Edgerton Center student team or club, and more.

What ties all of these diverse experiences together? The projects involve hands-on, applied work, often in “real-world” contexts; they are challenging and rigorous learning experiences; students receive meaningful guidance, supervision, and feedback; the project work is performed over an extended time period and with a meaningful intensity; and critical reflection and evaluation help students process their learning and programs measure their impact.

  • The first place to check for all types of ELOs is ELx.
  • You can find UROP positions on ELx, and be sure to also check out these helpful Tips for Finding a UROP.
  • Other opportunities can be found on Handshake (CAPD’s job search/recruitment portal). Just search for “MIT – ELO” as the employer, or look for “Experiential Learning” as the job type. Many of these are also cross-listed on ELx.

Check back on these sites often as new ELOs will be posted often.

Programs will manage their own student application and selection processes, so please refer to the position description for more information about processes and deadlines, as they will vary across different opportunities.

ELOs may be paid (either by stipend or hourly wage), completed for academic credit, or completed on a volunteer basis. Check the position description or check with your program sponsor to see what compensation is offered. Each program manages its own processes for awarding pay or credit, so reach out to program staff if you have specific questions.

Students must apply to the specific ELOs that they’re interested in; required application forms, deadlines, and procedures will vary by program. Sponsoring programs make the final decisions about student selection and/or hiring, and some opportunities will be more competitive than others, depending on student interest and the number of positions available.

If you need help finding or applying for the right position for you, you can contact us at experientiallearning@mit.edu.

There are several existing MIT programs that allow students to pursue independent projects while receiving support and access to MIT resources and expertise. UROP’s direct-funding application can support student-generated research projects that have the endorsement and involvement of an MIT faculty member.  Students with public service projects can apply to the PKG Public Service Fellowships. Individuals with entrepreneurial ideas can apply to Sandbox or IDEAS (for social ventures only). Some academic departments also offer ELOs built around student-designed projects.

Illustration of a walking fish

Sounds good, where do I start?

You're in the right place! 😉

You can search for ELO positions on several platforms. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. ELx. This new platform lists ELOs of all types, replacing the UROP job board and our static list of ELOs and supplementing listings on other platforms like Handshake. Many ELOs are cross-listed on ELx even if more detail and applications are located elsewhere, so ELx is a great place to start your search.
  2. Handshake. Start by searching for “Experiential Learning” or look for “MIT – ELO” as the “employer”. If you’re new to the platform, Handshake requires an MIT certificate.
  3. ELO Track Pages. Scroll up to find a list of “tracks” (broad categories of ELOs), each of which has its own ecosystem of programs and opportunities. While most programs will post ELOs to ELx or Handshake, checking out program websites linked on the track pages will give you a sense of the types of opportunities that are offered throughout the year and who to contact with questions.

You can also talk to faculty members and friends, or inquire directly with programs that are of interest to see if they are offering ELOs. UROPs in particular may not be advertised, so check out these other strategies for finding a UROP.

But I have more questions!

No problem, we're here to help. 👍

Contact Us

Office of Experiential Learning