Hands-on Learning

On this page: Hands-on Learning | IPR | IPR Course Options | IPR Petition | IPR Tips

What is Hands-on Learning?

All IAS degrees and courses are grounded in the belief that practice should be a central element of learning. Hands-on learning in this context does more than supplement classroom instruction. It provides the core of the interdisciplinary, problem-based educational philosophy of IAS and its faculty. We ground this choice to emphasize the integration of theory and practice in educational research that demonstrates how high-impact practices such as academic internships, study abroad, community-engaged learning, and research-intensive seminars offer the best opportunities for the retention and success of all students, including first-generation college students and students-of-color.

IAS students take advantage of these experiential learning opportunities inside and outside our classrooms and curricula. For our undergraduate students, hands-on learning is built into our Interdisciplinary Practice and Reflection core requirement, while the process of constructing an educational and professional portfolio invites the integration curricular, co-curricular, and work or life accomplishments.

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Each IAS major requires that students complete at least one Interdisciplinary Practice and Reflection (IPR) course that includes an advanced research, creative, or hands-on learning project before they graduate.

IPR courses allow students to complete a project that draws on their academic interests and furthers their life ambitions. The IPR project might be a seminar paper in a particular area of study; an academic internship in a relevant field; a service-learning project that builds on the student’s academic work; a study abroad opportunity; an art and media project or production; or independent study in collaboration with a faculty member. The IPR requirement asks students to reflect on the value, challenges, and effectiveness of their work in relation to their undergraduate education as a whole.

Course Options

Research opportunities BIS 498, and BES 498 require a project proposal form. More details can be found on our page, Credit-Based Learning.

Advanced Research Opportunities

  • BIS 438 Prevention and Promotion
  • BIS 483 Community Organizing
  • BIS 480 International Study Abroad
  • BIS 490 Advanced Seminar (offered every quarter with a variety of topics)
  • BIS 492 Senior Thesis (10 credits required)
  • BIS 498 Undergraduate Research (project proposal form needed)
  • BIS 489 Projects in Community Psychology (prerequisite BISPSY 343)
  • BES 491 Undergraduate Research in Environmental Science
  • BES 498 Independent Research in Environmental Science
  • Any Graduate Course Offered in IAS (requires faculty permission)

Advanced Arts and Media Workshop Opportunities

  • BISIA 410 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop
  • BISIA 440 Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 450 Image and Imagination
  • BISIA 483 Advanced Arts Workshop
  • BISMCS 402 Community Media Practice
  • BISMCS 472 Advanced Media Production Workshop (e.g. Global Media Lab, UWAVE Radio, Husky Herald)
  • B IMD 495 Interaction Design Studio (not offered every quarter)

Study Abroad, Community Service, Internship, and Hands-on Learning Opportunities

* Many of the courses listed above have prerequisites, application processes, priority registration for specific majors, or other requirements for enrollment.  Please check the IAS website and course catalog for details.

IPR Petitions

**Refer to the our petitions page to learn more about IPR petitions

IPR Tips

  • Talk with faculty in your major for help deciding which IPR option best fits with your academic or career goals.
  • Complete the IPR requirement before BIS 499. Your IPR materials should be included in your capstone portfolio!
  • Don’t save your IPR for senior year! Start in your junior year, if possible. And consider taking more than one IPR course to satisfy electives or IAS coursework!
  • Combine IPR courses to maximize your learning! You can satisfy the 5-credit IPR requirement with one course or multiple smaller-credit courses.
  • IPR options are available every quarter, including summer!