The diverse programs and learning opportunities offered by the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) are joined by a common theme: mens et manus, mind and hand.

Hands-on educational experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, expose students to different ways of thinking and solving problems, broaden their communications skills, and help them develop a better sense of self.

In the lab, in the machine shop, in the community center, and in another country, students in  the Office of Experiential Learning programs can apply their education to challenges that will shape them in ways they themselves might never have expected. For instance:

  • In D-Lab, a student can travel to Uganda during IAP to work with a community to develop a point-of-care screening platform for Lymphoma.
  • A student on the MIT Motorsports team, under the auspices of the Edgerton Center, can apply their understanding of electrical engineering to build a battery pack formula style single-seat electric race car.
  • Through the Global Education program, a student can earn transfer credits towards their degree at a university abroad while improving their foreign language skills.  
  • Through UROP, a student can work in an MIT lab to develop machine learning algorithms that can detect melanoma.
  • Through the PKG Center for Public Service, a student can work on a youth development organization in East Boston improving outcomes for Boston at-risk youth.

In all of these programs students are working beyond the confines of the classroom, interacting with communities near and far, gaining essential skills in collaboration, compassion, and reflection that will continue to serve them beyond their time at MIT.