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Experiential Learning At McMaster

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Experiential Learning at McMaster

McMaster aims to embed experiential learning (EL) into the educational experience of students across all Faculties and programs, equipping them with the skills, experience and confidence they need to lead fulfilling lives and make an impact. McMaster recognizes the need to support students, as well as the staff, educators and external partners, as they pursue collaborative, transformative, and innovative teaching and learning.


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McMaster’s Definition of Experiential Learning

A structured learning opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a hands-on environment with a focus on developing skills and knowledge, fostering reflection and the development of self, and preparing students to make a difference in the world. 

  • Structured Learning Opportunity: An opportunity that works toward supporting students’ achievement of a set of intended learning outcomes. 
  • Academic Knowledge: Knowledge that students bring to the experience from the opportunity itself or from their past academic coursework. 
  • Reflection: An intentional process that students are guided through in which they make connections between the learning experience, their academic knowledge, and their sense of self. 

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Common Language Review the Common Language

McMaster has a common set of definitions for experiential learning (EL), as well as defined categories and typologies of EL to improve communication across staff, educators, students, and external partners.  

Strategic Framework Review the Framework

Recognizing experiential learning (EL) as a key institutional priority, McMaster’s EL Strategic Framework outlines a theory of change to support and scale EL at McMaster between 2024 and 2029.

Experiential Learning Opportunities Resource (EXPLORE) Find Student Opportunities

EXPLORE is a resource built in collaboration with the Student Success Centre designed to help undergraduate students from all Faculties and programs find experiential opportunities that meet their needs and interests.

Discover Experiential Learning By Faculty

Faculties provide specific resources for experiential learning (EL) to their students, staff and educators. Specific programs and departments may have their own resources and programming. Contact your program or department to learn more.

Faculty of Engineering

Faculty of Social Sciences

Resources for External Partners


DeGroote School of Business

Faculty of Health Sciences

EL in the Faculty of Health Sciences varies by program. Please talk to an academic advisor or program lead to learn about the experiential learning opportunities that are available. 

The Office of the Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning welcomes your questions or feedback