Experiential Learning

Applied Economics at Oregon State takes you beyond the classroom, bringing relevant concepts to life and putting them to work through a variety of experiential learning opportunities.
From real-world internships to undergraduate research, and even the chance to travel to national conferences or learn in another country, experiential learning provides you the ability to apply concepts and theory in an outside-the-classroom setting to truly learn what you can do with your degree.

All students in one of our majors are required to complete an internship or other experiential learning option. This is a great opportunity to apply what you have learned, strengthen your written and oral communication skills, and get a first-hand taste of what those jobs are really like. Don't worry - a faculty advisor will assist you in planning your internship, completing the agreement form, and will be a liaison during your experience if issues or questions arise. In addition to a traditional Internship (AEC 410), you also have the options of an Independent Special Project (AEC 406), Faculty Supervised Research Project (AEC 401), or an International Study Experience (AEC 401). All four options require the student to write a 10‐15 page report, as well as give an oral presentation about their experience. 

An Internship (AEC 410) is a supervised work experience with an employer (private business, non-profit, government agency, or other entity). An internship provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning and gain important entry-level job experience. Ideally, students will be able to identify problems or issues that can be solved or addressed using economics or management techniques they have learned during the course of their studies in their AFBM or EEP major. Or, alternatively, students may learn beyond what they were exposed to in classes.

A Research Project (AEC 401) provides a systematic opportunity for undergraduates to engage in independent research with a faculty mentor. There are three Research options listed below. AEC 401, 3 credits, Pass/No Pass.

  • Course-based Research: By design, this student research will build upon current course content from specific departmental upper division courses (consult with the AEC advisor on the available courses). An AEC faculty member will mentor students in their independent research which will result in a prepared research report. Students have flexibility to choose their specific research focus based on consultation with the supervising faculty, and within the bounds of the course. 
  • General Research: This independent research is not specifically affiliated with an AEC upper–division course. Students work with an Experiential Learning Coordinator who will mentor students in developing an independent research topic and which will result in a prepared research report. 
  • Scholarly Research: Another Experiential Learning activity is to collaborate with a faculty member on an ongoing faculty research project. The faculty will assign the student areas of responsibility and ultimately the student may be a contributing author of a scholarly publication or report.

Project (AEC 406) is an independent research, analysis, development, or service project within a business or organization that has a specific output or product as an end goal. Historically, these have been conducted within the framework of the student’s family business, but that need not be the case.

Some students wish to participate in an International Study Experience (AEC 402) as part of their undergraduate program. While many students complete part of their program abroad, in order for that to satisfy the experiential learning requirement, the student must document how their foreign study will contribute to knowledge and experience relative to their major in ways that could not have been obtained by following courses here at OSU. Applied Economics often offers classes in other countries. Recent examples have included trips to France, Chile, and the Netherlands. There are also opportunities to study abroad with other departments on campus, or even with other universities.

Quiz Bowl is experiential learning but it does not satisfy the departmental experiential learning requirement.

For additional information, please read the Experiential Learning Policies and Guidelines document.

Agreement Forms:

AEC 410 - Internship

AEC 401 - Research

AEC 406 - Project

AEC 402 - International Study

Troubleshooting Guide for Fillable PDFs

Project Coordinators

Penny Diebel (AFBM)

Dave Lewis (EEP)