Prepare for Advising
Enhancing Your Education
Getting the Most Out of Your IU Bloomington Degree
In addition to managing your coursework successfully, developing habits of professional and personal development should be a priority for you during your college years. We encourage you to enhance your undergraduate degree by participating in activities that provide you with opportunities to apply and extend your knowledge, practice professional skills, and gain experience.
Some ways to enhance your education at IU Bloomington:
Co-Curricular & Extracurricular Activities
- Community Service and Civic Engagement
Community service is a great way to make a difference in the world by helping to improve conditions in your local community. You can find opportunities for service in a variety of settings, including: local nonprofit organizations in Bloomington or your hometown; government agencies at the city, state, or federal level; non-governmental organizations in a variety of settings; and international aid organizations. You also can find opportunities to combine community service with your coursework through IU Bloomington’s Service-Learning Program. Although community service is typically a volunteer activity, students eligible for Federal Work-Study may be able to find employment in a nonprofit service organization in Bloomington. A great way to coordinate and track your service and volunteer activities is through myINvolvement at IU.
All IU Bloomington students are encouraged to pursue internships. For some majors, completing an internship is a requirement for graduation. It is frequently possible, and sometimes required, for students to earn academic credit for their internship experience. Ask your academic advisor about internship opportunities in your intended major(s). The Career Development Center and other career offices at IU Bloomington will assist students in finding an internship.
- Leadership and Teamwork
Many classes at IU Bloomington will offer opportunities for you to work in a team or take a leadership role. Some of these classes may be courses specifically required for your intended major; others may be courses open to all students. Your academic advisor can help you find courses that offer these opportunities. Co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as those suggested here also provide opportunities for you to gain leadership and teamwork experience.
- Overseas Study
Being able to operate effectively outside your comfort zone and live or work well with people who have different backgrounds and perspectives from your own is an increasingly essential skill in this era of globalization. Travel skills are also very valuable. A wide variety of overseas study programs are available to IUB students. You are encouraged to begin exploring this option by visiting the Overseas Study website or talking to your academic advisor.
- Student and Professional Organizations
There are many student organizations on the IU Bloomington campus that offer opportunities for students to develop academic, professional, and personal skills. There also are many national and international professional organizations that offer services and opportunities for students.
- Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate research is a good experience for students interested in graduate school. Most students will not begin participating in undergraduate research until their junior year, but advanced planning is necessary. Contact the undergraduate academic advisor for your intended major(s) to learn what undergraduate research opportunities might be available to you. You can also learn more about opportunities for undergraduate research on the Office for the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education website.
- Hutton Honors College
This program offers a range of small, challenging courses and extracurricular and service programs to create an enriched academic and social experience at IU Bloomington. The Hutton Honors College does not grant degrees, but does offer a general honors notation. While most students are admitted to the Hutton Honors College as incoming freshmen, you also may be eligible to apply for admission after your first term at IU Bloomington if you do exceptionally well academically.
- Honors Programs in Schools and Departments
Most degree programs and departments have an honors program that may involve undergraduate research with a faculty member or writing a thesis. Consult the bulletin or website for your intended school or major to learn if an honors program is offered and what the eligibility requirements are for the departmental honors notation.
- Freshman Honoraries
Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma are national freshman honorary societies. Freshmen who have completed a minimum of 12 graded credit hours and have a minimum 3.5 GPA are invited to join every spring semester. Invited students may choose their level of participation.
Minors, Certificates & Second Majors
If you want to add breadth to your education and expand your knowledge and skills, a minor field of study or a professionally oriented certificate may be what you want. The best place to begin to search for minors and certificates is under the Explore Majors & More tab on this site.