Northern offers a diverse range of experiential learning opportunities that allow you to apply and develop skills beyond the classroom to build your network, acquire relevant skills, and step into a successful career after graduation.

As a student participating in experiential learning at Northern, you'll have the chance to engage in professional work, research, or service, depending on your interests and career goals.  

Career Services, academic advisors, and faculty members will help choose and plan the experience that's right for you.


Senior Capstone or Project  |  Intercultural Competence/Global Learning  |  Public Projects  |  Student Research  |  Service Learning  |  Community-Based Learning  |  Internship/Field Experience

Undergraduates' mosquito research supports career plans, public health

Olivia Becker and Kristen Calderon know a lot more about mosquitoes than the average college student.

That’s because for the past two summers, the Northern State University students have participated in Northern’s mosquito surveillance project, a grant-funded partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health.

Both students are entering their senior year and plan to go to physician’s assistant school after Northern. 

The students said they’re fortunate to have this type of research opportunity at Northern. Friends who attend larger universities may not have this type of experience.

“Undergraduate research – you have to apply to it, and only certain people get selected,” Calderon said. “They really don’t have this experience, so we’re super lucky.”

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Marketing project boosts student credentials, nonprofit

Northern State University students gained real-world experience and helped a nonprofit organization enhance its marketing efforts, thanks to a local partnership.

NSU students collaborated with the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation, presenting their marketing recommendations to the AACF Board. The project was part of a marketing course taught by Dr. Hannah Walters, and a graphic design course taught by Ms. Alexis Doerr.

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Alpha Lager partnership creates science-business opportunity

A partnership between Northern State University and Aberdeen’s One-Legged Pheasant has resulted in a new brew that is raising scholarship funds for NSU students.

But the creation of Alpha Lager has also provided an experiential learning opportunity for Northern’s science students.

That includes NSU senior Kennedy Davis of Fairfax, Va., who is interning at One-Legged Pheasant.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” said Davis, a biochemistry and German major. “It’s not something you really get in the classroom or in the lab. It’s really hands-on.”

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Experiential Learning News

A view looking up at Dr. Jon Mitchell and students Grace Kramer and Kennedy Davis with a colorful display behind them

Grace Kramer and Kennedy Davis are pictured above and below with Dr. Jon Mitchell at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology International Conference.


ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University student Megan Fastenau presented her research at the Legislative Poster Session on Feb. 7 in Pierre.

Caption: NSU students Meghan Anderson, Chase Groh and Ellie McCormick (left to right) present to members of the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation Board.