Experiential Learning Opportunities

Setting the Standard for Engineering Education

For years, Grainger Engineering has set the bar for elite engineering education, as reflected by our graduate and undergraduate degrees routinely being ranked among the top programs in the nation.

We are committed to pushing the bounds of the engineering profession, across all disciplines, offering students cutting-edge resources, facilities, and experiences led by our expert faculty. We also offer a number of interesting specialization courses, research projects, and a joint minor with the Gies College of Business that explores the intersectionality of diverse fields and the possibilities of entrepreneurial engineering.

Unique learning experiences like these are what make our graduates highly desired once they enter the job market. The preparation you receive through these opportunities keeps you at the forefront of the competition.

A female undergraduate mechanical science and engineering student uses a grinder at the Engineering Student Project Lab in the College of Engineering

Research at Both the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

Research is at the core of everything we do at Grainger. Every day, our students and faculty members are diving into life-changing research projects that are making advances once only dreamed about. In every field at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Grainger faculty and students are facing challenges, striving to develop research-backed solutions that benefit society.

Explore Research at Grainger

Grainger Engineering First-Year Experience (GFX)

One way we make sure you start strong is with the Grainger Engineering First-Year Experience (GFX): an interdisciplinary program specifically designed to help first-year students get adjusted to college life. Laying a firm foundation for your Grainger career, GFX offers courses, events, and programming that provide hands-on experiences that will help you explore your interests and prepare for success.

Learn More about GFX

Senior Design Projects

Senior design projects offer you an unparalleled undergraduate opportunity to work with a real company on a real professional project, which provides highly beneficial hands-on experience before you graduate. In a senior design project, you work collaboratively in teams to solve problems for corporate or non-profit clients, expanding your ability to apply in-classroom concepts.

All engineering departments, except Physics, have a capstone or senior design project as a culminating degree experience. To learn more, contact the senior design project course directors for your program of interest in the list below.

Aerospace Engineering

Agricultural & Biological Engineering


Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Support Through the Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE)

Grainger’s Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE) enhances the learning experience for all undergraduate engineering students through academic support, collaborative learning opportunities, and peer mentoring. 

With CARE, you have access to limitless resources, such as tutoring and supportive peer exam review sessions, that support your academic success and growth. Utilizing these unique CARE resources reflects your commitment to your education and achieving your long-term goals.

Learn More about CARE

City Scholars

City Scholars leverages University of Illinois’ world renowned Grainger College of Engineering to connect Chicago’s growing tech companies with top talent. Students gain valuable experience through this semester-long study and work program in Chicago where they go behind the scenes of Chicago’s tech sector. Partner with the Grainger College of Engineering to identify, hire, and retain leading students to compete with coastal markets and build Chicago’s tech workforce.

Learn More about City Scholars

Cancer Community @Illinois

The Cancer Scholars Program is an undergraduate program that provides a rewarding interdisciplinary academic experience that incorporates real-world learning. You can participate in projects and conduct research in support of making progress and developing solutions against cancer through the engineering field.

Our Cancer Community provides you the opportunity to pursue your passion for making a difference by stepping out of the classroom and completing meaningful work facing one of healthcare’s greatest, most pervasive challenges.

Learn More about Cancer @Illinois

Hoeft Technology & Management Program

The Hoeft Technology & Management Program is a minor offered jointly through the Grainger College of Engineering and Geis College of Business. It bridges the gap between traditional engineering and business education by offering a unique, cross-sectional curriculum to a select group of highly-qualified undergraduates. 

In the T&M Program, you will work closely with peers in both business and engineering, as well as real corporate partners, expanding your skill set significantly. This program challenges you to think creatively and critically, developing agility in your ability to problem solve and lead diverse teams in technology and business. 

Learn More about the Hoeft T&M Program

Open your world

The Grainger College of Engineering knows that having a global perspective is imperative to being a well-rounded engineer. That's why we are committed to helping your find your perfect opportunities with International Programs in Engineering (IPENG). Eager to experience Europe? Asia? South America? Ready to spend a few weeks? A semester? A summer? A year? IPENG enables you to broaden your horizons all of this possible with engineering-based academic, volunteer, and internship programs.

International Programs in Engineering (IPENG)

The International Programs in Engineering Office will help you to find the perfect experience away from Illinois. IPENG helps you study abroad without losing a beat in engineering course work. For engineering experiences, choose from:

  • More than 50 countries
  • Travel alone or with groups
  • Go for a few weeks, summer, semester, or academic year

Each fall there is an International Fair where representatives showcase your options and answer questions.

Learn more about IPENG

International Minor in Engineering

Enhance your engineering education by focusing on the social sciences and humanities in a particular country or region by adding an international minor in engineering. Illinois was the first U.S. institution to offer an international minor in engineering as part of a regular degree program.

You will take courses at Illinois in addition to working or studying abroad. This approach will allow you to gain a level of expertise in a specific international region and will add to your credentials when seeking a professional position, especially if your career goals are globally oriented.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

Engineers Without Borders is an international non-profit organization committed to advancing the quality of life in impoverished countries via socioeconomically and ecologically sustainable engineering projects. The chapter at Illinois is student-run and extremely active.

Get involved with the Illinois EWB student teams to conduct significant water and power projects in rural villages in Africa, Guatemala, India, and Mexico. You will have opportunities to:

  • Work, on location, side-by-side with local citizens and non-governmental organizations
  • Secure international funding
  • Guide planning for current and future needs
  • Assist in building the infrastructure necessary to sustain improvements

These are life-changing experiences, for you, your teammates, and the communities.

Illinois Study Abroad

If you're interested in a program outside of engineering, Illinois Study Abroad offers programs around the globe.

Learn more about Illinois Study Abroad

Take Your Engineering Education Beyond the Classroom at Grainger

The Grainger College of Engineering is at the forefront of engineering education. Our students are learning by doing across a range of impactful, unique learning experiences, putting their knowledge into action to change the world. Make a difference at Grainger.