Types of Signature Experience

Unexpected Opportunities

Academic Internship

An academic internship is a supervised, on-site learning experience for academic course credit. The primary purpose of an internship is to provide the opportunity for a student to apply disciplinary knowledge in a real-world setting. Requirements for an academic internship vary by department. If you are interested in doing an internship for course credit, please contact your department for requirements and resources available to help you identify and obtain an internship.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad Programs are usually credit-bearing programs that take place in foreign countries. Study Abroad is the principal, and arguably the quickest, means through which students can begin the journey of becoming global citizens. There are over 61 study abroad opportunities for Georgia State University students, available during fall semester, spring semester, Maymester or throughout the summer. By taking part in an international academic experience, students gain dynamic skills that are vital in today’s global environment.

Field Experiences

Field Experiences are credit-bearing opportunities for students to apply classroom learning in a supervised field setting. Field experiences are predominantly domestic experiences within the U.S. The type of field experience students can have is based on their academic area and the appropriate type of activity for that field. For example in Social Work, students are often placed in non-profit organizations to gain practical experience working with the community. For Anthropology majors, the field experience may be more research-focused, teaching students how to do ethnography.


Research experiences enable students to earn course credit for working with a faculty member to create new knowledge. Students who participate in research courses not only learn more about the research process in their discipline, but also gain invaluable experience examining, creating and sharing new knowledge. Students often have the opportunity to present their works through the Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference (GSURC) or professional conferences in their field.

Honors Thesis

During the senior year, students in the Honors College have the opportunity to write an Honors thesis or complete an equivalent Honors project. Honors theses require students to develop a topic or project, and demonstrate the results of research in a discipline-specific format. Thesis projects may include traditional scholarly writings, but could also include musical compositions, films, substantive creative works of art, and other projects appropriate to the various academic fields within the university. A thesis requires substantial independent research and study under the direction of a professor in the scholar’s major department. The Honors Thesis should demonstrate the student’s capacity for high-quality research and should provide evidence of mastery of the material in a field.

Service Learning

Students can participate in courses that integrate service into the learning process. Students often apply knowledge they gain in class to volunteer positions that address community needs. This is frequently done through direct service with local community groups or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or completion of a project with a community partner, such as a business plan, fundraising event or social media campaign.


While a majority of Signature Experience courses take students out of the classroom, there are other ways that professors provide students with Signature Experiences in the classroom. When case studies, guest panels, guest speakers, and simulations are used consistently throughout the semester, the course may be considered a Signature Experience course. Political simulations like Mock Trial, Model United Nations, and Model Arab League are examples of popular simulation-type Signature Experience courses, as are simulation labs in the sciences, nursing, and allied health fields.