Center for Engaged Liberal Arts

The Center for Engaged Liberal Arts connects the classroom to the world. At Oberlin we put learning into practice through internships, research, study away experiences, winter term, fellowships, and beyond.

A young woman lays in an orchard amid budding trees and dandelions under a blue sky.

Can you dream it?

Purposeful action begins with imagination. At the heart of CELA programming is a belief in the power of curiosity and the process of self-discovery.

Learn about CELA’s mission

How Engaged Learning Works

Undergraduates here are able to connect one-on-one with faculty and staff to ask questions, set up their own research, and do cutting edge exploration.

Eder Aguilar ’20

Engaged Liberal Arts takes many forms at Oberlin.

CELA is where it all comes together.

Oberlin’s Center for the Engaged Liberal Arts (CELA) comprises a range of offices that help students explore opportunities beyond the classroom. Are you looking for an internship or study-abroad program? Do you have an idea for a research project or business venture? Come visit CELA and talk with us about what’s possible and how to find the resources you need.

Career Development

With one-on-one advising, employer networking events, and career community programming, Oberlin Career Development helps you chart a meaningful path toward your professional future.

Community-Based Learning

The Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Research helps students partner with organizations, both local and global, on projects of mutual interest that serve the public good.

Digital Portfolio Program

Use digital portfolios to integrate your learning inside and outside the classroom, plan for the future, and present signature accomplishments to audiences within and beyond campus.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship at Oberlin encompasses three main areas: the broad benefits of entrepreneurial thinking, the fundamentals of business and start-ups, and the tools needed to effect real social change.

Fellowships & Awards

Our office works with Obies applying to a range of nationally-competitive programs. Among Fulbright, Watson, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Truman, among other options, there is an opportunity to fit your goals.

Integrative Concentrations

Alongside majors and minors, Oberlin offers educational pathways that connect coursework with experiential learning opportunities that prepare students for a range of professional sectors.

Study Away

Our team works closely with each student to identify programs from around the world best tailored to their personal, professional, and intellectual interests.

Undergraduate Research

Oberlin students work closely with faculty mentors at the forefront of their fields to ask new questions, design innovative studies, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects.

Winter Term

The Winter Term office helps Obies identify and design immersive learning experiences outside of regular course offerings to be pursued each January.

Student wearing headphones, outdoors in fall.

Your path is unique

Each Obie has their own story. Our CELA mentors help you write yours.

Internship+ Commitment

Oberlin commits to provide financial support to every student for qualified summer opportunities, including internships, research- and performance-based experiences, and other pre-professional activities.

Next Steps

Get in touch; we would love to chat.


People walking along the street, with reflection in a glass storefront.
Photo credit: Mike Crupi