Winter term invites students to pursue interests outside of Oberlin’s regular semester course offerings through a four-week immersive experience. Winter-term projects can be independent or group projects and can take place on Oberlin’s campus or around the world.

A student positions a lego robot vehicle on a track
Kate Hull ’18 and neuroscience professor Pat Simen give their Lego robot a whirl. Once reprogrammed, the robot will be used as a teaching aid in the classroom.
(photo by Yevhan Gulenko)

Students use this time to explore topics of personal interest, develop a new skill, conduct intensive research, prepare for a future career, and expand their academic experience. This is a unique opportunity for educational and personal growth, emphasizing experimentation and creativity, intellectual independence, and personal initiative.  

Students must complete three full winter-term projects in order to graduate.

  1. To provide opportunities for intensive educational activities which might be difficult for students or faculty to fit into their fall and spring schedules;
  2. To encourage students to conceptualize and pursue self-directed educational projects, in consultation with faculty and staff;
  3. To provide faculty with opportunities for pedagogical  experimentation, collaborative work with students, interdisciplinary projects, scholarly and artistic activity and development, and the exploration of areas of expertise not reflected in their usual course offerings;
  4. To encourage students to test and apply knowledge in off-campus settings through internships, community engagement, applied research, or career-related experiences;
  5. To promote educationally valuable interactions among students, faculty, members of the administrative and professional staff, and alumni; and
  6. To provide educational flexibility.

Winter term applications can be found at