Design Your Own

Expand your horizons with an independent project.  

For WT21, all inedpendent projects will be completed remotely off-campus.  Only 4th and 5th year students will be permitted to complete individual projects during the August WT session. Oberlin College encourages students to design projects that can be completed entirely from their place of residence.

Winter Term projects may not include international travel.  Only international students may complete home-based projects outside of the United States for the purpose of completing their projects in their respective home countries.

Student playing viola da gamba
Oberlin student Orion Sidoti takes a break from his computer science studies and practices the viola da gamba, an instrument he has always wanted to learn how to play.
Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

The registration period for August WT is June 26th - July 24th.  Individual project applications can be found at  

Individual projects are only available to 4th and 5th year students (A&S, Double Degree, and Conservatory).  No other students will be able to receive credit for independent projects during WT21.

  • In addition to the offices associated with project focus areas, the Academic Advising Resource Center or the Office of Winter Term can provide assistance in generating project ideas.  
  • Use the Individual Project Toolkit to develop your project.  The toolkit is an interactive e-portfolio that will help you conceptualize your project, track your progress, and share your results with your sponsor.
  • Create an appropriate title for your project to appear on your transcript.  The title can be no longer than 30 characters, including spaces.
  • Consider what resources will be needed to make the project successful.  Does the project require special equipment? Are there existing events or opportunities that could enhance the project?  It can be useful to develop a simple budget to determine costs. A budget template can be found in the "Funding Resources" tab.
  • Determine your learning goals and an appropriate final product to share with your sponsor.  What do you hope to accomplish? How will you demonstrate what you have learned? This can take many forms - a reflection essay, public performance, portfolio, or blog.  This is an opportunity to be creative!

  • Sponsors do more than administer grades for winter-term projects; they can offer guidance, inspiration, and expertise to make a project more impactful.  Any approved faculty or staff member can serve as a project sponsor. A student’s academic advisor may be a suitable sponsor, or may be able to suggest others.  Consider sponsors with academic interests related to the project, which can be found by department, or with access to relevant on or off campus resources. 
  • Students must meet with their sponsors to discuss project details and create learning goals before submitting their proposal.  For remote projects, this discussion can take place over email or Zoom.