Through its signature century-old experiential learning educational environment, Northeastern University has graduated world leaders that serve as change agents in sciences, arts, policy-making, and many other spheres.

Today, this distinctive model of education resonates with a record number of undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies applicants who want to leverage the experiential opportunities Northeastern provides to achieve their highest personal and professional potential and be better prepared to serve societal needs.

The experiences that the university offers provide the ideal research laboratory for inquiry into the nuanced nature of an experiential learning environment with its diverse pedagogical and curricular practices and cultural norms.

The Research Institute for Experiential Learning Science (RIELS) takes a holistic, multi-method approach to understanding the overall eco-system of an experiential learning environment, from the mechanisms behind experiential learning’s micro-impact on individual student development to its macro-impact shaping the future of the workforce. This research is achieved through a network of researchers including but not limited to psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists, economists and network scientists, those who work directly with students and employers, and those stakeholders who are positioned in the workforce and government.

Our Mission

Advancing experiential learning as an educational model to prepare students for excellence in disciplinary preparation, professional excellence, and lifelong, self-directed learning by using a mosaic of methodologies to map out the mechanisms underlying its impact on deep and lasting learning.