Experiential learning, or learning-by-doing, is the personal acquisition of knowledge and skill through practice. Practices can range from those closely connected to one’s career plans, as with research or internships, to those that shape one’s perspective profoundly but may not be closely connected to professional aspirations, as is often the case with study abroad. Students select those experiential learning opportunities that they expect will cultivate the knowledge and skills that interest them; a reflection process facilitates students' ability to understand and articulate how these experiences will integrate with formal academic learning towards their broader self-conceptions and goals.


  • Earn at least 12 credits of various Experiential Learning types.
  • You can start at any time, but must complete all applied experiences at the time of degree conferral to earn University Honors.
Follow process below:

experiential process

Reflection Process

The reflection process has been moved onto the Honors Program Portal ICONPlease start submitting new pre-questionnaires, post-questionnaires, and narratives on the ICON. If you do not have access to the ICON, please email honors-explearning@uiowa.edu. 

*If you have already submitted a pre-questionnaire through Qualtrics, continue onto the ICON for the post-questionnaire and narrative, and make a note in the post-questionnaire about your previous pre-questionnaire submission. Move to ICON for future experiential learning submissions. 

The pre- and post-experience questionnaires are designed to be completed as their titles indicate, before and shortly after the experience, respectively, with the submission timeline for the narrative being the same as the post-experience questionnaire. Late submission of these assignments for qualifying experiences will be accepted for reduced credit at the discretion of the Experiential Learning Director. For questions about late submission of the pre-experience questionnaire or other reflection process assignments, contact honors-explearning@uiowa.edu. 

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Submitting Your Narrative

Narratives can take many forms including a written piece, podcast, comic strip, video, slideshow, etc. There is no required format. We do expect a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1000 words for written pieces. Video and audio can be varying length. Video, audio, and comic strip submissions will require a short explanation (minimum of 250 words) detailing their pertinence to your experience.

Here is a list of what your narrative must include and what we might ask for you to expand on after reviewing it:

  • Where you went and what you did
  • How long you were there
  • Highlights of your experience 
  • How this experience fostered self-discovery and personal growth
  • Two (2) images (more are welcome, though!)
  • Your author bio (you have the option to include a photo of yourself)

Your narrative may also be published on the honors blog and social media! To prepare your narrative for others, you will need to reflect on the experience and think about what you want to share. You may draw on ideas and even whole paragraphs from your answers to the post-experience questionnaire; however, please keep in mind that you are writing the narrative for a general audience.

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Important Note On Late Submissions

If submitting late, please make sure your experience qualifies before beginning the honors reflection assignment (i.e., pre-experience questionnaire, post-experience questionnaire, and narrative).  If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to honors-explearning@uiowa.edu.

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