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2023-24 General Bulletin
Case Western Reserve University offers undergraduates a variety of experiences inside and outside the classroom that are built on a process of guided inquiry, preparation, action and reflection. Many research, internship, and employment opportunities are aligned with academic programs. Linguistic and cultural immersion characterize the study abroad experience. In many courses, Case Western Reserve students engage in experiential learning beyond the on-campus classrooms and laboratories. Experiences that form the basis for reflection and synthesis under the guidance of faculty include working with hospitalized children, designing engineering solutions for a problem presented by a municipality, interning at a local media outlet, tutoring in Cleveland’s Hispanic community, gaining experience in public health clinics, studying history with “the city as classroom,” or collecting aquatic specimens from the ponds at the university’s 389-acre farm. Courses that incorporate community service or internships into the curriculum forge links between Case Western Reserve undergraduates and schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and governmental and health care institutions in Cleveland and elsewhere.
Case Western Reserve University encourages students to study, research, intern, and participate in service learning experiences abroad. Students benefit personally, academically, and professionally from educational experiences abroad.
The Office of Education Abroad partners with overseas institutions and facilitates participation by CWRU students in a wide selection of courses abroad. Students of all majors can stay on track to graduate while including study abroad in their degree timeline. In consultation with their academic advisors and study abroad advisors, students can identify which study abroad programs meet their academic and personal goals. They can choose from traditional semester or academic year study abroad programs or shorter programs with CWRU faculty and students. Many study abroad programs cost about the same as studying in Cleveland. Additionally, financial aid can be applied to study abroad, and many students find that they are eligible for study abroad scholarships.
Semester and Academic Year Programs
In order to participate in semester and academic year programs of study or practical experience that immerse them in the culture and language of another country, students must first
- Have completed at least 24 credit-hours of coursework at CWRU,
- Have declared a major,
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with no pending judicial actions, and
- Be otherwise eligible to register on campus at CWRU for the proposed semester(s) (no financial holds, e.g.).
After matriculation at Case Western Reserve University, students are permitted to earn at other accredited colleges or universities or through an approved program of study abroad no more than 38 credit hours toward the totals required for their degree, with no more than 15 credit hours taken as part of domestic programs or as summer study in a student's home country; this includes courses taken through the cross-registration program. Any off-campus study beyond 15 credit hours may only be taken through approved study abroad programs. Any additional credits earned at other institutions after matriculation at Case Western Reserve beyond 15 domestically or as summer study in a student's home country and beyond a total of 38 including study abroad will raise the total number of credit-hours required for the degree by a corresponding number.
Case Western Reserve does not require students to complete any foreign language prerequisites before studying abroad, though students wishing to study in a country where the native language is not English are advised to develop their language skills to the extent possible. Students studying for at least a semester in a single location where English is not an official language must take a course that advances their skills in a language of the host country during each semester of study abroad, provided such courses are available. This may be a course of language instruction or a course taught in a language of the host country. Students participating in study abroad experiences that are comparative in nature and visit several sites within the same semester are not required to include language study in their academic programs.
Students participating in semester or academic year study abroad must enroll in the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours each semester in order to maintain full-time student status for the semester abroad. Upon presentation of an official transcript from the study abroad program, transfer credit will be awarded for courses completed with a grade of C or better and determined to be equivalent or comparable to those offered by the appropriate academic department at CWRU.
Students participating in semester or academic year study abroad pay the normal CWRU tuition to Case Western Reserve University and maintain their student status at CWRU during the period of study abroad. Case Western Reserve University will, in turn, pay the tuition costs for the student's program abroad. Students are responsible for paying all non-tuition costs associated with study abroad to the study abroad program directly (i.e. housing, student fees, excursions, travel costs, etc.). Students retain all of their financial aid while studying abroad. Additional study abroad financial information is available from the Office of Education Abroad.
Case Western Reserve University offers a robust portfolio of short-term study abroad options that allow students to travel as a group with a member of the Case Western Reserve University faculty. These programs are often one to three weeks in duration and are offered over spring break, winter break, and during the summer. Program offerings vary each year, but recent short-term study abroad locations included China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. All Case Western Reserve University students in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible to participate in short-term study abroad programs.
All Case Western Reserve University undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing are permitted to study abroad during the summer. With approval, up to 15 credit hours of summer coursework can be transferred to Case Western Reserve University. During the summer, study abroad students pay tuition and fees directly to the study abroad program. A wide variety of summer programs is available through the Office of Education Abroad.
Research, Service Learning, and Internship Opportunities Abroad
Case Western Reserve University offers international research, service learning, and internship opportunities as part of a semester abroad on many of our approved programs. Study abroad advisors can help students identify and apply to these programs. With the help of the Office of Education Abroad and Case Western Reserve University faculty, students can also conduct independent research projects abroad.
Case Western Reserve University is a research-intensive community with a tradition of involving undergraduates in research and creative endeavors. Regardless of a student's major or academic interests, there are numerous opportunities to engage in research either on campus with Case Western Reserve faculty or elsewhere during both the academic year and the summer. The Undergraduate Research Office provides assistance to students throughout the undergraduate educational experience, including:
- helping students identify research and creative project opportunities on campus or around the university during the academic year and around the world during the summer,
- providing funding for on-campus summer research,
- providing funding for travel for students presenting their work at regional and national conferences,
- providing educational research and informational seminars,
- sponsoring the Intersections Symposium and Poster Session for students to present their work to our academic community, and
- advising Discussions: The Undergraduate Research Journal of CWRU .
In many cases, students pursuing research under the guidance of a faculty member may earn degree credit by registering for “Undergraduate Research” or "Independent Study" in the appropriate department. These are advanced-level courses and require departmental approval. However, students may not earn both degree credit and pay for the same work. Students may discuss academic credit for research with their major advisor.
The center for civic engagement and learning.
The Center for Civic Engagement and Learning (CCEL) works to create an engaged campus by providing and supporting opportunities for community service and collective action while promoting civic awareness and leadership. CCEL offers a variety of programs, services, and resources to accommodate different student interests and schedules. These include one-day Saturdays of Service, flexible weekly opportunities through CCEL Serves, week-long and weekend Alternative Break experiences, and the year-long Civic Engagement Scholars program. CCEL coordinates Cleveland excursions to explore and connect with our community and facilitates educational training about community issues, responsible engagement, voter education/registration, and active citizenship. CCEL also provides community service advising and assists faculty and students in designing and implementing service learning courses and community-based capstone projects.
Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an academic program that enables students in majors offered by the Case School of Engineering to alternate classroom studies with career-based experiences in industry. It is a learning experience designed to integrate classroom theory with practical experience and professional development. Co-op is a paid full-time work experience designed to enhance the student’s education. Case Western Reserve co-op assignments are typically for two seven-month periods, each period consisting of a summer and a contiguous spring or fall semester. While participating in co-op, students maintain their full-time student status. This program is available to students pursuing majors in all fields of engineering, computer science (BA and BS), and data science.
Practicum is a non-credit experiential education program coordinated through the Career Center that provides students with opportunities to develop and enhance skills, insights, and knowledge related to career development. The desired learning outcome of the practicum experience is intellectual, professional, and personal growth in an area related to a student's academic and career goals. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Case School of Engineering, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, or the Weatherhead School of Management who are pursuing career-related work experience and students pursuing entrepreneurial ventures may participate. (Most Case School of Engineering students participate in experiential education through the Co-op program, but may participate in practicum, depending on the duration of the assignment.) International students are eligible for the practicum program through Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
Practicum students enroll in course sections for the semester in which they are on assignment either full-time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 hours/week). The duration of the program can range from a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 14 weeks. Full-time practicum students do not enroll in other coursework, but maintain full-time student status during the practicum period; part-time participants are expected to enroll in other credit-bearing coursework. Although no credit is awarded, students who successfully complete the practicum assignment receive transcript notation. Successful completion is determined by the Practicum Coordinator with input from the faculty advisor and employer once the required deliverables are submitted by the student.
Students interested in participating in a practicum should contact the Career Center , the semester prior to the intended practicum period.
The Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University catalyzes entrepreneurial ideas through education and training, accelerates venture creation, and connects people in a transformative way. The Veale Institute’s mission is to ensure that all CWRU students, no matter their major, have the access and resources they need to foster their entrepreneurial mindset. Educational programming such as the CWRU Alumni Entrepreneurship Speaker Series and Skills Lab workshops are available for students looking to explore their interests.
CWRU LaunchNET is the entrepreneurship gateway on campus to help students in all majors test, validate, and turn their ideas into products and services. LaunchNET connects students to a network of mentors and peers who share an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Washington Study Program
The Washington Study Program provides students with the opportunity to complete a full-time, research-intensive internship in Washington, D.C. By participating in a semester-length program during the fall or spring ( WASH 2A ), students earn 9 credit hours; for a summer internship ( WASH 2D ), they earn 3 credit hours. In addition, students earn 3 credit hours for participating in a seminar and attending a weekly lecture/discussion group ( WASH 2B ) and 3 credit hours by developing a portfolio based on their internship experiences ( WASH 2C ). The credits earned can be counted as general electives or applied to a student’s major or minor with the prior consent of the individual department(s).
To be eligible for the program, a student is expected to be a junior or senior and have a GPA of at least 3.000. The program director, the student’s major advisor, and the appropriate dean in the Undergraduate Advising Support Office must approve each application. Students must ensure that their participation will not prevent them from meeting on-campus residency or other university requirements.
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How to Write the Case Western Essays 2023-2024
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University is one of the top colleges in the United States, consistently ranking in the top 45 national universities. Case Western has a strong reputation for scientific research and boasts 16 Nobel Laureates. In addition to the natural sciences, Case is especially known for educating leaders in engineering and the medical professions. Thus, w riting strong, revealing essays can make all the difference for your application.
All applicants to Case Western must complete the Common App personal essay. However, to apply to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, which grants conditional admission to the School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine, you will need to complete additional essays.
Read these Case Western essay examples to inspire your own writing.
Case Western Supplemental Essay Prompts
Pre-professional scholars applicants.
Prompt 1: In the college application process, you are constantly prompted for a list of your achievements, awards, and accomplishments. While this information is useful to us, we are interested in hearing more about you. Describe an event, achievement, or experience of which you are particularly proud but that will not show up on a resume, may not garner any recognition, and does not appear anywhere else on your admission application. (750 words)
Prompt 2: By applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, you are applying to gain admission to professional school earlier than students who apply in the traditional way. Please indicate why you’re interested in your chosen profession. How do you see yourself being particularly suited to this field? What events and/or experiences have led you to your choice? This essay should be between 250 and 500 words in length.
Pre-Professional Scholars Program Essay Prompts
In the college application process, you are constantly prompted for a list of your achievements, awards, and accomplishments. while this information is useful to us, we are interested in hearing more about you. describe an event, achievement, or experience of which you are particularly proud but that will not show up on a resume, may not garner any recognition, and does not appear anywhere else on your admission application. (750 words).
Here, Case is openly inviting you to do the opposite of what you have been doing in the rest of your application. They are asking you to tell a story that you would not have expected to find yourself bragging about in a college application. Your priority with this prompt should be to show a more human side of yourself and showcase how you meet the opportunities for excellence that arise every day. The first thing to do before you start writing this essay is to make sure you are not writing about a topic that was part of your Common App essay or your list of extracurriculars.
One way to help yourself identify a good story for this prompt is to reflect on moments when you were most impressed by the character of a friend or sibling and ask yourself what parallel experiences you have had. For example, recalling the time that your friend saved you from disaster might inspire you to write this essay about how your attention to detail helped you catch a critical rigging mistake as a member of the technical crew for your school’s production of West Side Story .
Here are three tactics that can help you turn this essay into a stellar part of your application:
Consider stories and accomplishments that subvert or add nuance to the first impression someone might have of you.
If you’re a roboticist applying to the College of Engineering, this is an opportunity to talk about the sweater it took you a month to knit rather than your first successful Arduino project. If you’re a social activist who spends the day organizing protests, this is the opportunity to share how your persistence one weekend helped you reel in the biggest fish you’ve ever seen. In other words, use this prompt to highlight the kind of victory that brightens your week, even if it doesn’t get you a certificate. At the same time, it is important that the story you tell here is actually anchored to a value or interest that will contribute to your and your classmates’ success at Case. An essay that shows a different side of you will not be as valuable if the reader is left wondering why that different side matters at all.
A good example of this tactic is an essay that talks about how knitting a sweater helped you understand the value of being patient, keeping a vision when something seems to be falling apart, and coping with the mistakes you make.
A bad example of this tactic is an essay that talks about how proud you are that your sweater looks exactly like you imagined it would and that you were able to sell it for a profit.
Write about a time that you failed despite your best efforts.
Whether it’s engineering, medicine, or the liberal arts, failure is a constant part of learning and doing productive things. It may seem unnatural to write an essay about something that didn’t go well. But if you can offer a compelling story about how you worked hard to succeed at a task you care about and how you responded to the failure, Case will come away with a rich understanding of your maturity and resilience. For example, say you are a social activist. Consider telling the story about how, despite being a routine public speaker, your voice once failed you, and you took that opportunity to embrace your own vulnerability and learn how to rely on others.
By demonstrating a capacious understanding of what is an achievement, you can highlight your drive to be a person of strong character. But, if you choose to make use of this tactic, be sure that you are demonstrating your values and intelligence both before and after the failure occurred.
Showcase your humility and sense of perspective
No matter what story you tell, avoid dwelling on feeling like your achievement should have been recognized by someone and that you were unfairly denied validation. This is not the place to vent about how you actually deserved to place higher in a science fair. Instead, this is the place to show that you understand that not all great things we do happen in public. Case has produced far more thoughtful thinkers and leaders than the sixteen who won Nobel Prizes. Use your essay to show that you are content despite not winning recognition, because the satisfaction of having done something valuable is enough.
By applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, you are applying to gain admission to professional school earlier than students who apply in the traditional way. Please indicate why you’re interested in your chosen profession. How do you see yourself being particularly suited to this field? What events and/or experiences have led you to your choice? This essay should be between 250 and 500 words in length.
The Pre-Professional Scholars Program is a valuable opportunity to lock in your admission to medical or dental school once you complete your bachelor’s degree. PPSP is geared toward those who are confident that dentistry or medicine are the fields that they wish to pursue. Take note of the expectations that Case Western Reserve has for strong applicants to the PPSP. Alongside a challenging academic course in high school, Pre-Professional Scholars typically have volunteered or shadowed in a medical setting and have “demonstrated care and concern for others.” Only about 10 students are accepted for dentistry and 15-20 students are accepted for medicine.
Here are four tips to strengthen your PPSP essay:
Demonstrate fit with the profession.
On a surface level, there are certain interests that drive most people interested with medicine—a love of science and a desire to help others, for example. A strong PPSP essay will go beyond these basic notions and engage the more complex dynamics of the profession. For example, you can tell a story that shows how you thrive in environments where you have to decide between snap judgments and more diligent research. Or you can discuss how your vision of making an impact on the world is most vivid to you on the micro level, helping one person at a time. Showing that you have thought deeply about, and are comfortable with, the tensions and complexities of medical professions will show your readiness.
Discuss a pivotal moment in your volunteering or shadowing experience.
One approach you might take is to talk about a moment that shook your confidence in whether or not you really did want to pursue dentistry or medicine. Maybe you watched a doctor or the healthcare system fail badly. Perhaps you felt more overwhelmed by a task than you’ve ever felt before. Bring the reader into that moment, and tell them why it is that your resolve was strengthened. If you don’t have a remarkable volunteering experience to share, try drawing from moments in your own life.
Mention your commitment.
By pre-admitting you to one of the most prestigious dental or medical schools in the country, Case will be showing that they think you’ll actually stick around to attend. You would be spending seven or eight years in school before embarking on a very demanding and rigorous career. Therefore, you want to convey that the traits and experiences driving you toward a health profession and PPSP are core to your personality . Consider showing how your strong judgment under high pressure or your relentless drive to find the right answer shows up in the rest of your life. You may even consider highlighting elements of these traits in your Common App essay and the Case supplemental essay so that you can offer a consistent image of yourself.
Explain your interest in Case’s School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine.
In addition to being confident this early that you want to pursue medicine/dentistry, applying to PPSP also communicates that you have a particular interest in the Case Western Reserve professional schools. Before writing, brainstorm a few characteristics of the relevant professional school and think about how you will weave that into your essay.
For example, Case Western’s School of Medicine is well-known for its Western Reserve2 (WR2) curriculum, which joins together the study of medicine and public health. If you’re drawn to the opportunity to learn under the WR2 curriculum, you could mention how your experience working in a clinic in the suburbs and a clinic on a tribal reservation forced you to confront the apparent tension between the nominal similarities in how patients are treated and the disparate social contexts and impacts. Alternatively, you might discuss your interest in advancements in medical technology and highlight the opportunity that Case Western offers for collaboration between the School of Dental Medicine and the School of Engineering.
Where to Get Your Case Western Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your Case Western essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
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