University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Animal Sciences
Give to Animal Sciences


What is the purpose of ANSC 398?

We believe that hands-on learning can be the most powerful way to learn. We strongly believe in the importance of experiencing the field of Animal Sciences outside of the classroom. We also believe that the experiences may differ from those most beneficial to your peers. We have created ANSC 398: Experiential Learning as an independent study course to allow you to plan your own experience, document what you learn from that experience, and share that learning with others.

How do I get signed up for ANSC 398?
  1. Decide what type of experience(s) you would like to have. We have some suggestions, but the possibilities are endless.
  2. Find a faculty member who teaches courses, conducts research, or performs outreach in an area of Animal Sciences related to your planned experience. S/he will act as your instructor for ANSC 398. Talk with your selected instructor about planning your experience, credit hours, contacts in the industry s/he might have, and expectations for a work product
  3. Complete a Memorandum of Agreement with the faculty instructor advising your experience. You must complete a Memorandum of Agreement and submit it before starting your experience. If you are planning a summer experience, the MOA must be completed during the spring semester prior to your experience.
  4. After turning in your MOA, you will receive more information on how to sign up for ANSC 398.
Who can register for ANSC 398?

Any student can register for ANSC 398. It is open to Animal Sciences majors and minors, as well as students from other majors.

Is ANSC 398 required for graduation in Animal Sciences?

Yes, all Animal Sciences students in all concentrations must complete one graded hour of ANSC 398 in order to graduate.

Can I take ANSC 398 more than once?

ANSC 398 can be repeated for up to 10 credit hours. You must complete one graded credit hour to graduate.

Should I take ANSC 398 for graded credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

Most of the time, you will complete ANSC 398 for graded credit and Animal Sciences majors must take one hour of ANSC 398 for graded credit. In order to receive a grade, you must complete a work product. If your planned experience will not result in a work product, talk with your faculty instructor about the purpose of your experience and the unique nature of it that will not result in a work product. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit is not available for all sections of ANSC 398 but can be assigned if warranted.

Is ANSC 398 required for Animal Sciences minors? Does it count towards completion of the Animal Sciences minor?

ANSC 398 is not required for an Animal Sciences minor and does not count toward the minor in any way.

When should I register for ANSC 398?

You can register for ANSC 398 any time prior to beginning the experience. Plan to register for ANSC 398 the same semester as you complete your experience, though there may be times where your credit will actually be earned during the semester after your experience.  For example, you can register for ANSC 398 in the fall if you complete a summer experience.  In all cases, the Memorandum of Agreement must be completed online before starting the experience.

Who can be my faculty instructor for ANSC 398; What will my faculty instructor do?

Any Animal Sciences faculty member can be an instructor for ANSC 398. Try to choose a faculty member whose interests coincide with the experience you are completing. Your faculty instructor will work with you to complete the Memorandum of Agreement, which outlines what experience you will have and what work product you will produce. Your instructor will also evaluate your work product.

I am having trouble locating a faculty instructor for my ANSC 398 experience. Where can I go for help?

You can ask Dr. Anna Dilger or email to review it. They can assist you in finding a faculty instructor that may work well. You can also ask your undergraduate advisor for advice. Advisors are familiar with faculty that may be able to serve as your instructor.

How do I get started?

First, think about what kind of experience you would like to have; talk with your undergraduate advisor, your classmates, and your professors about what experiences will further your career goals. Next, seek out opportunities to have that experience. If you wish to do undergraduate research, find a professor who has space for you in his or her lab. If you want to do an internship, start at the ACES Career Center to find available internships. Next, start to fill out a Memorandum of Agreement and decide on a work product. Then, find a faculty member to act as your instructor.  Submit the MOA prior to beginning your experience and you will be given the code to sign up for ANSC 398.

Can my experiential learning activity be paid or does it have to be unpaid?

Both paid and unpaid experiences are eligible for ANSC 398 credit.

What are the guidelines for the number of credit hours I can receive for an experiential learning activity?

The number of credit hours you sign up for depends on how many hours will be involved in your experience and the production of your work product. The credit hours assigned will also determine the scope of work product expected. Discuss the credit hours you plan to complete with your faculty instructor prior to signing up.

In general, the following guidelines for total hours spent are used to determine the number of credit hours you will receive:

Summer and Winter Semesters
  • 50-199 hours = 1 credit hour
  • 200-299 hours = 2 credit hours
  • 300-399 hours = 3 credit hours
  • 400 hours and higher = 4 credit hours
Fall and Spring Semesters
  • 50-99 hours = 1 credit hour
  • 100-199 hours = 2 credit hours
  • 200-299 hours = 3 credit hours
  • 300 hours and higher = 4 credit hours
What if I am completing a paid off-campus summer internship? Can I also register for ANSC 398?

An off-campus internship is a wonderful way to complete your ANSC 398 requirement. Identify a faculty member whose work is closely related to the field your internship will be completed in and register for Section E (off-campus internship) or Section H (Veterinary Assistant Internship). Complete a Memorandum of Agreement with your faculty instructor and the employer for your summer internship. Usually, students will register for ANSC 398 in the fall after completion of their summer internship and their work product would be due in the fall semester.  

What is a Memorandum of Agreement?

The Memorandum of Agreement spells out what experience you will have and how you will document your learning. It is an agreement between you, your instructor, and the person or company hosting your internship if applicable. The Memorandum of Agreement makes everyone aware of the requirements and deadlines for your ANSC 398 experience.

What is a "work product"?

A work product is the documentation of your learning during your experience. This is what will be graded by your Animal Sciences instructor. Several options of work products are listed here.

How will work products be graded?

Your grade will be determined from the following criteria at the discretion of your faculty instructor: demonstration of new learning, breadth and depth of information presented, appropriateness for the intended audience, evidence of thoughtful effort, clarity and ease of understanding by the intended audience, integration of new ideas with other parts of the Animal Sciences curriculum, originality, and on-time completion. More information about the grading of work products can be found here.

I am a James Scholar and will be completing an undergraduate research project. Do I also register for ANSC 398?

Yes. As a James Scholar, you should register for ANSC 398 each semester you perform research for your James Scholar project. Your faculty instructor may use interim reports or other work products to grade your ANSC 398 hours, resulting in multiple semesters of graded ANSC 398 work. Like all Animal Sciences majors, James Scholars are required to complete 1 graded hour of ANSC 398.

I would like to complete several different Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS) internships. Can I receive ANSC 398 credit for all of them?

You can receive up to 10 credit hours of ANSC 398 credit, and at least 1 of them must be a graded credit. If you plan to produce a work product from your internship, register for graded credit. If you do not plan a work product, consult with Dr. Amy Fischer-Brown regarding Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit. Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS) Internships are listed in section G.

I am planning to join a departmental judging team. Can I use this experience as an ANSC 398 experience?

Yes. Departmental judging teams are listed under Section C: Evaluation Team Experience. In addition to earning credit through the specific judging team course, you can earn 1 hour of ANSC 398 graded credit for each judging team experience. To earn graded credit for the experience, you must produce a work product in addition to participating on the judging team. This section of ANSC 398 cannot be taken for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit.

I am washing dishes and doing general lab work for a professor. Does this count for ANSC 398 experience?

While such an experience is very useful for undergraduates, ANSC 398 requires you to produce a work product in return for graded credit. Producing a work product without performing some sort of independent research might be very difficult. Washing dishes and general lab work may quality for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit and can lead up to an independent project that can count for graded credit.

I am performing undergraduate research in another department. Does this count for ANSC 398 credit?

Yes. Unpaid undergraduate research anywhere on campus could be used for ANSC 398 if it is related to Animal Sciences. The goal of ANSC 398 is to broaden your experience in the fields of Animal Sciences, so any experience must be relatable to that goal. You will also need an Animal Sciences professor to be a faculty instructor for this course. Use a Memorandum of Agreement to work out the details between you, the professor advising your research, and your faculty instructor. Register for Section F (On-campus internship).  

I completed an internship last summer and didn't fill out a Memorandum of Agreement. Does this still count for ANSC 398 credit?

No. All details of your internship or experience must be worked out prior to the experience taking place. Exceptions to this policy will be handled on a case-by-case basis.