Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons

Professional development program

The Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons (HIPAL) is a four-year professional development program for students seeking Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science degrees in the natural sciences, designed to help them be “first day career ready” for graduate or professional school and careers. Majors in the natural sciences include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental studies, exercise science, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, computational sciences, and public health sciences.

What characteristics does HIPAL look for?

The characteristics of a strong HIPAL candidate include:

  • Student shows commitment and dedication as proven by participation in other co-curricular activities. Students do not receive formal credit, and for that reason there is no cost to the student to be a part of the program. Instead, students gain valuable skills and experiences to help them reach their professional goals. In exchange, students are asked to commit to the program, attending all seminars and workshops and completing independent study activities.
  • Student exhibits a strong work ethic. We want students that are self-starters and driven individuals. We are looking for students that are not afraid of hard work and independent learning.
  • Student exhibits passion and enthusiasm for their work and academic life.
  • Student is strong academically and exhibits strong technical skills and intellectual curiosity. The minimum GPA requirement for the program is 3.0.

*Each HIPAL cohort has approximately 24 students. Students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year, including transfer students, can apply to join the cohort in their respective year if there is availability.

How do I apply?

To join the program, you must complete an application and secure a recommendation from a Hamline faculty member.

First-year and sophomore cohorts: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with prior permission from the HIPAL interim director. Interested students should contact the interim director at hipal@hamline.edu.

Junior and senior cohorts: Limited availability, interested students should contact the interim director at hipal@hamline.edu.

Information for current HIPAL students

The HIPAL program is designed with the employers' valued characteristics of graduates (outlined below) in mind. Outside of regularly scheduled meetings, you should engage in other academic and professional endeavors during your four years at Hamline to help you develop these desired skills.

HIPAL meetings

All HIPAL meetings take place on Tuesdays or Thursdays during convo hour or early evening. All HIPAL students make a commitment to the program, and as such, they are expected to attend all HIPAL meetings. If a student cannot make a meeting, they are expected to contact the HIPAL director in advance. Students with excessive absences may be put on a one-semester probation or asked to leave the program.

Study away and study abroad experiences

The global marketplace requires employees to be culturally competent. One way to develop skills in this area while in college is through study away and study abroad experiences. HIPAL students are highly encouraged to seek out one of the many study abroad experiences offered through Hamline’s Global Engagement Center (GEC).

Your coursework and GPA

Every HIPAL student will have different courses they must take to meet their major/minor requirements. All students need to take courses outside their major to satisfy their general education requirements, both breadth of study and the Hamline Plan.

Academic strength is valued by employers. The minimum GPA for the HIPAL program is 3.0. A student with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 will be put on a one-semester probation to bring up their grades. After this one-semester probation, if the student has not improved their cumulative GPA to a 3.0 or greater, they will be asked to leave the program.

Other resources

Hamline’s Career Development Center (CDC) hosts a number of events, workshops, job fairs, and professional development resources on their website, including access to Handshake, an online tool and app for students designed to make finding and posting jobs and internships easy.


Contact information