• For Current HIPAL Students

    The HIPAL website is where current HIPAL students can find information about programming, upcoming events, and things to do to keep on track as they work toward their career goals. 

    HIPAL Meetings

    All HIPAL meetings take place on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm. The HIPAL Events page lists the current HIPAL schedule. You will also find information about upcoming keynote lectures on this page. All HIPAL students make a commitment to the four-year 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. 

    Staying on Track

    The HIPAL program structure is designed with the employers' Valued Characteristics of Graduates in mind. Outside of regularly scheduled meetings, students should be engaging in other academic and professional endeavors during their four years at Hamline to help them develop these desired skills. 

    Study Abroad: The global marketplace requires employees to be culturally competent. One way to develop skills in this area while in college is through a study abroad experience. HIPAL students are highly encouraged to seek out one of the many study abroad experiences offered through Hamline’s Global Engagement Center (GEC). It can be challenging for science students to fit an academic experience abroad in their schedule but not impossible if you start planning early. Below are some HIPAL students that have completed a study abroad and seen the benefits from this experience.

    Rachel Mazac ’16 – Biology and Environmental Studies Major

    • Where: The University of Oulu, in Oulu, Finland.
    • When: I was there for five months in the spring semester of my junior year.
    • How: I found it through the GEC and Study Abroad website, and I applied for it the winter of my sophomore year. I was planning more than 12 months before I left to study. I took two to three months to search through programs, schools, classes, and countries before applying.
    • What: This was the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and was not a Hamline offered course. The program did accept my Hamline scholarships and financial aid.
    • Challenges/Recommendations: The most difficult decision for study abroad was just to do it. It can be a daunting task, but if you just get started and jump in, it will be one of the most incredible experiences of your academic career! Challenge yourself and change yourself.

     Michaela Koopmans ’16 – Chemistry Major

    • Where: I studied abroad in rural Jamaica. 
    • When: I was there for a J-Term class during my junior year. 
    • How: I had always wanted to study abroad. I regularly checked the GEC's listings for study abroad courses and opportunities. That is where I found out about Hamline’s Art and Biology course. When I saw the listing for my course in the spring of my sophomore year (approximately a year in advance of the trip), I wasn't completely sure if it was right for me but it sounded interesting so I took a leap of faith. I interviewed for the course and was accepted, which meant beginning to prepare financially and academically the summer before I left. 
    • What: This was a J-Term course in the Hamline curriculum.
    • Challenges/Recommendations: It ended up being a fantastic and highly valuable experience that I will never forget. There are, of course, challenges associated with studying abroad, so for prospective students, I would recommend visiting the GEC to talk about available study abroad experiences, keep track of deadlines and opportunities that come up, and plan financially for the experience well in advance.

    Tom Larson ‘16 – Biochemistry Major

    • Where: I did a study abroad in Italy.
    • When: I was there during the J-Term of my sophomore year. 
    • How: I started planning the spring of my first-year. I found the course through the GEC. There was a small application process, but no interview required for acceptance into the course. 
    • What: This study abroad course was about the music and art history of the different parts of Italy in modern history, up until about the middle 1800's.
    • Challenges/Recommendations: I found the experience to be very eye opening to the different ways the Italian culture values their history as well as their day-to-day life. I am on the track team so the largest challenge that I faced was finding places to train for track while traveling. Other than that the trip went very smoothly.

    Marten Thompson ’16 – Mathematics and Physics Major

    • Where: The University of York in York, England.
    • When: The spring term of my junior year.
    • How: The York program is possibly one of the most well-paved application processes as many Hamline students step through it. Still, that application process began a full year in advance. 
    • What: I spent the spring term of at the University of York studying within their mathematics department. 
    • Challenges/Recommendations: As a mathematics and physics major, studying abroad was not placed on my radar by either department or courses within my field. Rather, it was the milieu of HIPAL students, all very proactive and motivated people that brought a semester abroad out of obscurity into the realm of possibility. Their discussions were my impetus to look at the GEC website and meet with my advisors to seriously consider it. I am more than thankful for their motivation; my time in York was a defining experience for me as an undergrad and galvanized much of how I conceptualize myself as a student and a person. My only recommendation is for you to seriously consider studying a full term abroad as a possibility. Compromises had to be made within my majors and classes were jumbled around, but the width and depth of the experience justifies that beyond measure. 

    Internships: As you can see on the list of Valued Characteristics of Graduates, employers want graduates to have had an internship experience. Internships are different from research in an academic setting, which are also very valuable experiences. An internship can help you learn about corporate culture and organization structure. They can help you build your network and develop a professional reputation. They are also a great way to earn your LEAP (P) Hamline Plan requirement. The best place to start your internship search is the CDC Internship website. You should also do an independent search on companies’ career pages where they often list internship opportunities. Some departments may be contacted directly by companies with internship opportunities so check with your faculty too. And, you can also utilize your own network to find an internship. Internships are competitive and require advanced planning. Many large companies do their recruiting in early fall for the following summer. Below are some HIPAL students that have completed an internship and seen the benefits from this experience.

    Rachel Mazac ’16 – Biology and Environmental Science Major
    Internship 1

    • Where: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, MN - Education Intern.
    • When: Three month internship the summer after sophomore year.
    • How: I found this position on the CDC internship website. I applied the winter before I started.
    • What: I earned my LEAP credit towards my Environmental Studies major.

    Internship 2

    • Where: Spark-Y Youth Action Labs, Minneapolis, MN - Youth Sustainability Education Intern.
    • When: Three month internship the summer after junior year.
    • How: This internship was through a personal connection and I applied through their website in the spring of my junior year.
    • What: I did not register/get academic credit for this internship but gained valuable experience.
    • Challenges/Recommendations: For internships, be bold and reach out to places you want to do internships but may not offer them. Try different things and do more than one! Apply for as many as interest you and have no regrets.

    Amy Sherren ’16 – Chemistry and Physics Major

    • Where: Minnesota Zoo as the Life Support Systems Intern.
    • When: This was a 10-week internship the summer after my junior year.
    • How: It was my last summer before I graduated and I was looking for a new experience. I started the January before that summer, searching online and through the CDC website for internships. It was recommended that I go to the Private College Job and Internship Fair. I attended with a friend, who decided to check out the Minnesota Zoo. As a chemist I didn't think they would have many opportunities for me and neither did they. Then they remembered the Life Support Systems department, which had an opportunity for someone with my skills and knowledge base. 
    • What: As the Life Support Systems intern, I maintained and operated the water systems at the zoo including outdoor exhibits and features, fresh and salt water aquariums, and creating salt water for the land locked zoo. I had an amazing experience and never realized that science could be so active and engaging. I was constantly moving and problem solving system failures or issues. 
    • Challenges/Recommendations: I would recommend applying early. Getting a good head start gives you time to refine a great resume and cover letter. I also recommend you have multiple people (a CDC counselor, friend, or family members) look over your résumé and cover letter to get their feedback. Instead of hoping your cover letter conveys what you are trying to say, you can actually test it! I also highly recommend that you go into your internship with an open mind. My internship turned out to be so much more than I expected it to be. Be ready to be flexible, ask questions and learn everything you can.

    Coursework: 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. On the Recommended Curriculum page you will find a list of courses offered at Hamline that would help you meet these general education requirements while developing the Valued Characteristics of Graduates. This page also lists a number of minors outside of the natural science that would be valuable for students to earn.

    Other Resources: There are a number of offices on Hamline’s campus that offer other professional development programming. Career Development Center (CDC) hosts a number of events, workshops, job fairs, and offers lots of professional development resources on their website. Piper Connect is a database comprised of Hamline alumni and employers who have agreed to be contacted by current students with questions or requests for informational interviews. Alumni Relations hosts Alum 101, a series of information sessions built to help transition recent alumni and current students to life after Hamline. Many of the local professional organizations in the sciences hold job fairs. These organizations are great to get involved in to help build your network and find out about professional opportunities in your field of study.


    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.