Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate Program

Go beyond the walls of the classroom and put your discipline into practice in real world settings. Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) is a certificate program that enhances student marketability in the work force.

Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) is open only to students majoring in the College of Science. It is a voluntary program aimed at encouraging you, the College of Science student, to engage in activities that provide hands-on experience and opportunities to apply classroom knowledge. Successful completion of the LBC program will be noted on your official Purdue transcript. You will also receive a certificate of completion.


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The Program

Participation in LBC involves attending, organizing, or leading activities that fall into three general categories: career and professional development; service, citizenship and leadership; and experience with domestic and international diversity.

Career and Professional Development

Service, Citizenship and Leadership

Experience with Diversity

Progress in each of the three areas is tracked by a point system. Points are earned by submitting reports on participation in activities. The number of points earned varies with the intensity of the activity.

Completing the LBC certificate requires that you:

  • Participate in at least one intensive activity lasting an extended period of time, such as semester-long study abroad, full-time summer internship, two (consecutive) semesters of undergraduate research, an entrepreneurial activity together with the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and academic year resident assistant. Such an activity is worth 10 points.
  • Accumulate a total of 24 points, with at least 4 points in each of 3 categories.
  • Include either (a) 3 credits of approved coursework with grades of P or C- or higher (one or more courses totaling 3 credits can meet this requirement) or (b) a semester-long study abroad program (worth 10 points) or some combination of spring break (4 points) and/or summer study abroad activities (6 points), totaling 10 points.

In most cases, a maximum of 6 points per year and 10 points in total may be earned for any particular activity. It is estimated that completion of the certificate will take approximately 30 hours over your college career in addition to the intensive 10-point activity described above.


The Benefits

Don't just get a degree, get an education!

The College of Science wants you to learn beyond the classroom! As majors in the College you already work with our faculty and staff to develop into skilled scientists of the future. You practice applying these skills in our laboratories and workshops. Now we are asking you to take advantage of the many opportunities you have while you are in college to go beyond the walls of the classrooms and labs and put your disciplines into practice in real world settings. We think this experience is of such importance that we will recognize you for doing so with a Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate that will be noted on your Purdue academic transcript.

The benefits:

  • Expanded academic achievement 
  • Improved classroom performance
  • Enhanced prospects for graduate school and employment
  • Increased competence in discipline
  • Strengthened confidence as a professional

A recent analysis shows that students who have earned the Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate have a higher GPA at graduation and finish their degrees more quickly than students who did not earn an LBC certificate.

The GPA of students with LBC certification is on average 0.213 higher than those without LBC (p < 0.001). Students with LBC certification on average graduated half a semester earlier than those without LBC (p < 0.001). The LBC group has its on-time graduation rate higher by 12.27% (p < 0.001).



Among the requirements of the Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate Program is that you participate in either (a) approved coursework with grades of P or C- or higher (one or more courses totaling 3 credits meets this requirement) or (b) semester-ling study abroad or the equivalent.

Here is a table of courses that have been identified as meeting the objectives of this program. If there is an experiential course which is not here that you believe to be similar to those listed, contact the administrator. The College of Science Office of Undergraduate Education reserves the right to determine whether a course meets the program criteria.


How to Enroll

Ready to enroll in the College of Science Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate Program? Just take the following steps:

  1. The first thing you need to do is go to https://lbc.science.purdue.edu/ and complete the survey.
  2. Within one week of your enrollment, you will receive a welcome e-mail and be able to access the D2l Certificate BrightSpace Site. Log onto BrightSpace.
    • There you should see the College of Science LBC site. On it, you will find the report forms for the different types of activities as well as instructions on how to submit your completed reports electronically through the site.  
    • You may start accumulating points at any point in your college career. The sooner you begin, the easier it will be to reach the point threshold needed for the certificate.
    • We encourage students to submit reports as soon as possible after completion of the activity.


Funding for Student Activities

Funding is available to help you make the most of your learning experiences outside the classroom. Whether it's registration fees for a professional conference or housing and transportation to participate in a service learning activity, grants are available to help you learn beyond the classroom.


Questions?  Contact the administrator at LBC@purdue.edu