two students present their work to the class via a slide presentation

Learn What You Love.

With our Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll build marketable skills in your field beginning on day one, so you can quickly learn and do what you love.

Our academic approach is unconventional. In fact, it’s Upside-Down.

Unlike traditional models that start with general education requirements and gradually introduce major-specific courses, we’ve turned it all around. At Champlain, you’ll have the opportunity to take as many as six classes in your major during your first year meaning you can intern as early as the first summer after you begin college. That’s two years earlier than you would at most other colleges! Why do we do this? Because it works.

How Upside-Down Works

If computer science is your thing, you’ll start coding and building software in your first year as a Computer Science & Innovation major. Or, if you are, say, studying Business Administration, you’ll take courses like business law, marketing, accounting, and entrepreneurship in your first semester. In your second semester, you’ll take courses in management, economics, and international business—and complete a business internship over the summer.

Regardless of what you choose to study, every major at Champlain College gets flipped Upside-Down. See for yourself as you browse our majors. You’ll notice the career-specific courses you’ll start in your first semester, and then how you will take increasingly more specialized courses as you get into the upper years—some of which you would only normally encounter in graduate-level programs.

A group of computer science students and a professor looking at a wall of TVs with statistics and information displayed on them

Benefits of the Upside-Down Curriculum

Intern as early as your first year

Imagine having the skills, knowledge, and credentials to land paid internships that most other students wouldn’t qualify for until after their junior year. By the end of your first year at Champlain, you’ll be ready to take on a professional internship experience.

Why stop at one internship?

Many Champlain students complete multiple internships, and some have even finished as many as eight to ten before graduation. This means you’ll be actively building your résumé with real-world experience while gaining a deeper understanding of your chosen field.

Test-drive your interests

Think of this as our version of love it or leave it. Don’t get us wrong—we hope you’ll love your major! But by going all-in from the start, you’ll know sooner that you definitely do. Undecided? You’ll have the opportunity to explore a variety of fields and interests before you commit to a major. The Upside-Down Curriculum allows you freedom and flexibility in your first two years, giving you the chance to find your passion and choose the right path for you.


Completed Experiential Learning
of students over the last six years who completed at least 1 internship during their time at Champlain College.


One third of students who study abroad also intern abroad, meaning more than 100 students completed an international internship in 2019.


Since 2013, the Freeman Foundation Grant has financially supported approximately 150 Champlain students interning in Asia.

Having business classes from the beginning of my first year helped me gauge pretty quickly how interested I was in each aspect of the business world and ultimately helped me decide what I was interested in pursuing as a minor.
Maiya Avisata-Sullivan
Maiya Avisata-Sullivan, Business Administration Major
“Champlain is a pioneer of the Upside-Down Curriculum. Undergraduates can take as many as six classes in their majors during their first year [which] allows them to build a resume of professional skills and credentials and obtain work-related internships after their first year. ”
Michael T. Nietzel - Forbes
Michael T. Nietzel , Senior Contributor at Forbes

Career Pathways

More Inside Career-Focused Academics