Elon Experiences Programs


Special courses, service projects, organizational leadership and internships help students develop the characteristics that identify a leader in any field: strong character, good communication skills, self-confidence, the ability to make decisions and motivate others, solve problems and take risks. Leadership development programs are described more fully in the Student Life section of Elon’s website and the university offers a minor in Leadership Studies.


Academic Service-Learning gives students the opportunity to link knowledge and skills learned in the classroom with the world around them. Through Academic Service-Learning courses, students develop a deeper understanding of disciplinary knowledge as they engage in academic coursework and relevant community projects guided by the expertise of faculty members and community practitioners. Students engage in structured reflection and complete academic assignments that enhance their understanding of the connections between course content and service. Academic Service-Learning has numerous demonstrated benefits for students including increased mastery of course content, improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills, increased understanding of social responsibility, and enhanced self-awareness and personal growth. Some Academic Service-Learning courses fulfill the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR).

The Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement and Elon Volunteers! (the umbrella organization that coordinates and facilitates service experiences for students) combine volunteer service with education about social issues. Students may partly complete the ELR through one of the Kernodle Center’s volunteer service programs when they are linked with appropriate reflection and academic assessment.

Internships and Co-ops

Elon University strongly supports programs that allow students to relate their classroom learning to work experience. Active cooperative education and internship programs provide opportunities throughout the academic year and during summers for students to explore careers, integrate theory with practice and examine future job possibilities. In each learning experience, the student’s academic or career-related work assignment is supervised and evaluated by Elon faculty. Internships are directly related to majors or minors, may be full or part time and paid or unpaid. Most departments offer internship credits. Co-ops usually offer pay, are full or part time, may be repeated and count toward elective credit.  More than 86 percent of 2015 Elon graduates reported participation in internships and co-ops on the graduation survey.

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be a junior or senior (sophomore for co-op), have a 2.0 minimum GPA, have completed departmental prerequisites and have approval from the faculty sponsor/Internship Director.

Global Engagement

The Global Education Center (GEC) provides Elon students with opportunities to study, conduct research, engage in service learning or intern abroad during Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer terms. Details of the programs can be found at the Study Abroad website. Elon study abroad programs may not be taken pass/fail and may not be audited. Students on Disciplinary Probation are not eligible for some programs.

Elon operates its own overseas semester programs in London, England; Shanghai, China; Dunedin, New Zealand and Florence, Italy. An Elon faculty member serves as Faculty-in-Residence for these programs and teaches one course. Local faculty teach additional courses.

During Winter Term, Elon offers over 30 faculty-led programs. These begin with a 1-semester hour prerequisite Preparatory Seminar course in the Fall semester, followed by the 4-semester hour program abroad in January.

Students who study abroad on the many affiliate or exchange semester programs will receive Elon credit, pay through Elon, maintain the same financial aid and scholarships available to them on campus, satisfy one to two units of their Experiential Learning Requirement, and have the support of the Elon campus. The GEC has vetted and approved these programs based on safety, level of support, academic rigor and overall fit with the Elon University curriculum and philosophy.

Students may petition to study in a program that is not affiliated with Elon. Students on non-Elon programs are not enrolled at Elon, pay directly to the institution abroad, and do not receive institutional scholarship money. The associate registrar reviews the credits for transfer.

Any student applying to participate in a Study Abroad program must be enrolled full-time at Elon for the semester which precedes the off-campus term. This policy applies to all programs, including Elon-administered programs, affiliated programs, exchange programs and non-Elon programs.

For further information, students should visit the Global Education Center or visit the Global Education Center website.

Study USA, housed within the Global Education Center, coordinates short term, summer, and semester credit-bearing programs at locations across the United States. Our signature course and internship programs are located in San Francisco (summer), Alaska (summer), Los Angeles (summer and spring) and New York City (spring, summer and fall). Students enrolled in these off-site programs remain enrolled at Elon, receive Elon credit, pay Elon directly, maintain financial aid and scholarships, and satisfy one or two units of the Experiential Learning Requirement. Study USA also offers faculty-led Winter Term programs in locations such as Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, rural Appalachia, DC, and New York City. Details for individual programs may be found at the Study USA website.
Study USA courses may not be taken pass/fail or audited. Students on Disciplinary Probation are not eligible for some programs.

Non-Elon Global Engagement (Study Abroad or Study USA) Program Policies

The Global Education Center (GEC) requires students to attend Elon-vetted programs unless there is a compelling academic reason to attend a program not reviewed and approved by Elon. The Global Education Center has assessed the academic components as well as student life and student support services on each of these programs, and works closely with the program coordinators.

Definition of non-Elon Study Abroad/Study USA Program

A non-Elon program is one that is not affiliated with Elon University through an agreement. Elon will approve study away at such a non-Elon program if there is a compelling academic reason. If offered through a U.S. college or university, the institution must be regionally accredited. If offered through an institution in another country, the institution must be recognized by the ministry of education or other accrediting bodies.

Non-Elon Program Petition Submission Deadlines

• Fall, Year, and Summer Programs: March 30
• Spring, and Winter Term Programs: October 30

Once a petition has been approved, students will be directed to complete the Transfer Request process.

Enrollment Status

A student is not considered an Elon student while participating in a non-Elon program. However, if a student’s petition is approved prior to the non-Elon experience, the student will not need to re-apply to Elon upon return. A student’s @elon.edu email address will remain active during the term abroad on a non-Elon program. Students who are approved to participate in a non-Elon program should NOT withdraw from Elon; the GEC will notify relevant offices of students’ participation in the non-Elon programs.


Elon will charge a non-refundable $1,000 administrative fee for all non-Elon semester and year global engagement programs once the petition has been approved. Program costs are paid directly to the non-Elon program and are set by the program provider.

Transfer Credit Non-Elon Global Engagement programs (Study Abroad and Study USA)

Students who follow the proper procedure and complete the course approval process before enrolling in a non-Elon program may receive transfer credit. Transfer credit is not guaranteed, and is given on a course-by-course basis to be decided by the Registrar’s Office in consultation with academic department chairs as appropriate. Courses with a grade of “C-” or better are transferred and the hours earned transfer as well as the course itself. Grades do not transfer; therefore, GPA is not affected. Semester-hour credit will transfer the same as awarded by the host institution (e.g., 3 hrs. for 3 hrs.). Students should keep everything related to coursework abroad: syllabi, course descriptions, class notes, papers, exams, etc

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is an integral component of the Elon experience. Mentored by a faculty member, student researchers engage in the exploration of new ideas and seek to further the knowledge in their chosen disciplines. As researchers, they enhance their disciplinary skills, gain confidence as emerging scholars and often develop contacts within the disciplinary network. Many undergraduate research projects lead to dissemination in the form of public presentations ranging from Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) to regional, national and international conferences. It also is possible for students, as a result of their research, to be coauthors on peer-reviewed scholarly publications. Whether a student intends to transition immediately into the workforce after graduation or plans to pursue post-graduate studies, participating in undergraduate research will enhance his/her chances for ultimate success.

Independent Study

Students may undertake independent study to explore special subject matter that is not available through catalogued courses. To receive credit for independent study, a student will work with a faculty member with the requisite expertise. A course may not be repeated by Independent Study.

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