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Q&A: The First Year

Q: What will my first semester at Elon be like, academically?

A: Elon has 4-credit-hour courses, which means you'll typically take four courses a semester instead of the five 3-hour courses that most universities offer. That extra hour a week is designed for discussion and experiential learning. Most courses meet MWF or TTh. Your first semester will probably include a couple of First-Year Core courses such as College Writing, General Statistics, The Global Experience and Contemporary Wellness. Other courses will be your choice from such areas as science, history, philosophy, fine arts, foreign language and communications, plus the one-hour-a-week Elon 101.

Q: Will I graduate in four years at that rate?

A: Easily. If you take 16 credit hours in the fall and again in the spring, with 4 credit hours in Winter Term, that's 36 hours a year. Multiply that by four years and you have earned 144 credit hours, and this calculation does not include summer school, overloads or Advanced Placement credits. You need a minimum of 132 credit hours to graduate. Some Elon students graduate in less than four years, but many students take advantage of this flexibility by pursuing academic minors or double majors or a semester abroad. In Communications, our students may accept a leadership role in student media or pursue a semester-long internship.

Q: Who will be my adviser?

A: The teacher of your Elon 101 class serves as your adviser during the freshman year. This may be a professor of English, the university chaplain or even a dean. After the freshman year, students majoring in the School of Communications have a faculty member in Communications who serves as their adviser for the rest of their academic time at Elon. You meet individually with your faculty adviser at least once each semester.

Q: Do freshmen usually arrive on campus with their own computer?

A: Nearly 100 percent of the current freshman class brought a computer with them, but it is not required. The library has many computers for student use, and the School of Communications has multiple computer labs. Most students like being able to send e-mail and to complete writing projects in their own living spaces, which at Elon are wired for free, high-speed Internet access.

Q: Do I need to know specific hardware or software when I arrive?

A: The School of Communications operates Macintosh computer labs. Some of our students have PCs, not Macs, and it doesn't matter to us. But because Communications is a Mac environment, some students prefer having a Mac in their residence hall. Regarding software, we'll teach you what you need to know. Our computer labs feature the latest versions of Microsoft Word for writing classes, PowerPoint for visual presentations, Quark for journalism editing and design, Final Cut Pro for video editing, Photoshop for imaging, Illustrator for graphics, and Studio MX (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash) for web page creation.

Q: How do I get involved in student media?

A: Volunteer to work at the student newspaper (The Pendulum and The Pendulum Online), the student radio station (WSOE-FM 98.3), the student television group (ESTV), the student yearbook (Phi Psi Cli) and the student literary and art magazine (Colonnades). We highly recommend getting involved in student media and rising to leadership positions. Students at Elon often win media leadership positions in their freshman or sophomore years, because the most-accomplished juniors and seniors are out completing internships or semesters of study abroad.


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School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
E-mail: communications@elon.edu
Last Modified:  10/19/04
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