Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR)


The Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) prepares students for lives of meaningful work and service.  By engaging students in opportunities that integrate knowledge and experience, the ELR fosters an understanding and life-long appreciation for learning.  Students engage in a process that includes preparation, action, and reflection to develop the habits of mind required to learn effectively from experience and the commitment to put knowledge into action as responsible global citizens.

Students may complete this requirement by being an intern, studying abroad, (or through Study USA) conducting independent research, taking part in a service-learning project, or holding a leadership position.  For more information on each option, click on the links above to contact the respective office, or talk to an academic advisor.


Two units of experiential learning are required to fulfill this requirement.  Units may be obtained in the following ways:

• Study abroad / Study USA
     o 4-hour course abroad = 1 unit
     o 8 or more credit hours abroad = 2 units
• Research
     o 1 credit hour of research (courses numbered 498 or 499) = 1 unit
     o Elon’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program = 2 units
• Internships (including co-ops, teaching and practicums)
     o 1 credit hour of internship = 1 unit
• Service-learning
     o Designated service-learning course = 1 unit
     o Pre-approved service-learning experience mentored by the Kernodle Center = 1-2 units (40+ hours per unit)
• Leadership
     o Pre-approved leadership experience mentored by the Center for Leadership = 1-2 units (40+ hours per unit)
     o Designated leadership ELR course = 1 unit
• Other courses or experiences with ELR designation, approved by the Core Curriculum Council

Examples of ways a student could complete the ELR include the following:
•    Two credits of internship or research (in one term or across two terms)
•    Two winter term study abroad courses
•    A semester study abroad program
•    One service-learning course and one credit of research
•    One leadership experience and one credit of internship
•    Many other combinations