First-Year Student FAQs

We understand that you might have a lot of questions before coming to Elon! Look through some frequently asked questions about Orientation and Arrival, Academics and Course Registration, and Student Life and see if your question can be answered. If you need more information, please call Orientation at (336)-278-7777 or email at

Orientation and Arrival Day

Q: What's the purpose of Orientation?
A: During this time you will learn about all of the resources and opportunities that Elon offers, meet faculty and staff, and interact with members of your class. You will be assigned an Orientation Leader, a returning Elon student who will help guide you and answer any questions you may have. 

Q: There seem to be a lot of events planned for me. Will I have free time to move in and adjust?
A: Orientation events are planned for that purpose; to help you adjust. While your first few days until classes begin are essentially planned out for you, there will be plenty of time to get to know your roommate, make friends, set up your room, prepare for classes, etc. Being busy will help you adjust and allow you to become acclimated with the campus and your classmates.

Q: Can I bring a guest to Orientation?
A: Parents, familiy members, and siblings are welcome to attend Orientation Weekend, but will attend different programs and activities than you. Programming for parents and families ends on Saturday afternoon around 2:00pm.

Academics and Course Registration

Q: How do I register for my courses?
A: All incoming first-year students will complete a course request process for planning their first semester courses. The course request process is administered through a website. Students receive further information and instructions during a Rising Phoenix weekend or later date.

  • The Academic Advising Center provides information during Rising Phoenix weekends. Students who are unable to participate in a Rising Phoenix weekend will receive the information folder through the mail in late April.
  • Incoming students only have access to login to the Web site AFTER the enrollment deposit has been paid. Students should allow 4-5 days for processing the enrollment deposit before attempting to login to the course request Web site.
  • The Course Request Forms, which indicate course selections, should be submitted through the aforementioned Web site prior to June 1st.
    • Once Course Request Forms are submitted, they are emailed to the student and the Office of Academic Support as pdf files. The files are sent to the email address that the student indicates on the forms.

During the summer, an academic advisor reviews each student's Course Request Forms and finalizes fall semester schedules. The advisor reviews transfer, AP and IB credits prior to finalizing schedules. Once the schedule is finalized and tuition paid, students will receive an email with information about how to view fall schedules. This is the only time that someone else will complete student registration. During all other semesters, students and academic advisors collaborate and discuss course selection and students preregister themselves using Elon's OnTrack system.

Q: What classes should I take?
A: Your course load is the total number of "semester hours" (or "credit hours") of the courses you register for in a given semester. For example, if you register for four 4-hour courses, you will be in class 16 hours a week -- and you will have a 16 semester-hour course load. Most students enrolling at Elon take five classes (16-18 credit hours) in their first semester. They select two courses from the First-Year Foundations, two courses from other categories of the Elon Core Curriculum (or from the major) and Elon 101. Some students will also enroll in one or two special interest courses like choir, PE or dance.

Q: What are First Year Foundations classes?
A: These are classes that all students are required to take during your first year at Elon.
The First Year Foundations classes include:

  • Core 110, The Global Experience: 4 semester hours
  • English 110, Argument & Inquiry: 4 semester hours
  • Mathematics (MTH 110, 151 or higher excluding MTH 210): 4 semester hours

*Note: Because of the writing load involved in COR 110 and ENG 110, these two courses are not taken in the same semester.
See for more detailed information about courses in the Elon Core Curriculum.

Q: What if I don't get all the courses I want?
A: The Academic Advising staff to tries to ensure that you are assigned to classes that you have requested and that meet your Core Curriculum requirements. If you suspect a mistake has been made (e.g., you've been enrolled in a course at too high or too low a level), you should consult Academic Advising in Duke 108, (336) 278-6500.

At the beginning of every semester, there is a period of "drop and add" where students may, with the approval of their advisor, drop a class they are enrolled in without any penalty and/or add an additional class if there are spaces available. Students may continue to drop a course without penalty for several weeks into the semester, until the "last day to drop a course," which is indicated in the Academic Calendar. After this date, students may withdraw from a course after consulting with their academic advisor and the course instructor. Withdrawals will appear on the transcript with a grade of "W." However, dropping or withdrawing at this time may result in only partial (or no) refund of the tuition. Dropping or withdrawing from a course a course after the "last day to withdraw with a W" will result in an F for the course.

Q: When should I declare a major?
A: Students may declare a major after their first semester on campus. Most students have declared a major by the end of their sophomore year. If desired, a second major and/or a minor may also be selected at that time or later. Students should be aware that changing majors late in the junior year or in the senior year may delay graduation, as students must meet the requirements of a major, not just acquire the requisite 132 hours of credit for graduation. Some majors at Elon require that you make an early commitment and plan your courses carefully in order for you to fulfill the requirements in a timely manner. Students who would like help in selecting a major may enroll in COE 110, Exploring Careers/Majors, for one semester hour of credit. This course is offered both fall and spring semesters. 

Q: What is Elon 101?
A: Elon 101 is a group of approximately 15-18 students who attend a class led by an Elon instructor and an Elon 101 teacher assistant (T.A.). The class meets once a week for your first semester to help you learn more about Elon and one another. Your Elon 101 group is the same as your Orientation group that you will meet with prior to classes starting.

Q: What kind of relationship can I expect to have with professors?
A: You can expect to find instructors who want to get to know you, who want to help you and who want to share their passion for their subject. However, you can't just stand back and wait! What makes Elon different from many large schools is that you will have access to faculty members. The faculty:student ratio is 12:1, and almost 50% of Elon courses enroll 20 or fewer students. This means that faculty will learn your name, take time to answer your questions, and be available to you. They will spend hours planning for the classes they teach you, evaluating your assignments and staying on top of their fields to know what's current. At Elon, 23% of students choose to participate in Undergraduate Research in which they work closely with a faculty mentor on a long-term project. To be sure, there are differences in faculty, but one thing you can count on with all faculty members at Elon is that they care about your future and helping you reach your potential.

Q: How hard will classes be?
A: We want you to apply yourself and stretch your mind. Your professors will give you assignments that will push your reading, research and communication skills. They will ask you to think about new issues, to consider various alternatives. You will need to think about classwork and homework differently than you did in high school. If you're in a class and feeling lost or confused, you should notify the instructor. The professor will be glad to help you get over a hurdle in understanding. Special tutoring with peer tutors may be arranged through tutoring services. The Writing Center staffs student consultants highly trained to work with you on your writing at any stage of the process and in any course--not just English! Try as they might, students do occasionally fail or complete below-average work in classes. Elon's policy on Repeat Courses (see catalog for entire policy) says that students may repeat courses within four semesters of attendance (excluding winter and summer session) and that only the most recent grade is counted (rather than any previous grade). While this policy doesn't apply for multiple repeats of a course, it does allow most students a second chance to raise their grade without any permanent damage to their grade point average. 

Student Life

Q: How do I find out my campus box number?
A: You can find this information on OnTrack. After you login, click on 'My Profile.' 

Q: Can I send my belongings to Elon? Is there storage for trunks?
A: You can have your belongings sent before you arrive on campus by sending them to your campus box at Moseley Center so you can pick them up when you arrive. You can find your campus box number on OnTrack. Elon does not provide storage for trunks. Please do not mail valuable items, such as electronics, family heirlooms, etc. 

Example: John Smith 
XXXX Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Q: How do I join clubs/organizations? Can I get involved right away?
A: The Organization Fair is the held the second Friday after classes begin and is a great time look into the organizations you may want to be a part of. Phoenix Connect is the online hub for student organization activity, where you can view events happening across campus each day. Go to for a complete list of organizations or stop by the Student Involvement office in Moseley. Contact SGA at for information on first-year elections. If you are interested in Fraternity and Sorority Life, Elon has a deferred recruitment process which occurs after your first semester; visit for more information.

Q: Where can I find employment at Elon?
A: There are jobs available campus-wide. You can look for job opportunities on the Elon Job Network:

Q: How does the Phoenix Card work?
A: This card serves as your student identification card, meal plan card, Phoenix Cash, and also as an optional link to a Wells Fargo bank account. Your meal plan can be used at any of the on-campus food service venues. Phoenix Cash can be used at on and off-campus venues that are part of the Phoenix Cash program. Your Phoenix Card will also allow you to get free tickets to both cultural and athletic events! For more information please visit:

Q: What can I do if I do not get along with my roommate?
A: It may take some time to get used to living in a residence hall, but having a roommate is part of the fun of college. If you have any problems with your roommate, your Resident Advisor (RA) who lives on the hall will be there to assist you in the transition into your new home.

Q: What are College Coffee & Numen Lumen?
A: Elon has many traditions that you will soon be a part of, and College Coffee & Numen Lumen are two of them. Every Tuesday and Thursday the campus gathers for the events. College Coffee (Tuesday from 9:40 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.) allows Elon faculty, staff,and students to gather to enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Numen Lumen (Thursday from 9:50 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.) is a weekly time for spirituality and reflection held in the Numen Lumen Pavilion. 

Q: How much “spending money” will I need per month?
A: Everyone is different – it all depends on you. Some students spend $75 per month, while others spend $400 per month.  How much do you typically spend at home? Factors include whether or not you have a car, if you eat out a lot, and how many visits you make to the mall.

Q: Do I need my own computer?
A: Not necessarily; there are 20 computer labs with over 620 workstations on campus. If you wish to bring your own computer, please visit for the recommended requirements.

Q: Is transportation available to the nearby airports for breaks and holidays? If so, how much does it cost and how do you make arrangements?
A: Transportation is available to nearby airports for breaks and holidays. The service costs $35 to GSO and $45 to RDU regardless of whether the student needs a one-way or round-trip ticket. Tickets are non-refundable. Students must sign up at least fourteen days before the first departure of each break to be guaranteed a seat. After this reservation period, seats will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until the designated spots are filled. To reserve your seat, you must pay the non-refundable fee at the Bursar's Office, and bring the receipt with ALL airline flight information to the Moseley Center Information Desk.

Q: What happens if I get sick or have an emergency while at Elon?
A: In an emergency always call 911. For non emergency situations you can call Campus Security, extension 5555. If you need to be seen by a doctor, visit or call the Ellington Center for Health & Wellness at extension (336) 278-7230. Elon always has an after-hours administrator on call who will be contacted and dispatched to assist the student in the situation and help contact the family.