|Letter to Students|
A major component of your Elon experience will be the General Studies program. But what is this program? Why are these courses
required? And why do you have to take any courses at all outside your major?
Developing complex thinking skills needed for your life after college challenges even the most academically prepared students. These skills, so necessary for success in any endeavor, cannot be memorized and regurgitated. They come from sustained intellectual work with a wide range of ideas and perspectives. We must learn to see from the perspective of others, think critically about the world around us and apply these skills to the world in which we live. With such abilities, when you graduate from Elon you will be prepared for the many responsibilities you will have in life, making you a better spouse, parent, citizen ó person.
Elonís General Studies program offers you the opportunity to develop these skills and assume such responsibilities successfully. Our program helps you at each stage of your school career, from the First Year Core to the Interdisciplinary Seminars in your junior and senior years. General Studies courses will help you to think in more complex ways; work in collaborative settings; develop your sense of your place in the world and your own values; and become a leader in your own community. At the same time, these courses will help you become a self-directed learner, enriching your writing and problem-solving abilities. You will complete this program a much stronger writer and thinker, capable of success in any major you choose.
Elonís General Studies program has four distinct parts. The First Year Core offers a common foundation for all first-year students. These courses challenge your thinking, stretch your communications skills and help you gain a strong sense of yourself.
The Arts and Sciences courses offer you perspectives from a variety of disciplines. You will gain an understanding of the diversity of knowledge that exists and how you can use this knowledge in order to live a thoughtful, meaningful life.
The Experiential Learning Requirement encourages you to use your thinking and communication skills in out-of-the-classroom experiences. You may complete this requirement by being an intern, taking part in a service project, holding a leadership position, studying abroad, or conducting independent research. This requirement will help you put your classroom work into practice.
The Advanced Studies courses, taken during your junior and senior years, help integrate what you have learned in a variety of ways. They help you develop your higher-level thinking skills and encourage you to define further the values you have developed at Elon.
As a whole, the General Studies program cultivates global citizens and informed leaders who are motivated by concern for the common good. Enjoy your experiences along the way!
Director, General Studies Program