Your First-Year Experience encompasses many aspects of the University – from inside the classroom in your Elon 101 and COR 110 classes, to your orientation experience, and even includes your residential neighborhood experience! Click on the links below to learn more about the comprehensive experience that awaits you at Elon!

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation (NSO) is a program intentionally designed to acclimate all new students – first-years and transfers – to the Elon community.

This program takes place in August for students starting in the fall semester and in January for students starting in the spring semester.

Learn more about Fall NSO

Learn more about Spring NSO


First-Year Summer Experiences

First-Year Summer Experience (FSE) programs are designed to help incoming students feel confident and prepared as they enroll at Elon. The FSE programs embrace the university’s commitment to experiential learning, and use this guiding philosophy to help students develop self-awareness, enhance relationships, and define community in preparation for their Elon experience.

Learn more about FSE


Elon Common Reading Program

Consistent with the Elon University mission of nurturing a rich intellectual community, the Elon Common Reading Program (ECRP) challenges students, faculty, and staff to examine themselves and the local and global worlds they inhabit through reading. The readings and related discussions aim not only to encourage critical reflection about important issues but also to invite consideration of how our individual actions affect these issues.

Be sure to purchase and read the assigned book before you come to campus to start your academic journey, since it will be a shared intellectual experience during your first year, both in and out of class. The common reading marks the beginning of the Elon Core Curriculum, the set of courses and experiences that are shared by every Elon undergraduate.

Learn more about ECRP


Elon 101

Elon 101 is a one credit-hour seminar course that integrates academic advising with other academic orientation elements such as the honor code and creating a graduation plan. Elon 101 consistently receives high marks from our first-year student population and over 98% of incoming students complete Elon 101 as part of their first-semester coursework.

Learn more about Elon 101


First-Year Foundations

The First-Year Foundations launch the Elon experience by challenging students to think critically, engage globally, and communicate effectively. The Foundations consist of courses in writing and math, as well as a signature Elon course called “The Global Experience.” The Common Reading Program supplements the Foundations by facilitating shared intellectual experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Learn more about first-year foundations


Residential Living & Learning Experience

Residential Learning Communities consist of groups of students residing in the same residential area, interacting academically and socially with each other and with faculty, and sharing the same passion, interest, or academic focus. The residential learning communities at Elon are consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Residential learning communities provide students the opportunity to interact with one another and with staff and faculty mentors while attending events, speakers, and programs on or off campus. The students work together and with the guidance of a faculty, staff, or peer advisor to shape their out of class learning experiences and take responsibility for their shared community.

Elon’s residential learning communities include living-learning communities (LLCs), theme-housing, and student-directed communities (SDCs). The students who participate in Elon’s residential learning communities get to be involved in a wide variety of creative, innovative, academic, and community focused activities. Students describe their LLC experience as an integral part of their Elon University experience. Students not only find a sense of community through their residential learning community, they find a true sense of home.

Learn more about LLCs