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Experiential Learning

Please note that this page has been revised since the 2022-2023 academic year.


A hallmark of the Honors College involves bringing ideas to life. One of the ways the honors experience differs from the traditional university experience is through the honors experiential learning component. Students must complete one experiential learning activity for each academic year they are in the Honors College.

The Honors College sees experiential learning activities falling into the following three categories, and we will discuss the 2023-2024 options with reference to them. Click on the gold links for full details.

Please note that first-year students who joined the Honors College in fall 2023 will have different expectations this year. See the “Experiential Learning for First-Year Students” section below. (Current student admits and new transfer students starting this fall should follow what is required of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.)

This section includes activities in the classroom or the research environment that are beyond being a typical student.

Academic activities that fulfill the experiential learning requirement include:

Study Abroad: All study abroad trips and exchange programs developed and led through the Office of Global Engagement.

Undergraduate Research Projects (Outside the parameters of the Honors Thesis): Independent research mentored by a faculty member, research assistant positions, and opportunities like National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

Please note that for student-initiated research projects to count for the experiential learning requirement, they must follow at least three criteria: 1) the research cannot be a class assignment, 2) the research cannot be work for the thesis and 3) the research must be mentored by a faculty member.

Peer Leaders: Students may apply to be a Peer Leader through the The Office of First- and Second-Year Programs.  If selected, completion of a semester as a peer leader will fulfill the yearly requirement.

Peer Tutors: See the Academic Success Center for more details.

Undergraduate Student Teaching Assistantships and Supplemental Instructors: Teaching assistantships and supplemental instructor positions are available for academically strong and talented students in certain departments. See your department for these opportunities.

Internships, Co-ops, Student Teaching, Clinical Hours in Nursing and Health Sciences: Internships and co-ops must be for academic credit through the student’s academic major or minor OR registered through the Office of Career and Professional Development.

These options involve direct service with community organizations, alternative break trips, and service-learning experiences. The Office of Leadership & Community Engagement (OLCE) offers opportunities in these categories, and the Honors College also sponsors an alternative break trip.

The majority of honors students beyond the first year complete a service-learning or volunteer project to fulfill the requirement. Many students also participate on an alternative break trip or participate in other pre-approved service-learning/volunteer projects. (Holding a leadership position for a student organization is not volunteering. Please use the leadership option for those projects.)


Serve912 offers lots of weekly volunteer trips to local organizations, but you are free to make your own arrangements as well. Keep in mind that the emphasis for this activity is on direct service.

Please note that at least 25 service hours with your chosen organization are required if you wish to use volunteering to fulfill your experiential learning requirement.


Service-learning at Georgia Southern University is a course based, credit bearing organized service activity that enables students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to address community priorities. Be sure to check out the list of service-learning courses at Georgia Southern as well as further information on service-learning at the university.

Alternative Break Trips

Many students participate on weeklong alternative break trips over Thanksgiving, Winter Break, or Spring Break. Participation in these trips–whether sponsored by the Honors College or the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement–counts for the requirement.

Weekend trips will also count, but we ask that you participate in enough trips to total 25 hours for the year. To achieve 25 hours of weekend trip might take two or three trips.

Alternative Break Trips sponsored by OCLE may be found here.

If you are interested in an Honors College-sponsored alternative break trip, please visit our alternative break trips page.

Students who take on a significant leadership role in an officially recognized student organization may use that experience to satisfy the requirement.  Please note that students who select this option must hold the position for at least one semester during the academic year.

Summary of Steps

Regardless of the option a student chooses, they will still need to follow these steps:

  • Students will choose an activity and arrange for the experience.
  • Students participate in the activity throughout the year.
  • Students will include information about their activity in the annual experiential learning form. This form is due April 30, but may be submitted sooner once the activity is complete.
  • PLEASE NOTE: There is no fall registration form this year! The annual experiential learning form will be sent to all second-year and older students in mid-fall semester. Use this form only after your activity is done!
  • Failure to complete an experiential learning activity may result in removal from the Honors College.
  • Note for fall semester graduates: If you begin your final semester with one last experiential learning activity to complete, then you must complete it during your final semester. The annual report form will be in mid-October and is due by the last day of fall classes.
  • Note on summer projects: Students who engaged in an activity over the summer who wish to have it count for the 2023-2024 school year should complete the annual report. Students who plan to engage in a project during summer 2024, may count that for the 2024-2025 school year requirement.

Experiential Learning for First-Year Students

Incoming first-year students in the Honors College will attend 10 campus events during the current academic year to fulfill their experiential learning requirement. Only events that are listed in Eagle Engage will count for this requirement, and you must have your attendance recorded in Eagle Engage for the event to count toward your total of 10 for the year.

It is up to the student to make sure their attendance is recorded at the event.

Please note: Current student admits and new transfer students starting this fall should follow what is required of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Student Accessibility Resource Center Statement

Georgia Southern University is committed to ensuring accessibility in all services. The Student Accessibility Resource Center (SARC) partners with students, faculty, and staff to facilitate disability access essential to advancing an inclusive campus experience.   Students with disabilities who anticipate or experience barriers with Honors College requirements may contact the Student Accessibility Resource Center (SARC) for assistance in determining and implementing reasonable accommodations. Our contact information is on our webpage:

Last updated: 2/28/2024