Experiential Learning Registration


Students are responsible for brokering their own experiential learning opportunity with their site supervisor, identifying a GMU faculty member willing to serve as instructor of record for the course that will deliver their EL credits, and determining the learning outcomes they hope to achieve. 

It is recommended that you begin this process at least 1-2 months before you apply.

EL Registration, Step by Step

What follows are detailed instructions for moving through the process. Students should execute these steps carefully to ensure registration and the awarding of course credit for their EL work. Please contact the Interdisciplinary Studies program, or your concentration head, if you have any questions about the process!

1. Identify which course you plan to use for credit.

Students in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Justice & Human Rights will use MAIS 695/795. Occasionally in other cases, and only with permission, students might use a course offered by another GMU academic unit. 

If students use a course other than MAIS 695/795, they must follow the registration procedures of the unit offering the course. In order to have those credits apply towards their Interdisciplinary Studies degree, they still must submit their learning objectives and information about their experiential learning site to Interdisciplinary Studies.

2. Broker an Experiential Learning opportunity. 

The Interdisciplinary Studies program does not place students in internships; students must find their own work site. But, the University does provide information that may be helpful in doing so.

  • University Career Services provides information about internships.
  • The School of Integrative Studies maintains an internship web resource list with common internship locations. 
  • Interdisciplinary Studies send notice of opportunities for students through the Listserv, as we receive them.
  • Concentration heads often have productive ideas or even professional contacts for experiential learning possibilities.

Unless otherwise approved, your experiential learning start date cannot be earlier than the first day of classes for the semester in which you are enrolled. You must complete your EL work by the last day of classes for the same semester.  Please visit Mason's on-line academic calendar to determine the correct dates for each semester.

3. Identify an Instructor of Record.

In order to get credit for experiential learning, students must register for a course. And every course must have an instructor of record! This must be a Mason faculty member who agrees to assist you through the registration process, assess your work for course credit, and assist you in between. When discussing this role with faculty, you can emphasize that it will involve a nominal amount of time. Direct them to Serving as EL Instructor of Record for more information.

4. Identify Your Learning Objectives.

It is important to consider carefully what you hope to get out of experiential learning. Clearly articulated learning objectives will also assist your site supervisor and your instructor of record in evaluating your performance. The application process requires that students submit learning objectives in writing. See the Interdisciplinary Studies Guidelines for Learning Objectives for help. A good rule of thumb is to identify one learning objective for each credit earned.

5. Submit the MAIS Experiential Learning Application.

Please read carefully and complete the entire MAIS Application and University Council Experiential Learning Agreement. Submit the completed application, the University Counsel Experiential Learning Agreement and a syllabus containing your responsibilities, your learning objective(s), and supporting information about your EL site to Interdisciplinary Studies in soft copy to mais@gmu.edu at least 5 business days prior to the start of the semester in which you plan to register. 

Application review and processing takes approximately 5-7 working days. Please plan accordingly. Students may not begin working at a site for credit until the application has been approved.

5. Register for Your EL Course.

Registration is a controlled process. Once the student's experiential learning application has been approved, the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Coordinator will send the student an email with specific registration information.