Students gathering around a professor showing them an insect

Student FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the May Experience?

The May Experience is an optional three-week term that takes place following spring commencement that encourages courses involving innovative and intensive academic experiences across the curriculum.

What kinds of classes are available during the May Experience term?

The May Experience term offers many Study-Away programs (applications due by the November before, information at and a wide variety of on-campus offerings across almost every department on campus.  May Experience courses are distinctive in that they are courses that not are offered at any other time of the year.  In the past May Experience courses have had students creating public murals around Greenville, working with esteemed writers, developing lab skills in preparation for summer research in the sciences, writing iPhone apps, presenting musical performances, studying fly fishing and stream ecology, learning about the history of baseball, studying specific Spanish vocabulary related to business or medicine, and participating in a host of other intensive experiences.  Current course listings are available through

How many credits does a May Experience course earn?

Successful completion of May Experience courses earns two credits. May Experience courses cannot meet General Education Requirements, be independent studies, be courses offered during the Fall and Spring terms, or be required for the major. They can, however, carry concentration credit or be an elective within a major.

How many courses can a student take during a May Experience term?

One each year.

How often do May Experience courses meet?

Study-Away May Experience programs often immerse students in the content of coursework many hours a day for the entirety of the three-week term.  The meeting times for on-campus courses vary widely, but most courses meet for at least a few hours for every week-day of the term.  May Experience courses also typically have the expectation of considerable time commitment from students between class meetings.

Can a May Experience course have prerequisites?

Yes, but many do not in order to encourage a wide variety of students to participate in this innovative program.  Some May Experience courses may be linked to a required two-credit course offered in the previous Fall or Spring-semester.  Students will earn two credits for the semester course even if they are unable to complete the May Experience program.

Can May Experience courses be taken pass/no-pass?

Yes.  May Experience courses follow our current academic policies, including pass/no pass.

Can graduating seniors participate in the May Experience?

Yes.  Students meeting degree requirements in the Spring may participate in the May Experience with no additional tuition charge.  They may be immediately re-admitted as post-baccalaureate students, or they may choose to delay their graduation to include the May Experience in their undergraduate program.

Are there enrollment limits for May Experience courses?

Most May Experience courses have small enrollments of fewer than 20 students.  The Dean of Faculty and University Registrar will review courses with five or fewer students and consult with the department chair and instructor about the viability of the course.  Having five or fewer students does not automatically mean a course cannot be offered.

Will students be charged for May Experience courses?

No additional tuition charges will apply for full-time students participating in the May Experience.  On-campus housing is available at a discounted rate.  Students participating in study away courses will pay a fee to cover costs associated with travel.

Is there any financial aid designated for the May Experience?

Yes. There are partial need-based scholarships available to students participating in Study Away programs offered during the May Experience.

What criteria distinguish a study away May Experience program from other May Experience courses?

A study away May Experience program is any program receiving Furman credit that requires off-campus housing, whether domestic or international.  This does not include accommodation associated with domestic field trips of short duration.

Is there any financial aid designated for the May Experience?

Yes. There are partial need-based scholarships available to students participating in Study Away Programs offered during the May Experience. Those scholarships are administered by the Rinker Center.

There are a limited number of need-based scholarships to assist with the costs of housing for students enrolled in on-campus May Experience courses. Those scholarships are administered by the May Experience Oversight Committee.