Experiential Learning

The American Association of Colleges and Universities has identified a number of “high-impact educational practices” that enhance student learning. What these educational experiences have in common is that students apply their classroom knowledge in ways that challenge them and integrate their academic experiences. From a faculty perspective, using these in and beyond the classroom makes teaching more exciting and rewarding. Mason has many resources to help you develop high-impact educational practices for you and your students.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities

are the focus of the Students as Scholars initiative.  Our goal is to increase the visibility of and opportunities for student scholarship both within and outside of the classroom through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR). OSCAR supports mentored undergraduate scholarship through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, and integration of research discovery, inquiry skills, and authentic projects into the curriculum with Scholarship Development Grants to departments.

Common Intellectual Experiences

are the core of our General Education program at Mason

First Year Seminars

are taught as UNIV 100 Freshman Transition through the Transition Resource Center.

Living Learning Communities

are supported through University Life. Faculty are encouraged to propose Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and to participate in programming activities for existing communities.

Writing Intensive Courses

are throughout an undergraduate’s academic life. Incoming freshmen take ENGH 100/101  (Composition) and all students take ENGH 302 (Advanced Composition), usually during their junior year. Additionally, all students are required to take an intensive writing class in their major, through our acclaimed Writing Across the Curriculum program. Writing in all classes, at all levels, is supported by our Writing Center.

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

are a hallmark of an experiential education within the classroom. There are many resources on the Stearns Center website to help you develop these activities in your class, and we also have books available in the Stearns Center Teaching library for you to borrow.

Diversity/Global Learning

is central to an education at Mason. Mason is one of the most diverse campuses in the United States, with students from over 130 different countries (Institutional Research and Reporting). Faculty can lead study abroad classes through our Center for Global Education and teach in one of our many Global Programs.


are available in all fields at Mason. Career Services has an internship coordinator who can help students find the right professional experience!

Service Learning

is supported through our Center for Leadership & Community EngagementCommunity-based Research is also supported, through projects like the Diversity Research Project as well as the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.