Not just a course, an Xperience

JANUARY 25, 2012
By Allison Davey ’14, Contributing Writer

As students jump back into second semester, many are making preparations for the semester that follows: May X.

May X, or May Experience, is an optional, three-week term following Commencement. The classes are worth two credits and are not offered during the fall or spring semesters. They allow students to explore interests they may not have time for during the regular school year, and also offer the possibility to study away to those who may not otherwise be able to do so.

This year, Furman is offering 38 classes on campus and 15 study away courses for the May X term. The number of classes varies from year to year, but there is no cap on the number of classes that can be offered. According to Brad Barron, Associate Dean and University Registrar, the courses are designed to meet student demand with faculty supply.

The number of students involved in May X has increased steadily over the years, which comes as no surprise to Barron, who said, “It is hard to find someone who did not have a good experience.” He believes that “of all the recent academic reforms, this is the coolest by far.”

He said that students who participate in May X “get an experience rather than just a course. They get to learn in a way that doesn’t feel like work. Faculty get to work on something they love with students that are 100 percent committed.”

Some of the notable new courses for this coming term include “Infectious Diseases in Movies,” “Episodes in North American Urban History” and “Sociology of the Simpsons.” Study away courses include “Farm,” which will be held on a family farm in Iowa, and trips to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and the Sierra Nevada mountains, where students will study geology.

Registration for May Experience courses closes March 30. A course listing is posted on the May X homepage.