Conduct research with a faculty mentor. Enroll in courses that take you far beyond the classroom. Test-drive your future career with an internship. Give back to your community as a volunteer. Spend a semester abroad. Present your art at the student symposium. Through Experiential Education and Learning (ExEL) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), you will be exposed to a boundless list of opportunities. Gaining diverse, meaningful experiences might just be the most valuable part of your college education.

NSU Sharks are required to earn six ExEL units. You’ll get your first ExEL unit by taking UNIV 1000—an introductory course for first-year students. You’ll also earn another unit for your senior capstone project (if the course is ExEL approved), which you will complete in the last semester before you graduate. From engaging in cutting-edge research to studying abroad, you can dive deep into an ocean of opportunities to earn your ExEL units.


How will you ExEL at NSU? Earn units for joining faculty-mentored research projects, volunteering in your community, serving as a campus leader, and more.


Six Units

Prior to graduating, first-time college students must earn six ExEL units, which can come from any of the six pillars that interest you.

200+ Courses

Over 200 courses have been designated as ExEL. There’s a good chance they’re embedded in your major’s curriculum!


Eighty-two percent of undergrads secure postgraduate plans within six months and have a $56,000 average starting salary.

The Six Pillars of Experiential Learning at NSU

All NSU Sharks are required to earn six ExEL units. But it’s up to you how you choose to spend your time earning them. Explore your interests and passions in any of the six pillars below, and fulfill your ExEL requirements at the same time:

I have had a wonderful experience in my internship. Not only have I learned about diseases of the eyes through unique patient cases, but I have also learned every aspect of running an optometry practice.

Maria S. | Biology Major

Community Engagement

Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Serve meals to the homeless. Join a medical mission trip. Giving back can earn you ExEL units too.

Get involved

Experiential Coursework

You’ll get your first ExEL unit by taking UNIV 1000—an introductory course for first-year students. Earn additional ExEL units from more than 200 ExEL courses inside and outside your major and minor.

Learn About Your Classes

Global Engagement

Study art history or French in Paris. Live on a boat for a semester. You’ll learn how to look at life from an entirely different point of view while you earn ExEL units.

Discover the World

Professional Growth

Participate in mock trials. Become a member of the model United Nations team. Shadow a marine biologist on the job. Intern at Disney World for the summer. Grow professionally and earn ExEL units at the same time.

Gain New Experiences

Undergraduate Leadership

Help fellow Sharks reach their personal and professional goals. Demonstrate leadership skills as a first-year peer leader, tutor, or leading member of a student organization.

Become a Leader

Undergraduate Research

Study chronic illness. Contribute to research on schizophrenia. Learn about genetics.Team up with faculty mentors and accomplished researchers to better understand their award-winning techniques.

Go Beyond the Classroom


Tour One of Our Research Labs

How to Earn ExEL Units

It can be as simple as taking classes in your major that are ExEL designated. But why limit yourself? This is your chance to enrich yourself professionally and academically.

Co-curricular units are determined by the hours of experiential education you complete:

  • One unit = 40–79 experiential hours
  • Two units = 80+ experiential hours

Curricular Opportunities

Courses are referred to as “curricular” experiences, and all ExEL-designated courses are worth one unit. Your first ExEL unit will come from UNIV 1000—the First-Year Experience course you’re required to take during your first semester.

 Explore ExEL Courses

Co-Curricular Opportunities

Internships, community service, leadership activities—earn ExEL units for a wide range of co-curricular opportunities.

Enrich Your Academics

Transfer students are not required to earn ExEL units for graduation.

Connect with the ExEL Experts

We are here to help you gain diverse, meaningful experiences to connect you to a world of hands-on opportunities that will enrich your academic life.

Current Students

If you have any questions about the ExEL program, please email exel@nova.edu or call (954) 262-2047.

Prospective Students

Connect with an admissions counselor to learn more about the application process.

Learn How to Apply