May Term

May Term at Illinois Wesleyan University is a distinctive month-long experiential learning option where students focus on a single course or topic.

May Term is designed to stretch traditional boundaries between in-class and out-of-class learning.

Students choose from a variety of May Term courses ranging from travel abroad and national study options to course options outside the standard curriculum or research collaborations and internships.

With this opportunity for immersion in learning, students may study contemporary and often controversial issues; travel to historical, commercial, or cultural sites in conjunction with a course; or attend lectures, concerts, or theatrical events related to a May Term theme.

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Examples of recent courses taught on campus include:

  • Biology: Field Ornithology

  • English: Exit, Pursued by a Bear

  • Financial Services: The Great Vampire Squid that Ate Wall Street

  • Greek and Roman Studies: Blood Rites and Mystery Cults

  • Physics: Sound, Music and Hearing

  • Psychology: Ape Sapiens, Wild Minds, Captive Dignity

  • Religion: Islam from Mecca to Malcolm X

  • Theatre: Special Effects Makeup

A sampling of recent May Term travel courses: