First-Year Experience

Building a solid foundation is the first step to success, in life and in school. Wesleyan's first-year programs and support systems are designed to ease your transition to university life and give you a firm footing on which to build your future.

First-Year Matters

Wesleyan’s First-Year Matters “common experience” program is designed to help you establish on-campus community connections, engage in shared learning experiences, open your eyes and your mind to new opinions and ideas, and acquire the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in Wesleyan’s rigorous liberal arts environment. The program includes an anthology of multidisciplinary readings available to students during the summer before they start their first year, as well as faculty lectures/presentations, residence hall discussions and the staging of a major participatory arts event during new student orientation (NSO).

Creating an Academic Program

Your first year at Wesleyan should be a time of academic exploration: of expanding intellectual boundaries and taking some creative risks, while maintaining and developing previously acquired skills. Creating an academic program for your first year is both a daunting and an exciting endeavor. Want to explore your options? WesMaps allows you to search for courses by disciplinary area, subject matter, seats available for first-year students, general education (GenEd) designation and other categories.

As a first-year, your faculty advisor will help you plan an academic path that will fulfill the pre-major requirements of areas you're considering as a major, while also exploring new disciplines you may not have yet considered. Introductory or gateway courses specifically designed by departments to introduce you to their discipline will be part of your course of study.

First-Year Seminars

While you'll engage in interactive learning during your entire time at Wesleyan, first-year seminars (FYS) are designed to introduce you to a variety of topics ranging from Greek mythology to neuroscience. Some of these classes treat a specific topic; others provide an introduction to an interdisciplinary area of study that may be new to you. All seminars emphasize the importance of writing at the university level and are designed to familiarize you with the methods used to collect, interpret, analyze and present evidence as part of a scholarly argument. To maximize opportunities for discussion and in-depth intellectual inquiry, FYS are limited to 15 students.

Looking to the Future

The first year is the ideal time for you to learn about the Career Center and its resources. The Career Center can help you find summer jobs and internships, and will continue to be a resource during your years at Wesleyan and beyond.