First year students face many challenges. They have to go to class and study daily. They are encouraged to get engaged in a few activities on campus to meet people and develop important skills necessary for success in future employment. In addition to these basic responsibilities, new students have to find their way in a new environment that is very different from what they were used to in high school.
At UT Arlington, we are committed to helping new students make this transition from high school to college. That's why we have designed various types of first-year seminars for freshman students to address their different needs and interests. Students engaging in first-year seminars will develop academic and self-management skills, critical thinking skills, and a more substantial connection to UT Arlington. Students often have their choice of which seminar is best for them. Below is some information to help students make the best choice for themselves.
UT Arlington's First-Year Seminar Program
One option for students is the opportunity to enroll in a three-hour seminar that is co-taught by a UT Arlington faculty member and a student Peer Academic Leader who will serve as your mentor throughout your first semester. These 1300-level courses, each beginning with an "FS" prefix, may be an introduction to your major or cover an interesting research or contemporary "hot topic" related to your major discipline. This is an excellent way to learn more about your field of study while gaining a better understanding of departmental expectations and developing college-level critical thinking and writing skills. Your academic advisor will speak with you about your options.
Maverick Scholars Freshman Interest Groups
Many students participating in one of UT Arlington's Freshman Interest Groups, or FIGs, will take a UNIV 1131 first-year seminar. This unique course, taught by a Peer Academic Leader with assistance from UT Arlington faculty and staff, is focused on success in a student's major. Topics explored include building successful academic skills, getting involved in college, pursing research opportunities, and best positioning yourself for internships and career opportunities. This one or three-hour seminar serves as the cornerstone of the FIG experience.
UT Arlington's First-Year Experience Course
Many UT Arlington’s First-Year Experience Course is for first-year college students entering in the fall term. It is designed to orient students to life on the Maverick campus and assist in the transition to college. The course assignments will help students to identify their individual needs and skills which will affect their success, determine what resources are appropriate and available to them, and formulate a plan for an actively engaged and enriched experience on the campus. The First-Year Experience course is a 14-week course, taught 1 hour per week, focusing on engagement in student life on campus. The course is 0 credit hours, but required for all first-year students who are not participating in the First-Year Seminar or Maverick Scholar Freshman Interest Group programs described in the sections above. For more information, please visit the FYE website within the Division of Student Affairs.
Here are a few of the other first-year seminar options available to UT Arlington students:
- For students who are still exploring their academic options, University College offers Major Exploration, a hands-on approach to learning more about your academic interests and career options with the goal of selecting a major.
- Other students may be required to take the Freshman PASS course in their second semester. This course focuses on achieving academic success and developing a fresh perspective about one's academic priorities.
- Student athletes may be required to take a special section of UNIV 1131, which is a one-hour seminar taught in the fall semester by UT Arlington athletic staff.