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First-Year Experience

“Start Strong, Finish Stronger

Learn Together:

First-Year Experience (FYE) courses are small, active-learning, discussion-based seminars with a focus on connecting academic work and co-curricular opportunities. Students enrolled in FYEs connect with faculty, staff, and peers who are supportive of new students, as they learn how the academic expectations of the University may differ from their prior educational experiences. We know that students bring their previous experiences with them when they join the UMBC community, and we acknowledge this by providing a variety of different types of seminars. These courses meet, or are connected to, discipline-specific courses that meet General Education or major requirements while also supporting students in the transition to the university.


First-Year Seminar (FYS)

For: Any student in the first or second semester at UMBC, including transfer students.

What: An opportunity for new students to acclimate to UMBC’s academic community while getting to know a faculty member and a small of group of new students.

Why: A small class provides more opportunity for discussion and instructor feedback. You will enjoy examining a topic in depth: reading about it, writing about it, and relating it to broader interests.

“Being in a small, discussion-style setting. It was great to have my opinions heard, to have discussions, and have the professor know my name.”


Introduction to an Honors University (IHU)

For: Any new student during their entire first year at UMBC (fall or spring semester).

What/Why: These one-credit seminar classes help new students connect with faculty and staff, meet other new students, and learn about campus resources while exploring what it looks like to be a successful student at UMBC

“It was a good way to get acquainted with campus, the resources available, and the standards I was expected to live up to. I definitely did learn a lot throughout the class, and I’m better off now than I was before taking it.”


Transfer Student Seminars (TRS)

For: Any new transfer student

What: An opportunity for new transfer students to receive support in their transition into a new institution. These courses provide an introduction to both the academic discipline and campus resources.

“This class gave me experience in how to prepare and study at UMBC, and to think ahead of a future career.”


Jill Randles
Assistant Vice Provost & Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education
jrandles@umbc.edu | (410) 455-3715


Please note: UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and visitors. If you have difficulties accessing any of the materials on our site, please contact us so that we can provide an alternative format and remedy any accessibility challenges.