First-Year Seminar

Successful Starts for First-Year Students

First Year Seminar students walk along a wall of graffiti in East Atlanta.First-Year Seminar was created to help new students transition successfully to college life, foster connections with their peers and faculty and thrive throughout their academic and co-curricular journey.

Oglethorpe’s faculty and staff work together to coordinate academic offerings and assistance, co-curricular programs, and student services in order to create a first-year experience that is welcoming, supportive and challenging.


First-Year experiences begin in the summer with MAP Days when you become more acquainted with campus, learn about resources and meet other students. This is the first step to making Oglethorpe a home.

“Enroll in FYS no matter what; it is a game changer. It allows you to meet people within your field of study, develop good habits, receive one-on-one coaching, and attend special events the university hosts exclusively for FYS students.”
– Adeline Horton, Peer Mentor

During welcome weekends and orientation, you’ll meet more fellow first-year students and your peer mentor. Then, join in opening Convocation, lectures around campus, sporting events, and various student activities.

First-Year Seminar is comprised of two parts: a semester-long class project led by faculty and “navigating Oglethorpe” tasks led by a peer mentor.

Smiling students around a campfire

Together with your peer mentor, you will:

  • learn about university programs and events
  • make a four-year plan
  • set goals
  • explore the city

Past seminars:

  • “Can we reduce landfill waste from Oglethorpe University through improved recycling practices?”
  • “What does it mean to live an examined professional life?”
  • “How can we, as students, contribute to the artistic expression of the Atlanta community?” Students answered this question by planning a new mural.

Our hope for First-Year Seminar is that by engaging with your peers, campus community and activities around town, you’ll be well on your way to building a bridge to your future!

First-Year Seminar was made possible through generous funding from the Goizueta Foundation.