Jul 21, 2024  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

First-Year Seminar Program

The Office of Undergraduate Experiences offers the optional First-Year Seminar (FYS) program, with courses designed to assist students in successfully transitioning from high school to college, improve student retention, and boost new student confidence. FYS courses integrate rigorous academic content with academic skills such as library usage, campus resources, information literacy, time management, communication skills, and career counseling. Class size is capped at 24 students to facilitate interaction between student and instructor, and to allow the instructor to serve as a mentor in the student’s first semester of college.

The FYS program strives to both challenge and support students so that each can excel academically and personally at CU Denver. FYS classes engage students in active learning beyond the traditional classroom, laboratory, or studio setting.  In FYS courses, students learn about themselves and their abilities. The experiences obtained from the FYS program aim to promote academic exploration and interdisciplinary learning, civic engagement, cultural awareness, leadership, problem solving, and other professional skills.

The strong academic component of FYS courses allows the course to count toward graduation requirements in the CU Denver Core curriculum, or general education program, which is required of all undergraduate students. Students are encouraged to use the FYS program to explore areas outside their major. Students should work with their academic advisor during orientation to select an appropriate FYS course. Requirements vary slightly, but students should expect weekly writing and reading, participation in events outside the classroom, and a final project.

The First-Year Seminar program is optional, but highly encouraged for new students transitioning from high school to college. Students may only take one FYS course.


  • higher first semester grades
  • student engagement with campus activities
  • higher student satisfaction facilitated by small class size and a faculty mentor
  • knowledge and utilization of campus resources designed to assist students
  • early exploration of career paths and a suitable major
  • more likely to stay in college
  • Core curriculum credit
  • active learning pedagogy designed to improve writing and critical thinking skills

Please visit our website for the current FYS course offerings.