First-Year Seminar

FYS 2023-2024

Every first-year student at USJ is supported through participation in our thoughtfully crafted and unique First-Year Seminar (FYS) program.

This program includes a three-credit course during the fall semester (FYSI) and a one-credit course during the spring semester (FYSII), both of which count towards your graduation requirements.

female student outside

Through the FYS program students will: 

  • Experience what it means to be a college student at USJ
  • Make connections and build relationships with fellow students and instructors
  • Engage with academic topics in an interdisciplinary manner
  • Learn about the services and resources available at USJ to support student growth and success
  • Develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and other aspects that will strengthen their ability to succeed in college, careers, and life

Fall FYS

A three-credit course that is framed around one of various academic subjects that intersects with the Mission and Core Values of USJ.

  • Each fall FYSI course:
    • Meets two-to-three times per week
    • Has a designated Peer Mentor, an upper-class student who will be a link for first-year students to other campus constituencies in-and-out of the class
    • Addresses the academic, social, and emotional challenges of the first-year experience
    • Introduces students to services and resources available at the University
    • Examines an academic topic as a means to develop college-level critical thinking, reading, and communication skills
    • Encourages involvement in University activities outside of the classroom
    • Provides a supportive and inclusive environment for students to grow

Spring FYS

A one-credit course that centers on service-learning, where students and instructors work collaboratively on a service project that impacts the college, local, or global community.

  • Each spring FYSII course:
    • Meet once per week
    • Explore the importance of compassionate service and its connection with the USJ Mission
    • Have a particular focus for the service being conducted
    • Develop skills in individual and teamwork contexts
    • Build oral communication skills culminating in presentation at USJ’s Symposium Day

For current and upcoming courses, please visit the USJ Course Search.



Derek Dube, Ph.D.
FYS Director
Email: [email protected]

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