First-Year Academic Experience

Begin Your Transition to College Life

The First-Year Experience begins during the onboarding experience called Venture.  In late August you will participate in Venture Week where fellow students, faculty, and staff help you to get comfortably settled in on campus. During Venture Week you’ll begin learning about the academic, co-curricular, and personal opportunities available to you at Arcadia, and you’ll be provided with all the information, support, and resources needed to make a successful transition to college.

Venture to Arcadia

Connect with Others through a Shared Intellectual Experience

This is the first intellectual experience you’ll share with all other first-year students: the Common Read. Every year a new book is chosen for the Common Read, which all first-year students read before arriving on campus, and then discuss at Fall Orientation in August. The Common Read will expose you to new ideas, diverse points of view, and topics that are at the heart of public discourse today.

Common Read

Choose a Special Topic that Interests You

The academic core of your First-Year Experience is your First-Year Seminar—a small, interactive class in which you explore specialized topics that interest you. You can choose from more than two dozen different FYS courses, all of which are designed to spark intellectual curiosity, allow you space to follow your own interests, and give you the intellectual tools and habits you’ll need to thrive at Arcadia.

First-Year Seminar

Craft a Personalized Path through the Arcadia Curriculum

In addition to your FYS and a required English course, you’ll take two other courses during your first semester. Before coming to summer orientation, you should review these fall course options and identify your five top choices. Think broadly and strategically: Which courses interest you? Which courses might deepen your knowledge of issues related to your major? Which courses might expose you to new ideas that you won’t encounter in your major? Which courses will lay the foundation for you to move efficiently through the AU curriculum over the next four years?

Other First-Semester Courses

Travel Internationally in Your First Year

During the spring semester, most first-year students enroll in Preview, a 2-credit course that travels abroad during spring break. You’ll be able to choose from classes focused on more than a dozen different international locations that will enrich your understanding of the world’s diverse cultures. Students who go on Preview get a taste of what study abroad opportunities at Arcadia are like, and are eager to go abroad again. Get your passport ready!


Explore Campus and Philadelphia with Peers and Faculty

Your FYS doubles as a learning community which means you’ll have the opportunity to travel into Philadelphia, New York City, and/or Washington DC with your class to learn about these amazing cities and to enrich your college experience by visiting museums, attending plays, touring civic institutions, and more. Your learning community will also enjoy meals together as a class, through which you’ll develop lasting relationships with your peers and your professor.

Learning Community

Contact Undergraduate Success