First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience begins at Orientation in late August. Fellow students, faculty and staff help you to get comfortably settled in on campus. Here you begin learning about the academic, co-curricular and personal opportunities available to you at Arcadia. And you are provided all the information, support, and resources needed to make a successful transition to college life.

The academic core of the First-Year Experience revolves around the First-Year Seminar—a small, interactive class where you explore special topics that interest you. Choose from dozens of different First-Year Seminars, all of them—along with a required first-semester Thought and Expression writing course—designed to spark intellectual curiosity and to begin developing the academic tools and habits you need to thrive in the Arcadia classroom.

That first semester you also participate in a Learning Community with the instructor and the other students in your First-Year Seminar. Together you take advantage of academic and cultural opportunities on Arcadia’s campus and around the Philadelphia metropolitan area. In your Learning Community, you make friends with fellow first-year students who share your interests and you learn about and contribute to the wider Arcadia community.

In the spring semester, most first-year students travel during spring break in March with Arcadia faculty and staff mentors to one of more than a dozen international sites for Spring Preview. The Spring Preview trip is part of a 2-credit course in which students get academic grounding in the place and thematic subject of the course in Glenside in addition to the one-week travel component. Spring Preview is open to any first-year student who enters the University with fewer than 32 credits. In order to participate in Spring previews students must earn a minimum of 1.75 GPA during the fall semester and may not be on academic or disciplinary probation.

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