First-Year Experience FAQs
What is the benefit of applying for an FYE course?
Participating in a First-Year Experience course (FYE) will give you a chance, from day one, to dig deeper into a field of
study. Whether you know your intended major or just want to explore a topic that interests
you, participating in an FYE will create opportunities for you -- chances to get to
know your classmates who share similar interests, and to get to know your professors
in a purposeful way that will create relationships that last throughout your academic
career and beyond. Each FYE is different, but share similar components. So whether
it’s through off-campus experiences, research, or community service opportunities,
your exposure to collaboration, mentorship, and some fun along the way is guaranteed.
You will also be building your rsum from your first semester!
Does expressing interest in more than one FYE course help increase the likelihood
I’ll be placed in one?
Yes, due to the limited capacity in each course, the more FYE options that intrigue
you, the better! On the application form, you’ll be able to rank your top three (3)
options in order of preference. Faculty will keep that in mind as they consider your
If I don’t participate in an FYE, what course will I take instead?
Participation in the FYE program is optional. Students who aren't placed in an FYE
course will be placed in one of our traditional first-year Gateway Colloquium courses
-- small, discussion-oriented classes designed to develop your proficiencies in writing,
reasoning, and academic and public discourse. Although each Gateway Colloquium investigates
its own issue or question, all focus on writing as a major component of intellectual
Does being in an FYE cost additional money?
No. There are no additional costs to being a part of an FYE course. The extra opportunities
you’ll experience are covered by an additional alumni grant.
Are all FYE courses also Gateway Colloquium courses?
Yes, all FYEs are Gateways this year.
When will I find out if I have been accepted into an FYE?
IWU FYE faculty will begin selecting and notifying deposited students in June, 2020
before you arrive on campus for orientation. Because spaces are limited (about 15
students per class) there is a chance you will not be placed in an FYE course. If
that happens, you will select one of our traditional Gateway Colloquium courses. Information
about selecting a Gateway Colloquium is sent to all deposited students beginning May
How do I decide if participating in an FYE is the right choice for me?
If you want to start your collegiate experience in an environment that supports and
pushes you to explore your own interests, then an FYE is a great option. Participation in
an FYE does require a level of academic rigor and commitment toward other participation
outside of the classroom walls.
How are FYE placements chosen?
While the FYE course placement is competitive, our faculty work to ensure that students
are placed in FYE courses that will be a best fit with their interests, experiences,
and course schedules.
Return to First-Year Experience page.
Apply for an FYE. Application deadline: April 15, 2020.