First-Year Students

As a first-year student, you are at a crossroads moment of your life. This might be the first time you're living away from home, and processing this first step towards adulthood might be complex. In addition, you'll be adjusting to F&M, learning about the College's resources and networks and determining how to build the right education for you.

To support you in assimilating to F&M, we have created milestones that will set you up for success. We value that each student has a diverse set of goals and experiences, so we expect that faculty advisers will adapt this guide to milestones and questions that meet your individual needs.

Fall Semester

  •  Attend orientation
  • Meet with your academic adviser
  • Introduce yourself to your College House Don and Dean
  • Attend a bagel breakfast at your College House
  • Look at your DegreeWorks page on Inside F&M and make sure it’s up-to-date (send in any AP scores of 4 or 5 or IB scores to The Registrar’s Office)
  • Maintain good conduct standing with the College
  • Register for Spring Courses (attend a “Registration Station” event)
  • Meet your College House OSPGD adviser
  • Achieve at least a 2.0+ GPA in your first semester
  • Complete 4 credits toward graduation 
  • Submit your best essay from CNX 1 to the Writing Center for the Whitesell Prize
Curriculum Recommendations
  • CNX 1

  • Begin language

  • Explore areas of possible interest

  • For STEM students: CHM 111 or PHY 175; MAT 109

  • For potential BOS majors: ECO 100; BOS 200; MAT 109 (choose or two)

Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser 
  • Adjusting to college life
    Adjusting to a new place/life/routine takes energy. It might feel as if you’re taking an extra course on adjusting to college. Be aware of your own emotions and how they might be affecting your academic focus.

  • Building and improving academic skills
    College demands a new set of academic skills, especially around critical thinking, writing and time management. Your adviser will enjoy hearing your reflections on these new skills and will be able to help you find support if you need it.

  • Learning the resources available to you on campus
    There are too many resources on campus to learn during one orientation. Your adviser will help you find them and make the best use of them.

  • Managing time between courses, extracurriculars and wellness
    Time management is essential for success at college, especially when it comes to getting the rest and down time that you will need to process everything that you’re learning.

  • Learning more about how to reach out and connect with faculty
    All of your professors have office hours, which you can find on their syllabi. Make it a goal to visit each one of them at least once a semester, even if only to introduce yourself and talk a little bit. They will enjoy getting to know you!

Spring Semester

  • Check in with your academic adviser, Don, and Dean
  • Apply for financial aid for next year (if applicable)
  • Maintain good conduct standing with the College
  • Register for fall courses
  • Meet your College House OSPGD adviser to start thinking about summer opportunities
  • Think about applying for a leadership position at the College such as: First-Year Advising Mentor (FAM); writing tutor; Q&SC tutor; Peer Academic Coach (PAC); peer wellness educator; House Adviser (HA); College House government; club leadership
  • Educate yourself on research opportunities for next year
  • Achieve at least a 2.0+ GPA
  • Complete 8 credits toward graduation
  • Submit your best essay from CNX 2 to the Writing Center for the Whitesell Prize
Curriculum Recommendations
  • CNX 2
  • Language
  • For pre-health majors: BIO 110
  • For possible BOS majors: BOS 200, ECO 100, MAT 109 (choose one or two)
  • Balance distribution requirements with exploration
Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser 
  • What challenges did you face this year? What went particularly well? What can you learn from the challenges as well as from the triumphs?
  • Which classes sparked your interest the most? Can you see pursuing another course in the same subject next year?
  • What kinds of leadership positions at the College can you imagine yourself in?
  • What kinds of programs/clubs/leadership opportunities would you want to create for yourself at the College if you could?
  • First-year students completing convocation in Fall 2020 by walking through the Lux et Lex arch.

Second-Year Students 

For many second-year students, the focus is on exploring several academic and life decisions. Additionally, you'll make long-term decisions about major(s)/minor(s) declarations, study abroad and your desired levels of integration, leadership and involvement in the larger F&M community. You will also be considering  how to find a summer internship/job and whether to live off-campus your junior year. You might also be considering new leadership opportunities. We value that each student has a diverse set of goals and experiences, so we fully expect that faculty advisers will adapt this guide to meet your individual needs.

Fall Semester

  • Meet with an academic adviser
  • Check in with College House Don and Dean
  • Narrow down major/minor decision
  • Explore study abroad options
  • Explore career development opportunities through meeting with an OSPGD adviser
  • Maintain good conduct standing with the College
  • Register for spring courses
  • Think about applying for a leadership position at the College such as: First-Year Advising Mentor (FAM); writing tutor; Q&SC tutor; Peer Academic Coach (PAC); peer wellness educator; House Adviser (HA); College House government; club leadership
  • Educate yourself on research opportunities for next year
  • Achieve at least a 2.0+ GPA
  • Complete 12 credits toward graduation
Curriculum Recommendations
  • Balance distribution requirements with electives  
  • Take a second course in a potential subject of interest (i.e., if you took “Intro to Creative Writing” and loved it, take another ENG class)
Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser 
  • Do you want to study abroad? How might studying abroad connect with/enhance your current  studies? Which skills might it help you to build? Is there a language you wish to learn?
  • What are you thinking you want to major in? Why is this subject most compelling to you? Where do you think that studying it might lead you?
  • Is there more than one subject that draws your attention for a potential major? If so, how might these subjects work together as a course of study going forward?
  • If you do not know what you would like to major in, think of the courses you have taken: what did you like most? Which skills did you most enjoy practicing?
  • What would you like to do during the summer? What kinds of jobs/internships most attract you?

Spring Semester

  • Meet with an academic adviser
  • Check in with College House Don and Dean
  • Attend “Not a Major Decision” event and declare major/minor
  • Explore study abroad options
  • Explore career development opportunities and summer jobs/internships through meeting with an OSPGD adviser
  • Apply for financial aid (if applicable)
  • Maintain good conduct standing with the College
  • Register for fall courses
  • Think about applying for a leadership position at the College such as: First-Year Advising Mentor (FAM); writing tutor; Q&SC tutor; Peer Academic Coach (PAC); peer wellness educator; House Adviser (HA); College House government; club leadership
  • Educate yourself on research opportunities for next year
  • Consider precepting for a professor
  • Achieve at least a 2.0+ GPA
  • Complete 16 credits toward graduation
Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser 
  • As you finish your second year of college, what advice would you give to entering first-years?
  • What are you most excited to do during your next two years?
  • Do you want to study abroad? How might studying abroad connect with/enhance your studies? Which skills might it help you to build? Is there a language you wish to learn?
  • Is there a field of study you want to do special research in? A professor with whom you’d particularly like to work? Reach out!
  • Would you like to precept for a professor in their CNX 1 or 2 class?
  • What kinds of programs/clubs/leadership opportunities would you want to create for yourself at the College if you could? 
  • Students walking on campus

Third-Year Students 

For many students, the third year provides increased opportunities for leadership and experiential learning. In addition, you'll be trying to balance the academic rigor of upper-level major courses. You'll experience important changes in the third year, which provide many opportunities for academic and personal growth. Your faculty adviser will find that third-year students are preparing for, or returning from, study abroad experiences, faculty-student research, academic internships and co-curricular leadership experiences.

 

Fall Semester

  • Most common semester to study abroad
  • Meet with major adviser
  • Cultivate relationships with professors in major department
  • Think about summer job/internship/research possibilities; make an appointment with your OSPGD adviser
  • Explore leadership positions on campus
  • Register for spring courses
  • Maintain at least a 2.0+ cumulative GPA in all fall classes
  • Maintain financial aid package
  • Finish 20 credit hours

 

  • Student research
Spring Semester
  • Might be studying abroad
  • Meet with major adviser
  • Progress in your major; look ahead to taking 400-level seminars or pursuing independent honors project
  • Plan for summer job/internship/research opportunities; make an appointment with OSPGD adviser
  • Take up leadership positions on campus
  • Register for fall classes
  • Maintain at least a 2.0+ cumulative GPA in spring classes
  • Maintain financial aid package and fill out FAFSA if applicable
  • Finish 24 credit hours
Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser 
  • Which classes do you still have left to complete in your major? How will you balance the difficult capstone seminar with other opportunities (thinking about balance)?
  • Within the discipline of your major, what types of questions or problems do you most enjoy thinking/learning about? Why do you think these appeal to you?
  • Is an internship for credit something that you might want to consider?
  • What kinds of approaches and questions are you likely to explore in your capstone project? What is your plan to begin this work?
  • If you went abroad, what was the experience like for you? What did you learn that you can bring back and integrate into your studies at F&M?

Fourth-Year Students 

As a fourth-year student, you'll be balancing the challenges of senior capstones while increasing your focus on preparing for a meaningful life and productive career after graduation. Your faculty adviser will find that the fourth-year advising sessions are focused on providing closure to the your individual graduation goals while supporting the your goals for after graduation.

 

Fall Semester

  • Meet with major adviser
  • Progress in your major; take 400-level seminars or pursue independent honors project
  • Plan for life after college; make an appointment with your OSPGD adviser
  • Take up leadership positions on campus
  • Submit graduation petition 
  • Register for spring classes
  • Maintain at least a 2.0+ cumulative GPA in fall classes
  • Finish 28 credit hours

 

  • Commencement 2019

Spring Semester

  • Meet with major adviser; review your college courses
  • Finish classes in your major; take 400-level seminars or pursue independent honors project
  • Plan for life after college; make an appointment with your OSPGD adviser
  • Take up leadership positions on campus
  • Submit graduation petition
  • Maintain at least a 2.0+ cumulative GPA in spring classes
  • Finish 32 credit hours
  • Celebrate your accomplishments through Commencement and becoming an alum
Conversations to Have With Your Academic Adviser
  • How has your understanding and identity as a scholar in your major discipline shaped who you are?
  • As you think about life after college, what is important to you, and how will these things inform future decisions?
  • List several career options that you would consider. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? What do you need to figure out to select from among them?
  • What experiences contributed most to your growth at F&M? (They might be both good and more challenging experiences.)