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First-Year Seminar- FAQ

Student Questions

Q. 1. Must all students take the FYS, and why?

A. All new, first time Freshman must take the FYS. The FYS is designed to help students transition from High School to University. The courses are much more than simply learning about study skills and time-management (although these issues may be embedded in the course). All seminars are designed to help promote the higher-order thinking skills (information lteracy, and critical and creative thinking) that students will need to help them succeed at UW. The courses also aim to excite students to explore the world of ideas through active participation, research and discussion, while promoting a community environment. Students who transfer with an Associate’s Degree or with 30 CH post-high school, are not required to take the seminar. If students transfer in with 30CH of dual enrollment college classes, they must enroll in the FYS. If students have questions about their particular case, they may contact the FYS Coordinator, Allison Gernant. If possible, the FYS is best taken in the Fall, but it must be taken at some point during the First Year.

Q. 2. I am in a Freshman Interest Group (FIG),  am I already pre-enrolled in a FYS?

A. Not necessarily. Some FIGs have FYS as the anchor class, and others chose to use a major-restricted class (so that the FIG is for majors only). The FIGs that have FYS as the anchor are all listed on the FYS website underneath the general FYS classes. Please see the Freshman Interest Groups page for more details. Additionally, if you see that one of your pre-enrolled classes has the number 1101, you can be sure that you are already enrolled in their FYS. If you are still confused, please contact Mollie Hand for clarification.

Q. 3. I am participating in the Bridge Program. Do I need to worry about choosing an FYS?

Students in the Bridge Program will choose an FYS and will be pre-enrolled into a Bridge FYS by the time they come to Orientation. Please contact Makayla Stewart for more information

Q. 4. I have enrolled in the Honors Program. Does the Honors Colloquium fulfill the requirements for the FYS?

A. No. These are separate requirements. The FYS is part of the University Studies Program (USP) that all students, regardless of their Major, will take. The Honors colloquium is a required class for the Honors program, and also meets the USP requirement for COM1; the 2nd Honors colloquium (in the Spring) meets the requirement for COM2

Q. 5. Should I take a seminar that’s affiliated with my Major?

We actually encourage students to take a course that tweaks their interest, rather than one that is directly associated with their Major.  FYS classes are skills, and not content, based, and no student will be at a disadvantage by taking any FYS outside their discipline. Of course, you are welcome to choose a FYS that is aligned with your Major – you are simply not obligated to do so.

Q. 6. Is the FYS a Pass/Fail class?

A. No, the class is graded on the A-F scale, and students must receive a C in order to pass the class.

Q. 7. What happens if I fail or withdraw from the FYS?

*The FYS policy states that students must successfully pass the FYS ( C grade or higher) during their first year.  Before withdrawing from your FYS, you must discuss possible consequences with your instructor and advisor, and make sure that you know what to do in the following semester (see below)

We are piloting several options to best support our students:

Students who do not succeed in their FYS in the Fall semester

  • Students who did not earn a passing grade in their Fall FYS (i.e. failed, earned a D, withdrew or never took), and who end the semester on academic probation, should enroll in an Academic Success Skills class (UWYO 1105) in the Spring semester; these students must then enroll in a specialized "2nd Year" FYS course the following Fall.

  • Students who withdrew or failed to earn a passing grade in the Fall semester FYS, and who end the semester in good academic standing, must enroll in a FYS in the Spring semester.

Students who do not succeed in their FYS in the Spring semester

  • Students who withdrew or did not earn a passing grade in their FYS in the Spring semester, and who end the semester on academic probation, must enroll in a "2nd Year" FYS in the Fall semester

  • Students who withdrew or did not earn a passing grade in their FYS in the Spring semester, and who end the semester in good academic standing, must enroll in a "2nd Year" FYS in the Fall semester

 Q.7b. I have discussed the reasons for withdrawal with my FYS instructor and advisor, and know what I will need to do next semester (as above). How can I now formally withdraw from the course?

  • Student gains permission of instructor and advisor 

  • Student attaches a copy of the email withdrawal approvals from the instructor and advisor, and  sends an email withdrawal request to the Office of the Registrar (

Any questions regarding these policies, or individual student queries pertaining to these policies, should be addressed to Ben Herdt (

Q. 8. Do I have to pay extra to take this class?

No. The class is part of the first-year curriculum and is included in tuition.

Q. 9. Is the FYS going to help me with notetaking, organization, time management, budgeting, and other skills like that?

The purpose of the FYS is to help with critical thinking skills required in college. While some instructors also incorporate some transition skills, they are not at the core of an FYS. However, a one-credit course is available to incoming first-year students which serves that purpose: STEP 1102, Pathways to College Success – a First Year Experience Course. For more information, see

Q. 10 If you have any other questions about the First-Year Seminar, please contact Allison Gernant, First-Year Seminar Coordinator.

Contact Us

Academic Affairs

1000 E. University Ave

Dept. 3302

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307 766-4286


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