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Frequently Asked Questions

Check out these detailed answers to frequently asked questions.

FIGure it out!

FIG is a Freshman (or First-Year) Iinterest Group -- a community where first-year students live and on the same floor and take some of the same courses.

Yes, you need to take all of the classes in the FIG. If you have prior credit for one of the courses in the FIG, you may not be required to retake that course. All students in a FIG must be enrolled in the FIG section of the anchor course (usually a First Year Seminar) and at least one of the two other courses in the FIG. If you have prior credit in a course, have your college send an official transcript, or have an official copy of your AP results documenting your credit sent to the Admissions Office, then notify the FIG coordinator, who will drop you from the class.

You must remain enrolled in the classes and sections specified for your FIG.

FIGs are living and learning communities, so a major component of the program is living on the same floor in the residence halls. FIG students are required to live on the FIG floor, and UW's policy is that all new students live in the residence halls. If you need more information on residence halls, please visit the Residence Life and Dining Services web page.

The University Studies Program (USP) is the general education program that all University of Wyoming undergraduate students are required to complete. Many of the FIGs have anchor courses that are First Year Seminars and satisfy the FY in the USP. The science courses satisfy the PN. Some FIGs have POLS 1000 which satisfies the V. For more information, check the FIG courses against the USP requirements on the USP website.

NOTE:  Chemistry 1020 requires passing the math placement exam at level 3, or a minimum ACT math subscore of  23.  Biology 1010 requires passing the math placement exam at level 2, or a minimum ACT math subscore of  21.

Probably, as long as the FIG floor has sufficient space and your roommate has not requested a different specialty floor (another FIG, Engineering or Honors).  Each floor in the residence halls will accommodate more students than there are in the FIG.  So while some FIG members will share a room, some FIG members will room with non-FIG students.

FIG members are required to live on the FIG floor, so if you need to be on a different specialty floor (like Honors or Engineering), you will not be able to participate in the FIG.  Be assured that when you join a living and learning community, whether it be a FIG, Honors, or an Engineering Power Group, you receive great benefits.

Fall Bridge includes a required First Year Seminar, so you cannot be in a FIG that includes a First Year Seminar course. However, you can still be in a FIG that does not have a First Year Seminar course, such as the Criminal Justice, Music Avalanche, or the Foundations in Visual Art. However, be aware that Music Avalanche and Foundations in Visual Art are for music and art majors only. 

Maybe. Because the FIG will be given priority over other living plan choices, you won't be able to move to a different floor to accommodate your request for a single room. However, your request is more likely to be met if your application is received early in the process. 

Definitely. While some FIGs are for specific majors, others are for areas of broad interest, and others are still more general. A FIG will help you explore various options and doesn't obligate you to any program or major.

The success of the FIG is dependent on students being in the same courses and sections together, so changes to the schedule are not allowed. If you're having a difficult time working out your schedule, contact the FIG coordinator to talk about your options.

Some FIGs have specific requirements that the department has issued.  

Major Requirements:

The following FIGs require you to have a declared a major in the department which is offering the FIG: Music Avalanche!, Foundational Studies in Visual Art.

ACT Requirements:

FIGs that contain LIFE 1010 (General Biology) require students to be at a certain math level.  You must have a minimum math ACT score of 21 or an MPE (Math Placement Exam) of 2.

FIGS that contain CHEM 1020 (General Chemistry) require students to be at a certain math level.  You must have a minimum math ACT score of 23 or an MPE (Math Placement Exam) of 3.

In addition, in order to be eligible to join a FIG, all students must fulfill the general requirements for joining.
Not at all! FIG members are a subset on the residence hall floor, so you'll still have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of students who are not in the FIG.You'll also work with your advisor to choose additional classes to take outside of the FIG to round out your schedule. And your social life will, of course, be your own. FIGs can help get connected during your first semester and can introduce you to opportunities on the UW campus, but you will still have plenty of time for activities outside of your FIG.  

FIGs are beneficial in many ways. Being in a FIG helps with adjusting to campus, accessing resources, and connecting to faculty. In addition, FIG students have higher four-year graduation rates compared to their UW peers.



students starting in…

Total #

% Retained

Total #

% Retained

Fall 2012





Fall 2013





Fall 2014





Fall 2015





Fall 2016





Fall 2017





As you look through the available FIGs, you will notice a few that contain course work that is specific to various majors. These FIGs are a good opportunity for students to build a community with other students with similar interests. You will also live on the same floor in the residence halls, where you will have access to special programming opportunities, designed specifically for your FIG.

The majority of the FIGs are designed around broad themes. They are generally designed to meet University Studies Program requirements, so you can't go wrong! The best strategy is to choose a FIG that sounds interesting. Even if you decide on a different major down the road, most of the courses you've completed as part of the FIG will still count toward your University Studies requirements. You will also live on the same floor in the residence halls, where you will have access to special programming opportunities, designed specifically for your FIG. All freshmen are encouraged to join - whether you're undeclared, have already declared a major, or just want to explore!

To find the current listing of FIGs, see Current FIGs at UW.

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