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Undergraduate Studies

Your First Year Experience

At the University of North Florida, we know that the first year is important in laying the right foundation for your success throughout your college career. The First-Year Experience (FYE) is a student-centered initiative designed to assist first-year students in making a successful transition to college and to prepare you to make the most of your college experience. Below are your "ospreytunities" to get involved with FYE!

Osprey Connections Experience

Interested in taking courses together that ask a BIG question? Listed below are our Osprey Connections Experience course groupings available this fall.

  • Owning your Personal Power
    Successful careers involve working well with others and respecting diverse viewpoints. In this first-year experience you will learn how to interact competently and comfortably with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Mindful Reading and Writing
    PSY 2012 - Intro to Psychology
  • What is Health?
    Are you interested in health care professions? Do you want to study the most urgent medical questions from history and today? This first-year experience will help students think about the relationship between medical professions, patients, and the community at large. The skills we develop in this class will serve you for the rest of your life, whether you become a nurse or a caregiver or a patient.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) What is health? What is illness?
    HUM 2020 - G(W) Intro to Humanities
  • Around the World with Tea
    What can we learn from a cup of tea? This question invites us to explore our daily lives from new perspectives. Most of us approach tea as simply a beverage to drink - the most commonly drunk beverage around the world, after water - but from a cup of tea we can explore the world's most daring theft of intellectual property, the history and the economics of colonization, the science of caffeine and the nature of sweetners, the medication practices of Zen Buddhist monks, and more.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Tea: An Interdisciplinary Exploration
    CHM 1020 - Discovering Chemistry
  • Wellness and Society
    This first-year experience will give students an opportunity to redine wellness in their own lives and understand how it is interwoven into society. Wellness is more than the sum of our physical and mental health. By redefining how we approach wellness, we can become the authors of our stories. Through course reading and community-based experiences, we will enrich our understanding of how to live well.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Stories Our Bodies Tell
    HSC 2100 - Personal and Public Health
  • Banning Books

    In this first-year experience we will examine the competing forces of censorship and freedom of expression, historically and today, regarding both books and theater. We will do so, primarily, by reading, writing, and performing the works themselves.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Bad Actors? The Theater of Challenges and Censorship
    THE 2000 - Theater Appreciation
  • Rethinking STEM Education
    How can we transform STEM education to make it work better for you? This first-year experience opens the door to communicating and connecting big ideas in mathematics, science, engineering, and computer science. You will also study innovations in STEM teaching and learning as you design activities for K-12 students to experience the joy of STEM. Most importantly, you will become an agent of change through roundtable discussions with faculty and school district leaders about how we can empower an increasingly diverse group of STEM learners.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Writing-to-Learn in STEM
    EDF 2085 - Intro to Diversity for Educators
  • Myth, Religion, and Culture
    Cultures use stories to shape the key questions of human existence - who are we, where did we come from, and where are we going? Through myths, rituals, and symbols, people have created identities in response to cultural change and paradigm shifts. Students will examine a range of stories in a variety of cultural and historical moments, and understand the powerful impact stories have on daily life and cultural systems.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Religions and Storytelling
    REL 2300 - G(W) Comparative Religions
  • Medieval Influence of Contemporary Culture
    Medieval culture has been an instrumental influence on some of the most popular forms of entertainment in the past decade. Take the hit TV show Game of Thrones or the popular game Assassin's Creed as examples; several forms of media draw a large portion of their narrative from medieval events such as the Royalty of England, the Crusades, or the Black Plague. In this first-year experience, you will explore how our current cultural reality is informed by the Middle Ages. 

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Let's Get Medieval
    HUM 2020 - G(W) Intro to Humanities
  • Punk's Not Dead
    Punk is anti-authoritarian. It's a DIY ethic. It's non-conformity and direct action. It's not "selling out to man." We will reflectively engage the music, art, writing, and rituals from various perspectives to get at the origins of punk, how it evolved, and the ways it informs, as well as re-imagine, life today. 

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Reading and Rioting
    PHI 2010 - G(W) Intro to Philosophy
  • Exploring the Past
    How do we know about the distant past? What can we learn about it that will help us to understand our own world? This first-year experience will explore the ways in which we seek out evidence about the remote past, and reconstruct that evidence to make sense of human life long ago, in comparsion with life in our own time. 

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) Gods, Heros, Mortals
    ANT 3212 - Peoples and Cultures of the World
  • Community, Food, and Culture

    *Open to native speakers of Spanish and intermediate-level Spanish speakers.

    How can you use your college years to prepare for a successful career and an enjoyable life within international professions and communities? We will study histories of cultural exchange through music, food, healing practices, the arts, and campus excursions. Students will use Spanish skills and learn about the Latin cultures.

    Courses within this grouping:
    IDS 1932 - G(W) El saber y el sabor
    HUM 2020 - G(W) Intro to Humanities
  • Opinions, Attitudes and Preferences
    This first-year experience will explore the intersection of rhetoric and politics. Students will analyze political rhetoric and compose a wide variety of texts which help them engage in the process of civil discourse. Students will ask if the American political system is capable of achieving its goals; and, are we, as citizens, capable of holding our political representatives accountable for their actions. 

    Courses within this grouping:
    ENC 1101 - G(W) Writing for Audience and Purpose
    POS 2041 - Intro to American Government

Consider a Living-Learning Community

Living-Learning Communities allow students with similar interests to connect academics with residential life by taking classes together, living on the same floor in the residence hall, participating in out-of-class activities that enhance what they are learning in class, and creating meaningful relationships with faculty, staff and other LLC students. Listed below are some of the Living-Learning Communities available to you. Some of the LLCs have a required course that you take together and some do not.

  • ASL Zone
    This community is for any first-year student who has experience with ASL, is a heritage ASL user, wants to learn more about ASL, or is interested in ASL, Deaf Education, and Interpreting majors or minors. LLC participants will build connections with fellow students, faculty, and staff, and will create bonds within the Jacksonville community. No required courses are taken together, but you should enroll in an ASL course at your appropriate level.
  • Business
    This community assists you in becoming a competitive candidate for a career in business. The Coggin College of Business LLC creates a cohort of students interested in many areas of business. Applicable majors include the nine business majors. Required course taken together: GEB 1990.
  • Environmental Sustainability
    This community fosters critical thinking about environmentalism and sustainable projects. Students will engage in experience in the campus environment, local Northeast Florida ecosystems, and beyond. Students will be empowered to make a positive impact on their environment in ways that are exclusive and unique to the first-year students in the LLC. Required course to take: HSC 2100.
  • Healthy Osprey
    The Healthy Osprey LLC is open to all incoming first-year students who want to continue or start living a healthy lifestyle. All levels of fitness are welcome to participate, and "healthy" is pursued to the fullest extent of the word. As a participant in the Healthy Osprey LLC you will experience organic gardening, the high-ropes course, group fitness classes, healthy cooking demonstrations and much more. Required course taken together: HSC 2100.
  • Honors
    The Hicks Honors College is intentional in its efforts to create a living and learning environment within our Honors community. The goal is to create a seamless transition between learning in and outside of the classroom. This community will heighten student intellectual and personal growth and promote a greater degree of engagement in campus life. Required course taken together: IDH 1923.
  • Making a Difference in Education (M.A.D.E.)
    The MADE LLC is open to first-year students who plan to major in education. This LLC will provide a range of opportunities to connect with faculty, explore careers within the education field, and prepare students for the General Knowledge Exam. Students will benefit from skills workshops, classroom tours, leadership opportunities and faculty support. Required course taken together: EDF 2260.
  • Music
    The Music LLC boasts a musically immersive environment for music majors to foster creativity, collaborate with other artists, and enhance their musical talents. Participants in the Music LLC can expect a close relationship with faculty and staff from the School of Music, programs catered directly to the interests and passions of the community, and support in establishing your personal musical identity and network. Required course taken together: MUS 1020.
  • Pre-Medical
    This community assists you in becoming a competitive candidate for admission to professional schools in the medical field.  The Pre-Med LLC creates a cohort of students interested in the medical profession. Applicable majors for the Pre-Medical LLC include biomedical sciences, biology, chemistry and physics. Students are required to be interested in pursuing medical, dental or veterinary school to be eligible. Required course taken together: BSC 2932.
  • ROTC
    The Army ROTC LLC provides a place where students can further develop lifelong leadership and communication skills, increase their physical, social and emotional health, and improve their understanding of the Army. Required courses taken together: MSL 1001 and MSL 1001L.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)
    The STEM LLC connects first-year students interested in pursuing a degree or career in science (non-medical aspects of science), technology, engineering, or math. The living-learning community will help students develop the academic and professional skills needed to succeed in their careers and socially at UNF. Required course taken together: SLS 1993.
  • Stonewall
    Students in the Stonewall LLC will celebrate and affirm the cultural experience of gender expansiveness while welcoming the diverse and complex identities of every resident. The Stonewall LLC is a partnership with the LGBTQ Center. No required course taken together.
    The THRIVE LLC is open only to students who are accepted into the THRIVE program at UNF or serve as an ally or mentor for the THRIVE program. Students will experience tailored study halls and tutoring, weekly THRIVE classes on executive functioning and career development skills, and individualized attention from the THRIVE program staff. No required course taken together.

Attend Week of Welcome

Want to join in UNF traditions, get involved and engaged, and learn your way around campus? The Week of Welcome (WOW) will kick off the new school year with a series of events, programs, and opportunities to help new Ospreys learn their way around UNF. Hosted the first week of the term, WOW gives you a head start to flourish socially and academically by participating in campus programs, small group gatherings, events, and school traditions.

Past Week of Welcome events have included:

  • Ospreys Involved Extravaganza

  • Tour the Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Comedy Night

  • New Student Convocation

  • Welcome to College Luau

  • Don't Mess the Nest

  • Osprey Productions Movie Night

  • Jax Life Fest

  • Eco Adventures

  • New Student Community Service Project

  • Ozzie's Weekend


For more information and a schedule of this year's events, visit the Week of Welcome website.

Visit WOW Webpage


Get Involved

Students who get involved on campus in both academic and co-curricular activities tend to have better grades and have a more enjoyable college experience overall. Though being at a university can feel intimidating at first, becoming involved with student organizations and connecting with university departments can quickly transform anxiety into comfort, and inevitably open doors to bigger opportunities. You will begin to establish relationships, create connections, and define your First-Year Experience.

Getting involved can take many forms. With more than 180 student organizations, multiple service opportunities, campus events and friendly people to help you find the right resources, finding your niche at UNF is simple. Visit our Osprey Involvement Center website for a list of current student clubs and organizations at UNF. Also, talk with your academic advisor about student organizations within your major of interest.