The Dickinson First-Year experience is designed with you in mind.

We are here to help you develop the skills and find the interests and passions that will make you a truly outstanding college student. The academic cornerstone of your first semester will be your First-Year Seminar. Taught by the professor who will be your academic advisor, this class is designed to help you develop habits of mind that are essential to liberal learning, including critical thinking and clear, concise writing skills. As you begin your time at Dickinson we want to help you strive for academic excellence, find connections to this wonderful place through relationships with students, staff and faculty, develop personally and above all become prepared for a life of engaged citizenship.

Orientation activities, First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) and your experiences in and out of the classroom will help you make connections with other new students and meet upper-level students who share your interests. You may also choose to participate in one of our Pre-Orientation programs that will actively engage you in exciting student-run outdoor activities, community service or a theater project, just to name a few. FIGs, run by your first-year mentor (an upper-level student) may range from Art & Design to Pop Culture to Politics & Law.

Dickinson is a four-year residential college and much of your out-of-the-classroom experience takes place in the residence halls. First-year students are housed together. Each floor has a Resident Advisor living there; he or she is an upper-class student who cares about you and your residential experience.  We encourage you to become an active, caring and involved member of your residential community in your first year and throughout your time at Dickinson.

Your first year will be exciting, challenging, fun and at times frustrating. You will personally grow in ways that you did not think possible in the coming year, and we want you to know that we are here to help and provide support—through your academic advisor, first-year mentor, RA and many other staff and faculty.