First Year Experience | Trinity University

Coronavirus Updates: The latest information on the global pandemic and campus operations.  COVID-19 Website

Apply Now Visit Trinity

You are here

First Year Experience

Trinity’s First-Year Experience (FYE) is an interdisciplinary course required of all entering students. The FYE represents Trinity’s commitment to education in the liberal arts and sciences tradition and is the foundation of the Pathways curriculum. 

critical reading | writing and analysis | discussion | presentation


All students must complete one FYE during their first semester at Trinity.

What to expect

The FYE gives incoming students an introduction to the demands of university-level reading, writing, and thinking within an interdisciplinary experience. In it, students begin to acquire the skills and disciplinary perspectives necessary to navigate complex questions in their post-graduate lives. Through extensive engagement in a topic of widespread or enduring significance, the First Year Experience (FYE) is designed for students to analyze sophisticated texts and ideas. 

The FYE includes substantial instruction in written and oral communication skills, offering a once-per-week common learning experience attended by all enrolled students and all participating faculty.

Students will demonstrate analysis through:

  • critical thinking and curiosity
  • multidisciplinary insight
  • reasoned discussion of substantive ideas
  • oral presentations
  • analytical and argumentative writing
  • locating and evaluating diverse information sources to enhance their understanding of course materials

All FYE courses offer a once-per-week common learning experience attended by all enrolled students and all participating faculty. These common learning experiences feature lectures by faculty teaching in the course or by visiting colleagues from Trinity or other institutions. Common learning experiences also include field trips, panel discussions, and films. Together, faculty lead discussion and teach writing in individual sections no larger than sixteen students each.

Tools for Success

Course Topics

For each topic, the FYE consists of multiple sections linked by a common syllabus and a weekly common learning experience for all students and faculty. Each section is the equivalent of two three-hour courses.

The FYE engages a range of topics of widespread and enduring significance. These courses range widely in topic from climate change to social justice to “great books” and are thoroughly interdisciplinary.

Example Class Topics 

  • Arts and Ideas
  • Being Young in Asia
  • Climate Changed
  • Creative Genius
  • Food Matters
  • Great Books of the Ancient World
  • Inventing Mexico
  • Science Fiction
  • Social Justice
  • A Successful Life
  • What we know that just ain't so