First-Year Experience

For 2021-22, the College of Charleston's FYE program has been listed among the top in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report.

First-Year Experience (FYE) is an academic program designed to fully integrate new students into the academic and cultural community of the College of Charleston. All of the courses offered in this program give new students an opportunity to work closely with top-level faculty. Through the FYE program, you'll meet other new students, work with engaging faculty and create connections with peer facilitators. FYE is designed to help you transitition to college life while studying something that interests you. The program also teaches you the skills needed for success throughout your academic career. Fostering these connections and skills in the first year is crucial to success at the College, graduation and beyond. Which FYE course piques your interest?


What is an FYE course and who is required to take an FYE course?

FYE course descriptions, credit hours and the requirements that each course will satisfy can be found here. A First-Year Seminar (FYSE, FYSG, FYSU) focuses on topics within or across academic disciplines of study. First-Year Seminars are small courses (generally between 20-25 students), with narrow topics of study, taught by roster faculty members. A Learning Community links two or more courses, often around an interdisciplinary theme or problem. All Learning Communities and First-Year Seminars include a weekly Synthesis Seminar. The Synthesis Seminar includes an hour of discussion and reflection led by a Peer Facilitator who is an upper-level student at the College. Most FYE courses contain social events and class trips that allow FYE students to get to know faculty and peers outside of the classroom.

Successful completion of the First-Year Experience is a degree requirement. All students who have completed less than one year of college when they enter the College of Charleston must complete a First-Year Seminar (FYSE), Learning Community (LC), or an Honors College First-Year Experience course during their first year.  No student may enroll who has earned (at the College or as a transfer student) more than 30 credit hours, excluding AP and dual enrollment credits earned while in high school.

Students required to complete a First-Year Experience must complete it within their first three consecutive academic terms. For students entering in the Fall, the consecutive terms include Fall, Spring and Summer. For students entering in the Spring, the consecutive academic terms include Spring, Summer, and Fall. Once students begin the FYE, they must be continuously enrolled until they have completed the requirement. Failure to complete the requirement in the first two academic terms will result in a registration hold until the requirement is completed in the third academic term. Students who fail to complete the requirement in their first three academic terms must satisfy the requirement by continuously enrolling in a First Year Experience Project class until they successfully pass the course.

"I was able to choose a course about something that I was particularly interested in, as there were so many different course options available."

- Natalie M. '24


"Our study abroad trip quickly became one of the best experiences of my life. I learned more about my family and made my own memories of Scotland."

- Student '22


"The students I've encountered are open, curious, eager to learn. I'm refreshed by working with these new members of the CofC community."

- Brett Lott, department of English


"I loved being able to share my own experiences to help make college easier and more enjoyable for first year students."

- Ainsley C. '21


FYE In the News

To read even more about FYE, visit the College of Charleston's blog The College Today