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First-Year Studies Program

The First-Year Studies Program (FIYS) at Lake Forest College is a new student’s first connection with the academic community on campus. It introduces first-year students to new friends, challenging and engaging professors, and learning opportunities and resources available in nearby Chicago.

All students in their first semester at Lake Forest take a First-Year Studies course as one of their four courses. The First-Year Studies Program offers courses that represent a wide range of topics from many different academic departments and programs. They represent the passionate interests of their instructors, who want to introduce students to a new topic in an intimate academic setting.

Students should feel free to take any First-Year Studies course that interests them, regardless of their intended major. A First-Year studies course is not an introduction to any major, but an introduction to college-level work.  As such, First-Year Studies courses may satisfy no major or minor requirement, nor may they serve as pre-requisites for other courses in a major or minor program. Nor may First-Year Studies courses have pre-requisites themselves

While diverse in subject matter, First-Year Studies courses share several aims:
  • They are small in size, in order to encourage discussion and interaction.
  • They are intense and challenging, stressing critical thinking and writing along with the development of good work habits and academic skills. (Note: All First-Year Studies courses satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement).
  • The instructor serves as the student’s academic advisor for at least their first year at the College.