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. 

Chicago Day 2023

Professor Groeger's FIYS class "Why College? A Chicago Story" took the Metra downtown to tour the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago's oldest public library.

FIYS class "Why College? A Chicago Story" ate lunch at the Flats and learned about the opportunity to spend a semester living in Chicago as part of the In-the-Loop program.

Professor Zeller's FIYS 144: Sacred Spaces in Chicago class dined with Hannah Michal ’09 at her office at Lumen Technologies in the heart of the Loop.

FIYS 144: Sacred Spaces in Chicago class visited two historic churches: Old St. Pat’s and Methodist Temple.

FIYS 144: Sacred Spaces in Chicago class visited two historic churches: Old St. Pat’s and Methodist Temple.

The FIYS 125 Public Policy class enjoyed a Metra ride to Chicago and lunch at Eataly.

Prof. Danielle Cohen's FIYS 152: The Politics of Population students took in Chicago's world-famous architecture and visited the Chicago Architecture Center.

FIYS 124 Transatlantic Cinema took a water taxi the Chicago River, ate at a Cuban restaurant, Cafecito, and visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

FIYS 113 Music and Math, waiting for the train to Chicago/Adler Planetarium.

FIYS 199: The Past and Future of a Plague, heading to the Public Health Initiative of Metropolitan Chicago.

FIYS 143: Public Art in Chicago, at the train station in Lake Forest heading to Cloud Gate and The Agora Installation. 

FIYS Field Trips

First Years Studies class met with former U.S. Representatives Democrat David Skaggs of Colorado and Republican Jim Kolbe of Arizona. 

First Year Studies students in FIYS 192: Police Reform visited Chicago City Hall and met with Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Elena Gottreich.

First Year Studies students give back as five students traveled this Saturday to volunteer at a community recycling event with 40th ward Alderperson Andre Vasquez.