Campus at springtime with trees in full bloom.

First-year Academic Programs

Western Washington University has created special first year academic programs designed to facilitate the transition of new students to college.

Viking Launch students gather for an outing at the beach.

Early Start: Viking Launch

Early Start Viking Launch brings students on campus a week before fall term, with early move-in and a head start on academic success in a credit-bearing course.

Jump into Viking Launch

First-year Interest Groups

First-year Interest Group students gather around a laptop

In their first quarter, new students in First-year Interest Groups enroll with a small group of students in a seminar course that is linked to one or two other courses in the general education curriculum.

Discover FIGS

New Student Experience Seminars

A group of students in the New Student Experience Seminars program plant flowers in the soil.

New Student Experience Seminars are stand-alone courses with limited enrollment of 25 students. They are special topics courses or community-engaged learning experiences that are designed to enhance your experience as a first-year or transfer student.

Experience NSE Seminars

Year-long Strands

Year Long Strand students line up on a mossy log in the forest.

Students in the first-year strands take a sequence of three linked courses over their first three quarters at WWU. This provides a sequence of learning experiences along with the chance to develop a cohort with a group of students with similar interests.

Explore Year-Long Strands