First-Year Fall 2024 Guide is Live!

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Fall 2024 Guide

First-Year Seminars

Fall 2024 Seminar Course Options

UNIV College Success

Start Off Strong

Fall 2024 Class Options

Learning Communities

Learn in a cohort of peers

Fall 2024 Learning Community Options

First-Year Experiences (FYE)

FYE Benefits


Historically over time, FYE students have retained at a higher rate compared to non-FYE students at CU Denver 

FYE Benefits


FYE students have a higher first-semester GPA compared to their non-FYE peers

FYE Benefits

Mentorship and Support

FYE students rate their professors and PALs highly in terms of mentorship and support during their first semester 


The focus of the CU Denver First-Year Experiences program is specially-designed courses that provide a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our new degree-seeking students who are starting college for the first time in the fall semester. In any of the FYE courses they choose, first-year students acclimate to the rigors of college-level work, engage in the active social and intellectual life of our campus, work closely with faculty and peer leaders, and make close friends and study partners.

By extending our support beyond the classroom, we connect our new students to the university and help them navigate this new academic world.

For example, you may have trouble understanding some of the language we use, like Registrar or Bursar. It’s the lingo of higher education, our own special vocabulary, and it’s not always easy to translate! That’s why we’ve assembled a lingo cheat sheet for you to reference when you get confused.

FYE Program Component #1


All of our FYE courses are capped at 30 or less students and have a certified Peer Advocate Leader (PAL) assigned to each FYE course. 

FYE Program Component #2


FYE courses require all students to meet one-on-one with their academic advisor and FYE instructor to help keep them on-track their entire first year at CU Denver.

FYE Program Component #3


Getting involved is important - part of the FYE course requirement is to attend events and workshops at CU Denver. Connection helps build belonging! 

FYE Program Component #4


Learn from experts. Our courses bring in guest speakers from across a variety of CU Denver offices to get you the resources you need! 

First-Year Experiences (FYE) Courses

So, Which FYE course(s) will you decide to take in your first semester at college? It's up to you!  You’ll choose from among three FYE program options, selecting the one that suits you best—College Success (UNIV 1110/1111/1112/2110/2111/3110), First-Year Seminar, or Learning Communities. Explore all of the choices to learn more about what each program offers and find out which one interests you the most.

Events and Workshops

In addition to our FYE and SYE classes, we host a variety of events on-campus. Check out the calendar below for our upcoming events, as well as events hosted by our campus partners!

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Luckily for you, FYE takes students beyond courses and classrooms. Getting th​e most out of your first-year college experience is easy when you participate in the activities that the university offers. Every semester, offices across campus provide a variety of social events and dozens of workshops that cover topics from academic skills to personal growth.

FYE instructors require their students attend workshops, campus events, and meet with their academic advisor. That means that as an FYE student, you receive credit for participating in these activities! You'll become more socially involved at CU Denver, more aware of yourself, learn to utilize the campus resources available to you, and practice the academic skills necessary to succeed at the university.

The First Year Experience Model

Our model of engagement for our FYE programs includes four parts.

A Peer Advocate Leader (PAL) serves as your go-to guide on college life and campus resources. With small class sizes, professors have time to get to know you and give you one-on-one advice.

Building a strong network of support is a necessity, and our advising teams are a central part of your network. FYE students have mid-semester meetings with their academic advisors to check in and plan for the following spring semester. 

Being engaged on campus is a serious and totally fun component of first year acclimation. There are tons of options, from our annual FYE Barbecue and CU 411 Casino Night to scholarly lectures, intercultural events, and student clubs and organizations.

Learn from the experts. Our in-class and outside the classroom workshops include a variety of topics.

  • Stress and Choosing a Major, presented by the Career Center
  • Procrastination Domination, presented by the Learning Resources Center
  • Money Matter$, presented by the Wellness Center and Financial Literacy
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