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First Year Experience

Trinity’s First-Year Experience (FYE) is an interdisciplinary course required of all entering students. The FYE represents Trinity’s commitment to education in the liberal arts and sciences tradition and is the foundation of the Pathways curriculum. 

  • critical thinking
  • curiosity
  • multidisciplinary insight

The FYE gives incoming students an introduction to the demands of university-level reading, writing, and thinking within an interdisciplinary experience. In it, students begin to acquire the skills and disciplinary perspectives necessary to navigate complex questions in their post-graduate lives.

All FYE courses offer a once-per-week common learning experience attended by all enrolled students and all participating faculty. These common learning experiences feature lectures by faculty teaching in the course or by visiting colleagues from Trinity or other institutions. Common learning experiences also include field trips, panel discussions, and films. Together, faculty lead discussion and teach writing in individual sections no larger than sixteen students each. Each section emphasizes the following goals:

  • reasoned discussion of substantive ideas
  • analytical thinking and argumentative writing
  • oral presentations
  • research to enhance understanding of course materials and to highlight faculty-student collaboration.

The FYE engages a range of topics of widespread and enduring significance. These courses range widely in topic from climate change to social justice to “great books” and are thoroughly interdisciplinary.

Example Class Topics 

  • Arts and Ideas
  • Being Young in Asia
  • Climate Changed
  • Creative Genius
  • Food Matters
  • Great Books of the Ancient World
  • Inventing Mexico
  • Science Fiction
  • Social Justice
  • A Successful Life
  • What we know that just ain't so