First Year Experience

Appalachian State University is regularly ranked as having one of the top first-year experiences in the nation. Our first-year experience is designed to help students transition to university life and the academic expectations of a first rate liberal arts education. These combined resources and academic experiences represent the first steps in preparing students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all.

General Education Program

The basis of an Appalachian education is the General Education Program. Through its interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, students learn to adapt to new environments, integrate knowledge from diverse sources and continue learning throughout their lives.

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar StudentsFirst Year Seminar is the introductory course in the General Education Program. Required of all new students, these seminars help students integrate knowledge and bridge concepts across academic disciplines through an interdisciplinary approach. These small classes are taught by experienced faculty who are committed to helping freshmen successfully transition from high school to college by developing creative and critical thinking abilities, cultivating effective communication skills, and introducing students to a variety of research tools and methods.

Common Reading Program

ASU student summer reading programSince 1997, Appalachian's first-year students have read a common book as part of their orientation to university life. By participating in the Common Reading Program, you will share a common experience with other new students that contributes to a sense of community in your new environment and introduces you to Appalachian's academic life.


ASU OrientationOrientation helps new students explore Appalachian's academic and social opportunities and make a smooth transition to life on campus. During summer orientation, academic advisors assist entering students in choosing courses and planning a program of study. Students also have opportunities to meet professors and get to know other students. All new students – freshmen and transfers – are required to attend.

Academic Advising

Academic AdvisingAcademic advisors help students select appropriate classes, understand academic policies, and plan a course of study based on individual interests, skills, and talents. Each new student is advised by a professional advisor in the University College advising office until he or she enters a major degree program. The advising office provides additional services for students interested in health professions and students in University College degree programs.