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First Year Connections

First-Year Connections

"My FYC seminar classes provided me with a cohesive transition from high school to college as I made connections with other first year students who had similar interests and worked closely with faculty members who continue to provide invaluable guidance in my academic pursuits. My education at Hofstra University has been superior and memorable because of programs like FYC."

-Ashley Rothbart, Class of 2013

First-Year Seminars and Clusters / 2019-2020

Get connected! Your first year of college is a time of exciting changes and dramatic transitions. Hofstra's first-year seminars and clusters are designed to get your college experience off to a great start. At the heart of the program are small classes taught by distinguished faculty in areas of interest ranging from art to writing. Not only will these courses introduce you to the intellectual and social life of the University, but — even if you are undecided about a major — nearly all of them will also help you satisfy the general education requirements for all majors. These are regular undergraduate courses, but they are reserved for first-year students only, so once you've looked over this brochure, please log in to the Hofstra portal (my.hofstra.edu) and give us your preferences.

Limited to 19 students, first-year seminars allow you to interact in a small setting and connect with a faculty member who may become your major advisor, depending on what major you choose. We've tried to design seminars to fit every interest, from music to film to legal studies to computing.

Clusters: Fall semesters only
First-year clusters are usually three courses grouped around a common theme. For example, cluster F1, "The Literature and Theater of NYC," is composed of a theater appreciation course, a literature course and freshman composition – all three courses revolving around New York City themes. Similarly, cluster F16, "Pre-Health Sciences," includes chemistry, biology, and freshman composition. All the courses in all the clusters satisfy Hofstra graduation requirements. By taking a few courses with the same group of students, you'll make friends more quickly, form study groups, and come to feel at home on Hofstra's 240-acre campus.

Several of the first-year clusters are linked to "living-learning communities." Residential students enrolled in these clusters may choose to live together in a house in the Netherlands First-Year Complex. Through these vibrant communities, first-year students are exposed to environments that are intellectually stimulating, supportive and conducive to building lasting friendships and academic excellence.

New York City - Our Classroom to the West:
When you look over the seminars and clusters, you'll notice that many of them involve activities in New York City. We want all our students — especially our first-year students — to be comfortable getting in and out of the city. To that end, seminar and cluster faculty accompany their students on related events in New York City. Thus, students in music, dance and drama courses attend performances; science students visit museums and laboratories; and political science students attend lectures by expert speakers, visit government offices, etc. In essence, all these courses will help you navigate the city and make it your own.

Why Enroll in a First-Year Seminar or Cluster?
First-Year Connections seminars and clusters help you feel more connected to the Hofstra University community and help you move closer to graduation by satisfying general education and liberal arts requirements, which all Hofstra students must fulfill. For this reason, they are appropriate for you whether you have a major in mind or are undecided. In fact, even if you switch majors, these courses will still satisfy the same graduation requirements.

Time to Choose!
If you are an incoming first-year student, please use this site to look over your first-year options. Then, log in to the Hofstra portal (my.hofstra.edu) and choose your preferences. Please express your top three choices in any order; for example, two clusters and a seminar, or two seminars and a cluster. We can't always guarantee your first choice of seminar or cluster, but we can generally enroll you in one of the top three you indicate.

Then, when you attend one of the summer orientation sessions, you'll sit down with an advisor and complete the rest of your fall schedule. At that time you're welcome to change to a different first-year seminar or cluster, or choose different courses altogether. If you have questions about fall courses now or at any time, simply call the Center for University Advising at 516-463-6770 or 516-463-7222. Email:advising[at]hofstra.edu .