First-year Programs FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do these courses fit in with the rest of my schedule?

A First-Year Program will usually be only 1 (maybe 2) courses out of the 4 or 5 classes you take in your fall semester. All academic interests and programs can be accommodated. Bring specific scheduling questions to your four-year advisor.

Can I be pre-med and participate in one of these programs?


Can I participate in an Ampersand Program and take a First-Year Seminar?

You can only sign up for one program in the early sign up period. If there are still spots in the other class you are interested in when you register, you are welcome to sign up for it.

I want to apply for a First-Year Program. How do I sign up?

You sign-up for First-Year Programs by going to the First-Year Programs homepage: There will be a link to the program selection webform; a statement of interest (no more than 500 words) is required for Ampersand programs.

How are decisions made?

Ampersand Programs have a short statement of interest. For these programs, faculty select from all applicants. Students who submit their program choices in the first 24 hours get priority review.

First Year Seminars, Beyond Boundaries and First year Opportunity class enrollment takes into account your choice ranking as well as offers priority enrollment to students who submit their program choices in the first 24 hours.

If I am on the wait list, what does that mean?

If we are unable to place you into any of your choices, you may be placed on the wait list for your first choice. Students will get into the course off the waitlisting list if space opens up in the course. Space can open in the course through the Add/Drop period in the Fall semester.

Do these classes fulfill general education requirements?

Yes. All classes in these programs fulfill a general education (distribution) requirement.

If a program is more than a year, am I bound to participate after my first year?

No. If your interests or plans change, you need not continue the program, though we hope that you will find these programs stimulating and want to continue!

I am interested in several programs. Are certain programs more beneficial than others?

No. You should choose the program that most appeals to you. You will need to rank the programs when you apply.

If I don’t get into a First-Year Program this year, can I participate next year?

No. These programs are available to incoming first-year students only.

When will I know if I am in a First-Year Program?

You will be notified by mid-June through your WashU email address, or by looking at your course registration.

I’m in class/busy when the application opens – what should I do?

Put in your application as soon as you can–priority enrollment is within the first 24 hours.