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  • First Year Experience

We want RWU to feel like home – academically, socially and in your residence hall – as soon as you arrive on campus. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive set of initiatives, designed to promote the academic success and overall well-being of First Year students at Roger Williams University. With special events, customized housing options, a tailored curriculum and more, the entire University community pitches in to make your first year a great one!

It’s all part of what we call the First Year Experience.

Faculty, staff and students collaborate to enhance your educational, social and cultural experience, facilitating your successful transition to college life and laying the foundation for you to flourish at RWU.

You’ll take part in at least one element of the University’s First Year Experience:

Living Learning Communities

Every residence hall at RWU creates a great sense of community, but the University’s

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) take things a step further with:

  • Additional access to faculty mentors
  • The creation of a community within a community
  • Greater interaction with Student Advocates
  • Built-in study groups and tutoring support
  • Opportunities to participate in special events, on- and off-campus

CORE Curriculum

Wondering how college courses will be different from what you’ve done in high school? Beginning in your first semester, you’ll take part in the University’s CORE Curriculum – a transdisciplinary program that will serve as a foundation for students of every major.

Find out more about RWU’s CORE curriculum.


And what about everything outside of the classroom? That’s where our RWU Experience comes in! This friendly and informative non-credit seminar is led by both a faculty or staff member and a Student Advocate peer leader. It’s your forum for everything from learning about the RWU Learning Commons, tutoring center and other resources to asking about course registration and involvement opportunities.


Your first two-days on campus will be jam-packed with experiences designed to build strong bonds between you and the entire Roger Williams University community. You, and your family members, will learn about campus traditions, University policies and academic requirements; and you’ll be introduced to RWU’s campus life and rich academic resources. 

Common Reading

Each year, RWU selects a common reading for its campus community that will bring you, the faculty and administration together over a shared intellectual endeavor. The authors of the selected books are invited to campus to provide a lecture and to participate in related activities, including classroom discussions.

Community Connections

The largest service program in the region, Community Connections is an opportunity for first year students, led by team leaders, to volunteer for an entire day at non-profit agencies throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Mass. Even before fall classes begin, you’ll be experiencing RWU’s commitment to service and community engagement!

Weeks of Welcome

The first few weeks of the Fall Semester at Roger Williams University are a very special time for all of us on campus and – WOW – you’ll have a lot of things to get involved in during our Weeks of Welcome. The many traditions, events, fairs and trips offered are designed to show you what your campus has to offer outside of the classroom and provide you with a preview of your fabulous year ahead. We encourage you to attend as many as possible.

Honors Program

More than just academics, honors is about getting involved. Honors students are campus and community leaders – participating in local and global service opportunities – who know the value of a close connection to each other and to their faculty. The Honors Program is a unique academic and social community for qualifying students who seek to enhance their classroom and co-curricular experiences.

Student Academic Support Services

Every staff member and student working in the Offices of University Advising and Student Advocacy, as well as the Writing Center and Tutoring Center are here to help navigate you through your First Year and on to academic success.

MAP Works

Faculty, staff and designated student leaders are using this system to support students, make referrals to campus resources and educate new students about the factors that contribute to their success. You have all of the resources you need for a successful first year – right at your fingertips!