First Year Experience

Core Curriculum

Xavier's core curriculum isn't just a series of classes to be checked off a list. It's designed to help students grow academically, professionally and personally. Explore the programs, sequences and courses included in Xavier's core curriculum.

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar (FYS) classes cover dozens of topics concerning everything from ancient Greek heroes and Harry Potter to the Grand Canyon as a sacred space. All undergraduates are required to take a FYS within two semesters of their arrival at Xavier.

FYS Courses


This class isn’t about grades, it’s about a successful transition from high school to college, and covers topics like financial literacy, time management, decision making, healthy relationships and more. All first-year undergraduates are required to attend the one-hour-per-week classes for the first six weeks of fall and spring semesters.

GOA Schedule and Instructors

Ethics, Religion and Society Sequence

Life's decisions are often much more complex than choosing between "right" and "wrong." Knowing how to make a smart, informed decision is key. The goal of these required courses is to foster students' understanding of socially significant issues from the perspectives of the humanities, especially literature, philosophy and theology.

ERS Courses

Liberal Arts Perspective

A Xavier education, particularly at the undergraduate level, is marked by an emphasis on liberal arts learning. Students take elective courses in history, math, philosophy, science, theology and the creative arts that lead to practical, wise and sensitive action in the world.


Manresa \man-ree-sa\ (n) 1: Town in Spain where St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, reflected on his life. 2: Xavier's first-year orientation program, designed to introduce students to campus and each other before classes start.

Manresa is a chance to connect with classmates, upper-class student leaders, and the campus community. Students experience the program in a small group, which gives them the opportunity to create connections that may last for years to come.

Manresa Orientation Details