First-Year Experience

Components of the Core Curriculum at Xavier

At Xavier, we believe that the first year of college is a transformative time filled with endless opportunities for growth, discovery and connection. Our core curriculum is designed to provide you with the tools, resources and support you need to navigate this exciting chapter of your academic journey.

Two students looking at a poster detailing one of the First-Year-Seminar courses

First-Year Seminar Courses

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.

First-Year Seminar Courses
Students writing on a white-board and smiling

GOA: First-Year Journey Program

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
Theology professor teaching a group of Xavier students

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.

Ethics, Religion and Society Courses
Three students presenting a paper to their class

Liberal Arts Perspective Electives

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 Student Orientation

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