These four programs have each been designed to enhance your transition from high school to college. They each have a different emphasis, but all four provide small class experiences and help you get to know instructors and other students faster. Below you’ll find more information about each program, and links for including them in your Schedule Builder Course Cart.

College Transition

See College Transition Options paired with Chemistry, College Algebra, Criminology, and Psychology
These College Transition Seminar sections can be taken on their own: Option 1, Option 2, Option 3

student and instructor in College Transition course

The College Transition program (CT) is designed to ease your transition to college-level academics. Each College Transition option consists of three linked courses: an academic anchor course (3 or 4 semester hours), a College Transition Seminar (1 s.h.), and a College Transition Workshop (1 s.h.). The Seminar teaches a variety of study skills, time management, stress management, and more. The Workshop is a study group where you get to apply these skills to your anchor course, as well as review your notes and develop study materials. The anchor courses bundled with CT are General Chemistry I, Principles of Chemistry I, College Algebra, Elementary Psychology, and Intro to Criminology. You can browse these options and add them to your Course Cart. If none of these anchor courses interests you and you would still like to be part of the College Transition Program, you can sign up for a standalone College Transition Seminar for 1 semester hour. These sections can be found here.

Courses in Common

See Courses in Common options

student on the pentacrest

The Courses in Common program (CIC) links two academic courses, so the same group of about 20 students takes the two courses together. Seeing the same faces in two of your courses each week can help make this big campus feel a bit smaller by helping you meet people and form study groups. You may also find the discussion in your linked courses overlaps in interesting ways, leading to deeper learning and connection across the things you’re studying. Each Courses in Common bundle includes Rhetoric, Interpretation of Literature, or Creative Writing as one of its courses, so you are guaranteed to be in at least one small, discussion-based course. The options for other courses paired with them vary widely, but they all fulfill General Education requirements. If this sounds interesting, take a few minutes to browse all the Courses in Common options.

First-Year Seminars

See a list of First-Year Seminar topics

student and instructor in a First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminars are 1-semester hour, small, discussion-based courses that are only for first-year students. They’re taught by faculty and staff who especially enjoy working with first-year students and choose focused topics related to their research or areas of particular interest. Taking a First-Year Seminar is a great way to get to know a professor and other first-year students while learning about an interesting, specific topic. Some First-Year Seminars might be related to your major, but you can also choose to take one that has nothing to do with your major, just to learn something fun.


Explore Iowa, Explore You: Scientific Strategies for Success

See Explore Iowa in MyUI

A student speaking with another student in a classroom

This course will introduce you to the Three Ms for Effective Learning - Mindset, Metacognition, and Memory – and provide you with the practical tools to apply these concepts to life in college and beyond. The course meets weekly for a large-group lecture where you will learn about scientifically proven strategies for success and how you can use them to enhance various aspects of your first semester experience, both in and outside the classroom. You will also meet weekly in a small-group discussion, facilitated by a peer leader, where you will practice consistently applying Three Ms’ recommendations in your day-to-day life and identify how you can effectively access and utilize campus resources relevant to your goals and interests. Through readings, self-assessments, and written assignments, you will reflect on how you currently respond to challenges and how the Three Ms can help you effectively achieve your individualized academic, career, and personal goals. Read more about Explore Iowa and add it to your Schedule Builder Course Cart.