First Year Experience

Getting to know your roommate and hallmates
Meeting classmates at orientation
Finding a note from your FYM (first-year mentor)
Exploring the curriculum
Learning about new activities (wushu)
Meeting women from all over the world

The unique first-year experience at Wellesley will transform you.

Your very first day as a student at Wellesley College will mark a milestone in your life. It's the start of a transition and adjustment process that will unfold over the course of the entire first year.  

At Wellesley we are committed to helping each first-year student make—and mark—this transition from high school to college. This first year will be more than just a chance to "get used to" college life. It is a particular moment in your cognitive and personal development that, at its best, affords you both opportunities and pleasures that are unique to the first year. We hope that each first-year student will find time to pursue the following:  

  • Participate in and build an intellectual community
  • Engage (joyfully) in the life of the mind
  • Take time for thoughtful self-discovery and reflection
  • Nurture your growing independence
  • Explore the curriculum and take classes in new subjects
  • Focus on right now and enjoying today for itself
  • Take risks and challenge yourself!

Three Areas of Support in Wellesley's First-Year Experience

Academic Options in your First Year

Academic Advising
and Mentoring
Wellesley's New
Shadow-Grading Policy

Focuses on exploration and skill development.


Is geared to the needs of first-year students.


Opens the door for greater intellectual engagement, curricular exploration, and self-reflection.



Wellesley's new Shadow-Grading policy will further enable first-year students to make a strong start in their intellectual journey at Wellesley.



Mornings: Saturday, Sept. 27; Monday, Oct. 13; Saturday, Nov. 15
Weekend: Sunday and Monday, Oct. 19-20.