The First-Year Experience

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

The unique first-year experience at Wellesley:
a transition to new courses and new experiences

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!

Wellesley's first-year experience supports students in these key moments in three major ways:

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


Provides an opportunity for greater intellectual engagement, curricular exploration, self-reflection




There are 34,851 living alumnae. That's a lot of contacts!

A continuing series of noble but incomplete attempts to capture the immensity of all that is Wellesley.


Shadow Grading


Learn more about Wellesley's liberating first semester grading policy.


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