First-Year Students

As advisors, we are here to help you successfully navigate the transition to college and make the most of your first year.

Below are some guidelines to help you through your first year. Beginning with orientation, you will find important information about your first semester courses, taking advantage of any advanced standing credit, and making a plan for the next four years. Advisors are always available to help you out along the way and to answer any questions you may have.

Prepare for Your First Year

The Office of Orientation & New Student Programs coordinates your First Year Orientation program. During orientation, you will meet with academic advisors and begin to get familiar with your academic requirements, curriculum, and major options.

Learn more about first year orientation, dates, and schedules.

Advanced standing or transfer credit includes, but is not limited to, AP credit, IB credit, dual-enrollment credit, etc.

If you have advanced standing or transfer credits, consult with Undergraduate Admission for test score equivalencies. To receive credit, test scores and/or official transcripts must be sent to the Undergraduate Admission Office.

Contact an advisor if you have questions about how these credits are fulfilling your degree requirements.

You will use your Workday Student account to search for and select courses, pay your tuition bill, check your placement scores, and more.

It is important that you also understand how to navigate Suffolk email, use Canvas for course information, find your E-Bill, and use the course search/registration system.

College of Arts & Sciences

Your curriculum requirements vary depending on degree and major, but typical first-year courses for students starting in the College of Arts & Sciences include:

  • First Year Seminar course
  • Writing Requirement(s)
  • First Year Experience course
  • Introductory Major Course
  • Creativity & Innovation (CI) Requirement
  • Ethical & Philosophical Inquiry Requirement
  • Math Requirement(s)
  • Human Behavior and Societies Requirement
  • Social and Intellectual History Requirement
  • Studies in Literature Requirement
  • Modern Language Requirement
  • Potential Major or Minor Course

Sawyer Business School

Your curriculum requirements vary depending on your major, but typical first-year courses for students starting in the Sawyer Business School include:

  • SBS-100 (careerSTART)
  • SBS-101 (Business Foundations)
  • Writing Requirement(s)
  • Math Requirement(s)
  • Creativity & Innovation (CI) Requirement
  • Globalization Requirement
  • Social, Cultural, Diverse Perspectives Requirement

Navigate Your First Year

We know that starting out can be challenging but that doesn't mean it has to be overwhelming. The best way to begin is to take small, but purposeful steps. Here's what we suggest.

What to Do When

It's your first day of the semester. You moved into your apartment, residence hall, or just got off the train from your hometown. You may not have class today, but you do have an assignment: walk around your new school. Find your classrooms, the bookstore, and places to hang out.

Everyone is new today. Even returning students feel new on the first day of the semester. It's fine to get lost and ask questions, it's normal.

Explore buildings on the campus map. The staff who work here want you to ask us questions. Go on your own or find a buddy, but go.

Now, get specific. Locate key offices that will be a resource for you. Finding them online and in person is a must. Your interests may vary, but here is a short list of common offices that you will use while at Suffolk:

Make note of their services, websites and schedules. The services these offices provide are free.

Do not forget about campus life. Check them out online and read all the options because your first month is coming soon and so is your next assignment.

You know your new schedule, you are familiar with your new campus. Maybe you have even found a coffee shop or a corner in the library where you like to read or study. Now you are expected to try getting involved and exploring campus life.

You may think that advising is about courses and schedules but it is not. Advising is about learning how to put together the best college experiences to grow an incredible resume that will eventually launch you into a future career path.

Your assignment for your first month is to try one new thing so by the next holiday weekend you have a new story to tell. It doesn't matter if it is a good story or bad story, but you must have a new story (weekend parties, class assignments, or dorm-life doesn't count here). It has to be a story from trying out campus life.

You tried something new. Was it good or bad? Guess what? It doesn't matter. You are supposed to try things on to see if they fit. Every time you try something new, you have a new story. These stories may not seem important at first, but they are very important. Learning to tell a story is how you learn to interview for internships and jobs.

Your degree and your major are expected by your future employer. That is the bare minimum. Employers want to see more and trying new things and gathering stories that grow into leadership roles make you look interesting on paper and get you an interview. Once you have the interview, you need to also be interesting in person, which is why we suggest you practice telling your story to faculty, friends, and family. The more things you try, the more stories you will have to tell.

Your future employer wants you to do more than punch the clock. They want to know that you will help build their brand. Show them you will by building your brand.

Congratulate yourself. You stepped outside your comfort zone and tried new things. You are starting to understand what you like and what you don't like. Now it is time to focus on your specific interests and identify opportunities to help you develop those interests.

Did you attend an interesting club meeting? Continue attending each week. Did you take a class that peaked your interest in a new subject? Visit that academic department and meet one-on-one with a faculty member to find out more about the field of study. If you need a referral, ask advising. Draft your resume and bring it to the Career Development Center for advice.

Continue having regular conversations with your advisor about your experiences and draft a plan for next year. Faculty who teach you in class are also advisors. Talk to them outside of class. You will be surprised by their varied knowledge, experiences, and backgrounds.

Most importantly, continue trying new things. After you successfully complete your first year at Suffolk, your next assignments are:

  1. Make the most of your summer. What are you doing to contribute to your resume?
  2. Have a plan for the fall that includes a complete course schedule and new activities to try.
  3. Remember: Suffolk isn't closed over the summer. If you need us we will be here to help you make plans or get you organized for the fall.