The First-Year Experience is the foundational liberal education core of the first-year curriculum at the Catholic University of America, bringing first-year students together in small Learning Communities for a shared, yearlong experience. Within Learning Communities, students take a sequence of four core classes in Philosophy, Theology, and English. The FYE also goes beyond the classroom with service learning activities, class-based excursions into Washington, D.C., and one-on-one academic advising.

The FYE is inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition and guided by the principles of liberal education. The first-year curriculum prepares students not only for the challenges of citizenship and morality, but also for all subsequent academic work in the major of their choice. In FYE classes, students learn to think more rigorously, write more persuasively, and read more perceptively, while confronting the great questions that have shaped human history and that continue to challenge us today. Tools and skills acquired in these classes become the foundation for work in the major and beyond.

  • The Catholic Intellectual Tradition

    The University is rare in its commitment to elucidating the relationship between faith and reason, and our mission becomes more and more crucial in times when so much is done in the name of reason alone.

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  • Learning Communities

    As part of your First-Year Experience, you will take a core of liberal arts classes that will form the foundation of your education. With a group of about 18 fellow students, a team of teachers and librarians, and a dedicated academic advisor, you will embark on a four-course sequence over the course of your freshman year.

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  • First-Year Course Advice

    Find specific course advice guidance for each major offered by Catholic U. Using the drop down menu, you can link to course advice and general guidance provided directly by each department.

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