First-Year Formation

What is First-Year Formation?

The First-Year Formation symposium is designed to assist new students with the adjustment and transition to college life at Fordham.

Sponsored by New Student Orientation and the Office for Student Involvement, First-Year Formation is an extension of the summer and fall Orientation programs. First-Year Formation promotes student engagement in the Fordham academic and co-curricular community and explores the University's distinct Jesuit mission by engaging new students from their very first days on campus. The symposium meets weekly during the fall semester and features sessions that promote skills and topics important for success at Fordham including time management and study skills in college, planning for academic and career success, exploration of personal values, and more!

The symposium consists of a small group of new students and is team-taught by a Student Affairs administrator and an upperclass student Peer Mentor who use a variety of teaching techniques including discussion, weekly reflections, and service-learning to help a small group of first-year students get the most out of their college experience.

Get "In the Know" at Fordham

Students who participate in the First-Year Formation symposium often comment on the high level of connection they feel to Fordham and that as a result of FYF, they are "in the know". FYF is an excellent course to take for students who are interested in meeting other first-year students, interacting with a student affairs professional and upperclass student leader every week during the fall semester in a small-group setting, and learning about all the resources, services and activities Fordham has to offer.


    • The course will serve as an aide for first-year students’ transition into collegiate life.

    • Students will be motivated to be active and responsible members of their community.

    • Students will be encouraged to begin the process of determining personal values and ethics.

    • Students will gain an understanding of their campus community and greater New York City community.

    • Students will be able to identify Fordham University’s distinctive mission as a Jesuit institution of higher learning.

    • Students will gain a greater insight of themselves and others.
    • Session 1: Welcome to Fordham / Introduction to the Course
      • Goals: Students will receive an introduction into the course objectives and what they will learn throughout the First Year Formation. They will also have the opportunity to get to know each other through a series of activities. Learn about upcoming Fordham activities and events.
    • Session 2: Maximizing Your Time at Fordham
      • Goals: Students will learn how to structure their time at Fordham in order to get the most out of their Fordham experience. They will also leave with a solid foundation in the opportunities available to them on and off campus.
    • Session 3: Introduction to Academic Life
      • Goals: Students will learn about learning styles and find out which one is applicable to them. They will leave with an understanding of study methods that best complements their style.
    • Session 4: Wellness & Stress Management
      • Goals: Students will learn how to manage their stress and the resources available to them as Fordham students. They will also be able to calculate their risk factors for high levels of stress. Students will gain an understanding of the body’s reaction to alcohol consumption and what resources Fordham provides for students dealing with substance issues.
    • Session 5: Being Part of the Fordham Ramily
      • Goals: Students will learn what being a member of the Fordham community is all about. They will leave feeling closer to this larger interconnected web of both students and alumni.
    • Session 6: Mission and Identity
      • Goals: Students will learn about the mission that drives the Fordham community in all that they do. They will learn about why the school was founded and how that impacts them in the present day.
    • Session 7: Social Justice
      • Goals: Students will get a brief overview of what it means to be called to social justice and how one can live their lives socially just. This will include a look at what they can do as Fordham students to promote social justice on and off campus.
    • Session 8: Mental Health
      • Goals: Students will understand basic concepts involved in normal brain function, and the role the brain plays in determining thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This will include activities and that help students differentiate the difference between having a mental health problem and having a mental illness, and comprehend the language of both mental health and mental illness.
    • Session 9: Values / Ethics
      • Goals: Students will dive into their own depths as they explore what they value in this world. This will turn into a larger conversation on ethics and ethical practices.
    • Session 10: Money Management
      • Goals: Student will gain an understanding on how to best utilize their money (spending, saving, donating) in order to meet their needs. This will include a way to break down their current income in order to learn budgeting.
    • Session 11: Career Preparation
      • Goals: Students will be able to identify the opportunities available to them from Career Services. Students will be able to define specific skill sets that employers look for when hiring. Students will leave with an understanding of why career preparation fits into their Fordham experience.
    • Session 12: Choice Theory & Next Steps
      • Goals: Students will be able to understand concepts of their five basic needs, what choice theory means to them in their everyday life, differentiate between their quality world and real world, and comprehend how to utilize their total behavior car in real life scenarios. This is also an opportunity for the class to celebrate their first semester at Fordham!
  • Service is a significant part of the Fordham experience and students often talk about the importance of "being men and women with and for others". Each FYF class will have the opportunity to participate in a service project.

  • Each semester, students participating in First Year Formation will have the opportunity to go on an excursion in New York City. These excursions, which are planned and paid for by the First Year Formation program, will introduce students to New York City and expose them to some of the great activities that can take advantage of within New York City during their time at Fordham.

    Potential excursions include:

    • Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island
    • Central Park
    • Tours of NYC neighborhoods
    • Broadway Shows

How Do I Sign Up?

Sign up the same way you registered for your other classes.

The deadline to register for our 2023 Fall semester sessions is the last day of Add/Drop. Space is limited.