First-Year Experience

The following programs foster students' learning and achievement in and out of the classroom by addressing academic and personal dimensions of student development throughout the student's first year at Ithaca College.

Orientation is a critical first step for all new students in their transition to college. Orientation includes opportunities for students to confirm their course schedule, meet faculty, learn about key support resources, connect with other students, and navigate life at IC before classes begin. We want to ensure that each of our IC students are prepared to be successful academically, socially, and personally. Click here to learn more about Family and Supporter Orientation!

IC Advantage

IC Advantage Courses

Students can take one, two, or even three one-credit courses online during the summer before they start their on-campus IC experience! (The first course is free!). Take advantage of this virtual summer initiative to welcome you to IC’s intellectual community and equip you for a successful transition to Ithaca College. One foundation course is free; take up to two additional courses for just $155 each—a significant discount off the usual per credit cost of $500. (Charges will be added as appropriate to your fall semester bill.)  Click here to learn more!

Ithaca Seminars
These interdisciplinary courses exclusively for first-year students are academically engaging with an additional emphasis on issues related to the transition to college. Learn more.

First-Year Residential Experience

The First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) provides new students with the opportunity to share their stories, connect with peers, staff, and faculty, and live together in a respectful, inclusive, and educational community. More than a dozen Residential Learning Communities are also available to new students who want to live with other students who share similar interests or identities.

Pre-Semester & Transition Programs

Students may apply to participate in the following optional programs:

Pre-Semester PROGRAMs

Jumpstart includes various pre-semester programs offered prior to Orientation in August, where students can choose to focus on leadership, community service, outdoor adventure, sustainable living, and more. Applications will open in early June. Click here to learn more.

Transition PROGRAMs

Emerging Leaders Weekend


This retreat during the spring semester is designed to develop new students' leadership skills and to provide an opportunity for them to connect with other emerging leaders. Click here to learn more.

Getting Involved

New students are highly encouraged to attend each semester's Student Organization Fair where they can learn about the plethora of options for getting involved. Student clubs and organizations are an excellent way to meet new friends with similar interests.

Student Leadership Institute (SLI)

The Student Leadership Institute (SLI) is a series of interactive workshops designed to help students develop and refine personal leadership skills. The SLI is open to all IC students, there is no cost to participate, and you may choose to take part in a series of sessions and earn a certificate - or attend any individual session YOU would like! This is a great way to start building your skillset while meeting new people in a fun environment.