The Catholic University of America


Welcome to The First-Year Experience at the Catholic University of America!

All students at The Catholic University of America take a series of four foundational courses in Philosophy, Theology, and English as part of the First-Year Experience. The FYE is inspired by the guiding principle of liberal education and the continuous search for self-knowledge. The study of this intellectual tradition honors that principle and accelerates the life-long learning process. Moreover, our core curriculum favors both the critical ability and free thinking of our students. Not only are they in better shape for the challenges of citizenship and morality, but also for all subsequent academic work in the major of their choice. By helping students cultivate their intellect, we greatly increase their chances of professional success.

The courses of The First-Year Experience are: The Classical Mind, The Modern Mind, Faith Seeking Understanding, and Writing: Logic and Rhetoric. These courses are not only meant to constitute a Core Curriculum, but are also designed to give the student an integrated learning experience. As such, they are interconnected in three fundamental ways. Each fall, the first-year class is divided into Learning Communities of about 18 students. Students in the same Learning Community share the same instructors and advisors throughout their first year. Second, all four courses put a strong emphasis on essay writing, which in turn receives more detailed attention in the English course. Finally, all FYE courses address crucial elements of the Catholic intellectual tradition, either from a moral, aesthetic or metaphysical perspective.



FYE Classes

Learn about the Philosophy, Theology, and English classes that you will take as part of the FYE.

Learning Community

You will take the FYE courses with a group of 18 students. We call this group your Learning Community. Learn more about your Learning Community here.

Contact Us

Have a question for the FYE? Email, call, or stop by our office. You can also view frequently asked questions here.