How the Program Works
In the Freshmen First, you’ll
- Select one 3-credit University of Maryland General Education course and select one 1-credit Kinesiology course.
- During these three weeks, you’ll attend classes, study, work on projects, and prepare for exams.
- Determine whether you’ll live on campus or commute from home.
- Whichever you choose, you’ll be fully prepared for your undergraduate experience at the University of Maryland!
- Participate in Seminars and Social Activities
- You’ll receive an overview of Maryland’s exceptional resources while you meet, live, and study with other incoming Maryland freshmen.
In Freshmen First, you select one 3-credit course and one 1-credit course. Students in the program:
- Most classes meet every day, Monday–Thursday,
- Work on projects or papers, reading, or preparing for exams, and
- Expect to purchase books, class packets or classroom supplies.
For complete information on courses, click here.
The course was great. It helped us get 3 credits out of the way and gave us a step-up in preparing for college. The introduction to using the library was most beneficial. FF student
Residential or Commuter
College incorporates so many different experiences: living or commuting to campus on your own, interacting with new people, and tackling new areas of academic study. Whether you choose to live on campus or commute from home, your schedule is in YOUR hands, making choices, organizing your time, while you learn the independence of university life. You’ll be responsible for attending classes and for productively managing your time with minimal supervision during the evening.
All Freshmen First participants are admitted University of Maryland students. As admitted Maryland students, you are subject to all University rules and regulations, particularly the University’s Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity, which ensure the health and safety of all students and uphold the principle of academic honesty.
Residential Freshman First live in University residence halls and are supervised by program mentors. You’ll enjoy meals in the University’s dining hall, eateries located throughout campus, or at program events. For complete information, click here.
Commuter Freshman First live at home and travel to and from campus on a daily basis. You’ll join all students for lunch at eateries located throughout campus and are expected to attend all seminars and social activities. For complete information, click here.
My daughter benefited a lot from these 3 weeks. She met a lot of local nice people. She got to know the school. She took the metro and feels very comfortable coming and going on it. Enjoyed her course more than she thought she would. FF parent
Seminars & Social Activities
Freshmen First offers an immersion in campus life on several levels—academically, culturally, and socially. Seminars and social activities are scheduled on both weekdays and weekends. Depending on your course schedule, you’ll study, work on group projects, and participate in afternoon seminars and weekend activities. To take advantage of all the opportunities that the program offers, you are encouraged to participate to the fullest extent. Upon the completion of the program, we ask students to complete a survey. Over the years, these surveys demonstrate that those students who fully participated in the all the events were the ones with the highest satisfaction rating.
Seminars introduce you to what Maryland has to offer! Seminars are offered once a week, inviting campus clubs, organizations and departments to present on a variety of topics. Gain valuable information on how to get involved during the fall semester and make the most out of your time at the University of Maryland.
Social activities are fun and you meet other newly admitted students in a relaxed environment. The planned activities include weekend day-trips to Washington, DC, a pool party, a movie night, and more. But, not every moment of your day is planned. In college, you’ll find lots of down time where you’ll make your own plans with roommates and friends. In Freshmen First, you’ll be encouraged to hang out and talk, take a walk, work out at the Campus Recreation Center, or get ice cream from the Dairy.
This was a good program. Overall, you guys rule. Keep up the good work. FF student
For a general overview of the three-week program, click here.
This was the best! I am so prepared for my freshman year. FF student
Eric Johnson, Associate Director
With more than 10 years of career experience in higher education, Eric provides valuable leadership and experience to the Office of Extended Studies. Eric has a background in both student affairs and academic affairs and has made it his mission to provide students with a meaningful, memorable and fun summer experience. Having earned both an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Maryland, Eric is a true Maryland TERP. He also teaches Introduction to the University to incoming Maryland freshmen, empowering students with the tools to successfully transition into the college environment. Eric enjoys working with students from all over the world to help them "Get Ready, Get Started, and Get Ahead!"
Chris McKeown, Program Coordinator
Chris brings a unique perspective and diverse skillset to the Office of Extended Studies. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland he was both an Orientation Advisor and a Resident Assistant. After completing his undergraduate degree he served for over 3 years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, spending much of his time teaching at the village high school and running programs for local youths. He has transitioned back to his alma mater and now wants to provide students from all walks of life with a rich and rewarding experience at the University of Maryland.
Selected University of Maryland students serve as program mentors. The mentors supervise students in the dormitories during the evenings to ensure safe, appropriate behavior. Mentors also supervise activities, encourage students to explore the University, and provide participants with an insider's view of what college life is like. The mentors live in the residence hall with the program participants and are responsible for responding to any situations that may arise.
I think that the small environment of the Freshman First program enhanced our daughter’s orientation into the social and academic aspects of university life. FF parent