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As a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, you are eligible to apply to several different college-specific learning communities representing integrated, interdisciplinary learning experiences. In these communities, you’ll begin to establish lifelong relationships with peers and professors alike, engage in active intellectual citizenship, and build key critical thinking, writing and communication skills.

Liberal Arts Scholars (LASP) and First-Year Interest Group (FIG) programs are selective programs designed for curious and the passionate students. You live and learn together with like-minded peers who share your interest in thoroughly exploring topics from many different points of view, in several integrated classes. Conversations don’t stop when classes are over—they continue through shared meals, in your residence hall, and through many structured and unstructured activities throughout the year.

Liberal Arts Scholars: Exploring the Big Ideas

On the job experiences support classroom learning

What’s the meaning of life? How do we create a just society? What defines beauty? What is our place in the natural world? If you have a passion for really big questions like these, the Liberal Arts Scholars Program (LASP) is a rewarding choice. In the program, you will take from four to six integrated courses exploring core moral, aesthetic, social, and environmental issues. The program launches your undergraduate education through deep exploration into the big questions faced by humans since antiquity—questions we grapple with today. LASP offers four separate options, in the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and earth/environment. 

LASP: Find Out More

FIGS: Residential Programs in the Sciences

research lab

FIGs in biology (BioFIG) and neuroscience (NeuroFIG) are academic and residential programs for first-year biology, biological science, zoology, plant biology, and neuroscience majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. BioFIG & NeuroFIG students live together in the Wing-Davis-Wilks residential complex and enroll in the same sections of fall courses required for their majors. In addition, BioFIG & NeuroFIG students also enroll in a one-credit supplemental seminar course, AS 095: grounded in the principles of persistent practice and peer collaboration, this weekly seminar class includes interactive sessions with a student leader as well as faculty and staff from across campus.

FIGs: Find Out More