First Year Experience (FYE)
Ohio State places special emphasis on each student’s first year on campus. Through research and our own experience, we know that foundations built during this year are key to a student’s success. To that end, First Year Experience (FYE) programs are designed to help students get comfortable on campus, connect with the university, and start to think of Ohio State as home.
This focus on the first year leads to a notable retention rate. (Yes, we’re bragging a little – but we’re proud!) Nearly 93 percent of freshmen return for their second year, a figure well above the national average.
Most FYE events and activities are open to all new students. In addition, there are some programs designed especially for out-of-state, international, and transfer and campus-change students.
Summer, before school even begins
Orientation is a chance for our newest Buckeyes and their families to focus on college life and begin the transition to life as a Buckeye. Students do the following during orientation:
- Learn about opportunities and expectations both inside and outside of the classroom
- Meet with academic advisors to learn about academic areas of study
- Schedule classes
- Complete university business (e.g., getting a BuckID card or consulting with financial aid)
- Complete any necessary placement testing
Orientation registration information is mailed out to admitted students after they pay their acceptance fees. Read more about preparing for orientation at orientation.osu.edu.
Pre-enrollment and summer programs for new students
Ohio State offers many different pre-enrollment and summer programs, including outdoor adventure trips, leadership programs, and experiences for special-eligibility groups. These various programs all offer a bridge between summer orientation and the start of autumn semester. They give new freshmen the chance to develop friendships and make valuable connections.
The Leadership Collaborative begins with a four-day leadership development conference and is a year-long leadership development program.
Camp Buckeye and Buckeye Adventures
These outdoor adventure trips allow students to experience the excitement and beauty of the outdoors, challenge body and mind in outdoor activities, and learn about traditions and involvement on campus.
Autumn, when you’re finally here!
Coordinated by Student Life, Welcome Week is an event-packed week that includes the Student Involvement Fair, where hundreds of student organizations present information about their activities and invite new students to get involved. FYE events during Welcome Week include:
The traditional academic ceremony welcoming new students to Ohio State! At Convocation, new freshmen and transfer students experience their first academic procession, take a stroll through Ohio Stadium with the band, and learn the words to Carmen Ohio. You’ll go straight to the Columbus Welcome from here.
Columbus Welcome introduces new students to the great sites, attractions, and opportunities our wonderful city has to offer. Immediately after the President's Convocation, the first-year class is transported downtown to Nationwide Arena for a high-energy multimedia production. Key community leaders and alumni welcome students and challenge them to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that exist just beyond the boundaries of campus in one of the country's premier cities. Students return to campus for the Student Involvement Fair and President's Barbecue.
Experience the year's most dynamic Ohio State spirit event at Buckeye Kick-Off! Enjoy free food and interactive games at the fan fest and tailgate on the south plaza outside the Shoe. Enjoy a multimedia program featuring TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band in the Land), appearances by Ohio State celebrities, a Block O card stunt, and more! Stay until the end to come onto the field and pose for a historic group photo!
Buckeye Book Community (BBC)
Each summer, first-year students complete their first college assignments by participating in the Buckeye Book Community. Students pick up the book at orientation, complete the reading over the summer, and return to campus prepared to discuss the book with the author, other students, and the campus community.
First Year Distinguished Speaker Series
Each year, first-year students have the opportunity to attend an address by someone who has influenced the world. Previous speakers include such luminaries as Nobel peace prize winner Wangari Maathai, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.
First Year Success Series
Designed to help you transition smoothly to college life and make the most of your time at Ohio State, this program offers over 300 seminars throughout the school year. Seminars are conducted by campus experts, community leaders, and well-known personalities.
Especially for out-of-state and international students
Buckeyes Beyond Ohio (BBO)
BBO features events that help first-year out-of-state and international students connect with each other and with faculty and staff members who are also from outside of Ohio. BBO kicks off with a Welcome Week event, and other educational and social events continue throughout the year.
Especially for transfer and campus-change students
New Student Workshops
Attend these brief (one hour) workshops to review resources and procedures that were introduced to you at orientation. Topics include campus food and your BuckID, Carmen and Buckeye Link, key campus resources and hidden benefits, and more.
Buckeye Adventures – Transfer
FYE hosts one Buckeye Adventures trip specifically for transfer and campus-change students. Participants meet other students transitioning to the Columbus campus, have fun in an outdoor setting, and learn more about Ohio State even before school begins.
Transfer Student Activities Board (TSAB)
Members of TSAB, themselves transfer students, plan and facilitate activities throughout each semester for transfer and campus-change students.
For the full range of FYE programs and resources: fye.osu.edu.