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First-Year Experience Courses

During your first semester, you'll take a First-Year Experience Course that focuses on transitioning to college life and learning about our campus. The class sizes are small to encourage you to make connections with other First-Year students, and will give you an opportunity to really get to know your professors. Course content will include a focus on academic success, campus engagement, and making meaning of your college experience with specific learning objectives in areas of critical thinking, communication, and intercultural knowledge.

There are many different types of courses to choose from and you'll have a chance to indicate your preferences when you complete your steps in the New Student Menu. Some of these courses and programs are major-specific, and others are based on our general education requirements, cohorts, or special interests.

Signature Courses

The courses focus on unique, edgy, and sometimes provocative topic areas taught by full-time faculty members who have a proven record of excellent teaching.  Faculty choose to teach these classes on their personal topics of interest and with a strong desire for student success.

Experiential Learning Courses 

These courses include a blend of major and career exploration, service-learning, and academic success offerings at the 100-200 level. If you are unsure about your academic or career goals or if you like to learn by "doing"-- these courses are a great place to start.  

College and Career Courses

Service-Learning Courses

Cinema and Screen Studies

Gateway Courses, Introductory General Education Courses, and Learning Communities

These courses will provide you with an introduction to your major or a general education class that will give you taste of a subject area that you're interested in while also being introduced to college life. 

Learning communities provide a block of two courses with the same students. All of these small classes are restricted to First-Year students only helping you form strong bonds with faculty, staff, and students that share common interests. You'll have a chance to indicate your interest in these areas when you complete the steps in your New Student Menu.

One-Credit Wonders

First-year students can customize their first year by adding one of our 1-credit course options to their schedules. These offerings are experiential in nature and will help you connect to our campus and community in meaningful ways.

students volunteering by the lake

Experiential Learning in College (GST 104)

This course is co-taught by an experienced staff member and a peer Success Coach. It is designed to help new first-year students become productive and successful members of the Oswego college community. You'll have space to connect with your peers and explore our campus in a structured way. Students who take this course report higher levels of belonging, well-being, and connectedness to our community.

Contemporary Social Issues (GST 102)

This service-learning course gives you an introduction to the Oswego community and to the importance of service. Students who participate will engage in classroom discussions about current social issues AND will complete service hours with an approved community partner.

First-Year Cohort Programs

These programs have courses that are specifically created to support and build connections among a specific population of First-Year Students. 


Intercollegiate Athletes

Athletes have the option of taking a seminar course with a small group of their teammates. PED 295 is a course designed to help NCAA intercollegiate athletes succeed in the classroom, in sport, and in life. 

Honors Program

Our honors program draws from many disciplines with no boundaries to thought and inquiry.  These courses are the introduction to the college honors program and have a heavy emphasis on critical thinking and research.


Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) 

CSTEP is a program that provides structured services to help underrepresented students who are pursuing professional licensure and careers in science, technology, engineering, math and health-related fields.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)  

EOP provides access to higher education for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who possess the potential to succeed in college but whose academic preparation in high school may otherwise prevent them from receiving admission.