Freshman Year

First Year Experience

Every UAB first year student will share a common foundation for learning, whatever their majors or professional goals. This common foundation is found in the Discussion Book and the First Year Experience (FYE) course.

Discussion Book

Since 2005, UAB has selected an annual UAB Discussion Book as one focal point for uniting first year students with the returning students, faculty, and staff of this research extensive campus. In addition to providing all UAB community members with a common ground for discussion, the Common Reading program provides a contextualized foundation upon which students, faculty, and staff may explore personal and shared interests in issues related to civic engagement and social awareness. The Discussion Book has literary merit, raises complex questions, is relevant to contemporary issues, and broadens the reader's understanding of diversity in a meaningful way. Students are able to purchase the book at the UAB Bookstore during New Student Orientation.

Intentionally designed to foster a sense of community among all participants, programming related to UAB’s Common Read includes activities throughout the academic year in courses, residence hall  activities, and student life.  The Common Read provides a focus point for students to explore and discuss their transitional experiences during their collegiate journey and is integrated into First Year Experience courses that are taught by the Vulcan Material Academic Success Center team as well as other core curriculum courses.  Partnerships among colleagues within the Division of Student Affairs increases the diversity of events offered that connect curricular engagement through co-curricular activities in students’ residence halls and social space as well as the classroom.  


Your journey to graduation and the fulfillment of your academic goals all begins with New Student Convocation, the official start of the academic year and a chance for the entire UAB community - students, faculty and staff - to welcome the incoming class.  Convocation is the first of many memorable moments for you at UAB and the only time prior to graduation that your entire class is gathered.  The President, Provost, Undergraduate Student Government President, along with UAB students, faculty and alumni will all welcome the new class to UAB.

First Year Class Photo

This is one of UAB’s newest traditions!  Each year, more than 2,000 incoming freshmen each year line the practice field and collectively form the shape of their graduation year.  Since 2017, new students have smiled for the camera to show their UAB pride.  The Class Photo cements the start of your UAB journey.

First Year Experience Course Requirement

Students entering UAB with fewer than 24 hours of college credit must enroll in and pass a first year experience (FYE) course in their first 24 credit hours at UAB.

FYE courses are the gateway to undergraduate education at UAB. FYE courses improve student success by helping to bridge the gap between high school experiences and university expectations and enhance successful progress towards graduation by establishing the foundations for academic achievement and holistic development. FYE courses include: CAS 112, BUS 101, EDU 100, EGR 110 & EGR 111 , HRP 101, NUR 100, PUH 101, UASC 101, UASC 105.