First-Year Experience

Discover your favorite spot on campus. Get involved with a student organization or club sport. Explore the city of St. Louis. There's a checklist of activities that we'll encourage you to do in your first year on campus that will set the foundation for your success at SLU – not just academically, but socially. 

The First-Year Experience at Saint Louis University helps you transition from high school to college by engaging you in the full SLU experience.

Let's kick this off right.

Embark On Your College Career with Confidence

Set your schedule. Meet a mentor. Make new friends. Orientation events are designed to make those first days at SLU both fun, interesting and useful for your college transition.

  • SLU 101 Summer Orientation: This is your opportunity to live the life of a college student before it even starts. It’s a two-day, overnight campus visit that provides an authentic look at life on campus and sets you up for success from the start.
  • SLU 101 Transfer Orientation: College is not new to you, but SLU may be. We’ll answer your questions to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Fall Welcome, Fall Orientation: Starting with move-in and continuing through your first weeks on campus, fun Fall Welcome events help introduce freshmen and new transfer students to each other and to SLU. Check out the schedule.
  • Winter Welcome :  If you are just returning to SLU from winter break, get back into the swing of things with a week of fun activities and events. Or, if you are arriving on campus as a brand new Billiken, this is your chance to really feel at home in your community as you learn how to get involved and stay connected. Check out the schedule.

Connect with Your Community

Discover others who share your passion for the health sciences, your commitment to social justice or just your commute back home. Your community exists at SLU, and we’re here to help you find it.

  • Learning Communities: Constructed around a shared academic program or interest, our learning communities provide you with the opportunity to build study groups and make connections within your major.
  • Freshmen Commuters: Being exempt from the residency requirement doesn’t mean being exempt from campus life. Meet the community of commuters who still call SLU home.
  • First-Generation Students: Nearly 15 percent of our undergraduate students are First Billikens, the first in their family to attend college

Major in Success with U101

University 101 is a one-credit course for freshmen with an emphasis on in-class participation. These small, interactive classes meet once a week and provide an ongoing introduction to campus resources while allowing you space to reflect on your transition from high school to college.

Learn More about University 101

Share Your Experience with Mapworks 

Mapworks is an online student survey that freshmen complete near the end of the fall and spring semesters. You'll receive an invitation to access the survey in your SLU email. Your answers to the Mapworks questions will elicit information about how you are adjusting to life on campus and give you insight into what challenges lie ahead. Using your results, we can identify University services and resources that are available to help you meet those challenges.

After completing the survey, you will receive a personalized report written to and about you, as well as a report for staff who are working closely with you to help you achieve success in your first year.  If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Lisa Israel, director of retention and academic success, in the Student Success Center at 314-977-3484 or at lisrael@slu.edu.