First-Year ExperienceUniversity of CincinnatiOffice of the Senior Vice President & ProvostFirst-Year Experience

First-Year Experience

First-Year Opportunities at UC

Want to get a head start on getting acquainted with your new home at the University of Cincinnati? While coming to college may seem overwhelming at first. We’ve got you covered! Departments and offices throughout the university have a variety of programs and resources available to ensure your success here at UC. In fact, your first-year experience begins long before you first day of classes.  


Welcome to the Bearcat family!

Your first-year experience begins with your acceptance to the University of Cincinnati. Not sure your application status? Check your application status online. 

Once you have your acceptance letter you have the opportunity to 

• Sign up for your housing and meal plan with Housing and Food Services
• Learn more about financial aid and scholarship opportunities at UC. 
• If you have not yet seen our award winning campus, schedule a tour to come take a look at your new home. Can’t make it to Cincinnati to take a tour? Take a video tour online in one of ten languages.

Bearcat Bound Orientation

Next you will receive an invitation to attend Bearcat Bound Orientation over the summer. Bearcat Bound Orientation is a mandatory comprehensive two-day program for new students entering each fall and their families to welcome them to the University of Cincinnati. During the Bearcat Bound Orientation you will have the opportunity to learn policies, procedures and graduation requirements for your specific program. You will also receive academic advice, learn about learning communities at UC and register for your first semester's classes. 

During Bearcat Bound Orientation you will not only register for classes for the fall, but you will have an opportunity to register for your learning community. Learning communities provide you an opportunity to make your transition into college academics and college life a little easier by making a large campus seem small. With your learning community you may have opportunities to not only obtain a seat in a popular university course often difficult for first-year student to get into, but learn about resources available to students, connect with upper classmen and the community of support which exist at UC to ensure student success.
In addition, you will also have the opportunity to pre-order textbooks, hear about various student groups, learn about the variety of other learning opportunities at UC, become acquainted with UC’s campus, and of course meet other first-year students!

Residence Hall Move-In Weekend

Faculty, staff, students, and residence hall opening team turn out for an annual tradition to welcome you and help you move all of your belongings into your new to your new home away from home. Helping Hands volunteers are on-hand for this very exciting time to not only help you unload, but to answer questions and assist with directions around campus. We know that every student counts at the University of Cincinnati and want to see you get started on the right foot from your first step on campus. 


UC Convocation is the University of Cincinnati’s official welcome for new students and your official induction into the University of Cincinnati. During convocation you will walk in your first processional at the University of Cincinnati, hear from university speakers, see the JustCommunity banner that you helped create in orientation raised in The Fifth third Arena, and sing the alma mater of the university for the first time as Bearcat. 

Welcome Week

Welcome Week kicks off the new academic year with a variety of (mandatory and optional) events and programs designed to help students become acquainted with the physical campus, meet with officials from your specific college during college day, learn about campus life,  discover opportunities to get involved on campus and begin new friendship.
Check out more information about Welcome Week opportunities. 

Classes Begin

The first official day of fall semester will be Monday, August 27th 2012. Sometimes the transition to college course work can be challenging. Make sure that you start off your academic career at UC on the right track by taking advantage of the numerous resources available and take advantage of professor’s office hours!

• Academic Advising
• Center for Exploratory Studies
• Disability Services 
• Supplemental Instruction
• Tutoring Services
• University Libraries
• Veterans Resources 

First Year Experience

There are a wide variety of first-year experience opportunities to engage in at the University of Cincinnati. Some colleges provide specialized coursework just for first-year student while others provide first-year seminars. In addition, many colleges at UC offer learning communities for first-year students which are developed to not only meet core education requirements, but to help students explore an interest in an academic major or a curiosity surrounding a more global theme. Regardless of the path you select for your first year experience you look forward to opportunities to engage in integrative learning, develop intellectual & self-management sills, learn more about professional & civic responsibility and have opportunities to explore university engagement. Ask your academic advisor what opportunities are available for your college and major.

Leadership Opportunities

The University of Cincinnati offers some unique leadership opportunities just for first-year students:

Camp Bearcat is a two-day retreat in October which helps freshmen build fundamental leadership skills and develop a supporting network which is intended to progress toward initial campus and community roles. The Camp Bearcat experience was founded on four pillars: Traditions, Connections, Service, and Academics which are emphasized throughout the two day retreat. 2010 was the 9th year for the program. 85 first-year students and had the opportunity to participate. For more information about how to register for 2011 Camp Bearcat contact the Student Activities and Leadership Development office. 

First Year Leadership Program (FYLP). The main goal for the FYLP Program is to prepare freshman students for future leadership roles and involvement on campus. This program is a collaboration between the Undergraduate Student Government and the office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, giving freshman students the opportunity to get involved early and develop an understanding of how Student Government operates at the University of Cincinnati.
Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence among first year students. Membership in Alpha Lambda Delta is open to full-time freshmen students who earn a scholastic average of 3.5 or better at a four-year college or university. Students eligible for membership are notified each year and invited to take part in Alpha Lambda Delta initiation which typically occurs during winter quarter. Parents and family members are invited to attend the initiation ceremony. The University of Cincinnati chapter is an Order of the Torch national award winner. 

Emerging Ethnic Leaders is a program designed to enhance and develop first year students of color in the following areas: leadership skills, ethical and moral development, social awareness and responsibility. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities and knowledge that will further enhance students’ campus involvement, as well as to introduce participants to other students and campus administrators. 

Other opportunities popular with first-year students at UC include:

• Residence Hall Government
• RallyCats
• Greek Student Leaders

In addition to first-year specific leadership opportunities there are a number of other ways to become involved and engaged in your new home. Find out more about:

• Student Activities and Leadership Development
• Center for Community Engagement
• Study Abroad Opportunities