FYS are intended for first-year students and in most circumstances, each first-year student may take only one FYS. First-year students who take a FYS in the fall semester may enroll in a second FYS in the spring after courses have begun (or if they receive permission from the FYS Dean to register), but they cannot enroll in a second FYS during normal registration. One important goal of the FYS Program is to facilitate the success of our full-time students who are in their first year of college. Thus, part-time students are not eligible to register in FYS, and although transfer students are in their first year at Carolina, they are not considered first-year students from the perspective of FYS eligibility. Transfer students whose transfer credits cause them to be classified as “freshmen” may be permitted to enroll in a FYS but they must request and receive permission of the FYS Dean. A first-year student whose first semester at Carolina is in the spring may miss the opportunity to enroll in a FYS because his or her official designation as a student occurs late in the registration schedule when most FYS will already be filled. Any incoming student who faces this situation can contact the FYS Dean before enrolling to see if an arrangement can be made that will facilitate his or her mid-year entry into college by reserving a seat in a FYS.
Registration for Fall FYS takes place on campus during the CTOPS summer orientation sessions. Seats in the FYS are apportioned and released systematically throughout the summer so that each of the three registrations session within each CTOPS session has approximately the same number of seats available for FYS. On-line course listings will indicate that there are no seats available in FYS because the seats that are made available at each registration session open at the moment that the registration begins. Registering students who have FYS in their “shopping carts” are likely to see some FYS seats open and then close as they are scheduled by fellow students. Beginning in early August, first year students can drop and add FYS from their schedule using the Connect Carolina on-line registration system.
Registration for FYS continues during the drop-add period, but many FYS become flagged as “Permission of Instructor Required”. This limitation is imposed because some FYS move so quickly that missing the first classes can put a student too far behind to be successful in the course. If the on-line registration system shows that a seat is available in an FYS and on-line registration is not successful, the student should contact the instructor (via e-mail, phone, or office visit) and express interest in enrolling in the FYS. If enrollment is feasible, the instructor will notify the departmental course registration officer and the student will be added to the FYS.
First year students who did not take a FYS during the fall will receive an e-mail in October from the FYS Dean inviting them to participate in a special priority registration opportunity for spring. Please note that students can only participate in this pre-registration if they are eligible to register (i.e., they have no “flags” on their account that would block their registration).
FYS are not required courses, yet they offer an exciting opportunity for high quality learning, and they open the door to active participation in intellectual life at UNC. Many students select an FYS by scanning the list of FYS to find one that is most directly relevant to their interests, but from some perspectives, this strategy is a big mistake. Given that most students major in the topic that they are most interested in, they will eventually enroll in many advanced courses on that particular topic. From this perspective, the FYS can be seen as a snack drawn from the meal to come. An alternative strategy is to use the FYS as an opportunity to explore a topic that is totally new, unfamiliar, and highly unlikely to be included in subsequent semesters. For example, a FYS provides a unique opportunity for a humanist to get up close and personal with science, a scientist to explore the humanities, a history major to see what a mathematician does for a living, or a physicist to read some poetry. Not only does this experience expand the mind, but also, it can introduce the student to a major that is surprisingly attractive. Finally, most FYS meet one or more General Education requirements. FYS registration is tricky business because we have enough seats each year to accommodate approximately 66% of our incoming class. A student who attempts FYS registration with only a single target seminar in mind has a high probability of coming up empty. A strategy that is more likely to be successful is to identify a dozen FYS that would be of interest and put them in the “shopping cart”. When on-line registration is available, continue to monitor the list daily because we do not have FYS waiting lists. Another strategy is to use the on-line “Search for Classes” system. Set your criteria to search for course numbers “less than or equal to 89”. . Course evaluation feedback indicates that students have extremely positive experiences in our FYS. From this perspective, enrolling in any FYS is a better alternative than enrolling in no FYS!