Frequently Asked Questions

General Information About the FYE Program

Does the First Year Experience (FYE) Program last for a full year?  Although the title suggests a “first year,” the FYE program is for first year students and does not mean that it is a year-long experience.  Students only participate in FYE in their first semester of full-time enrollment at NMU.

How am I enrolled in my FYE block?  Once a student’s orientation registration is confirmed, FYE staff assign them to a block of courses based on their intended academic major (or into a general block if undecided on a major).  The blocks and the courses therein are finalized during orientation after meeting with their assigned academic adviser.

Why do you pre-assign students a course schedule rather than letting them choose their own first semester courses?  There are a number of reasons we make the block assignments for students, including logistical considerations and the success of FYE over time.  Here are some other reasons:

  • Block schedules are developed by professional advising staff in conjunction with academic departments to ensure that students take the most appropriate courses possible.
  • The pre-assignment process helps eliminate the issue of courses in the blocks being closed by the time the student attends orientation.  There is no guarantee, but the FYE staff work hard to determine need and then reserve seats for FYE students in selected courses.
  • Many first-year students are unfamiliar with academic degree requirements, pre-requisite coursework, electives, etc.  We remove the guesswork by providing each FYE student with a course schedule that will definitely meet degree and other requirements.
  • Our past experience working with new students tells us that many times first-time students at orientation become overwhelmed with the choices available, confused on what to take, and frustrated with not knowing the requirements of their academic program.
What if I have yet to declare a major?  Undeclared students will be assigned a “general” block consisting of general education courses.  This allows flexibility as general education courses are required with every major.  Undeclared students will also be assigned an academic adviser that works with undeclared students.  That adviser will provide advice, opportunities to explore various majors and careers, and opportunities to complete career and other assessments designed to help students find a “good fit.”  

What if I would like to double-major?  Students who wish to double-major will be assigned a block based on their primary major.  Double-majors should make sure that they speak with their assigned adviser at orientation regarding the addition of a second major.  NOTE: Students sometimes suggest double-major combinations that are somewhat unrealistic or unreasonable.  If a double-major combination is so daunting that it will delay a student’s graduation within the timeframe for a typical bachelor’s degree, these students shouldn’t be frustrated if the assigned adviser advises against the combination.

What happens if I wish to change my major before I attend orientation?  Students may contact either the Admissions Office (800.682.9797) or the Academic and Career Advisement Center (906.227.2971) and let the staff know the new major.  The FYE staff will ensure assignment to an appropriate block.

What happens if I wish to change my major during my orientation session?  Students will have an opportunity to confirm or change their major at orientation and the FYE staff will adjust the block accordingly.

What happens if I wish to change my major after orientation?  Students will have met their assigned academic adviser at orientation and the adviser will provide their contact information for this very purpose.  Please feel free to contact the assigned adviser or the Academic and Career Advisement Center (906.227.2971) if the adviser is unavailable

Do Honors Program students participate in FYE?  Students electing to participate in the Honors Program are still assigned an FYE block based on their intended academic major.  It is possible for honors students to work with their assigned adviser at orientation to add an honors course(s) to their block as long as the honors courses do not conflict with courses required in the major or minor.

May I add a course to my block?  Students will make that determination while meeting with their assigned academic adviser at orientation.  In most cases, the FYE block is a full schedule and adding a course may not be possible.

May I substitute a course in my block?  Substituting courses within a block is typically not allowed; to change courses within a block defeats the purpose behind a blocked schedule, namely, a shared learning experience.  That being said, it is still sometimes necessary to substitute courses, with FYE staff and adviser approval, for coursework completed elsewhere, advanced placement credit, etc.

Who do I contact if I have further questions regarding FYE?  Contact the FYE staff in the Academic and Career Advisement Center (906.227.2971) or by email at


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