First-Year Interest Groups (FIG)

First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) are clusters of (usually) three UW courses, linked together to explore a common theme, and offered to incoming freshmen who attend these classes together as a cohort.

A First-Year Interest Group (FIG) is a kind of academic learning community designed specifically for first year students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each FIG is a unique cluster of UW courses, linked together to explore a common theme or topic. All FIGs are based on a small seminar and most FIG seminars are connected to two other courses. Each fall there are approximately 60 different FIGs available. Some are designed for specific groups of students (those in a certain major or college, for instance), while many are open to any interested student. When a student decides to take a FIG, they enroll in all of the linked courses as a set. Most FIGs are limited to only 20 students, and all of the students in each FIG enroll in all of the courses in the set—this forms the basis of their “cohort” or “interest group.” The purpose of the FIGs Program is to provide an interesting, intimate, and interdisciplinary experience that helps students make a successful academic and social transition to the university.


Learn more about the FIGs:

FIG sessions in International Studies: