First-Year Orientation and Programs

Students exploring campus in the fall

Fall Advising & Registration


Western’s required Advising & Registration program provides an opportunity to learn about academic planning and prepare you for classes. Fall Advising & Registration (A&R) sessions are available in August and September. You can make your A&R reservation beginning in early June.

Advising & Registration

Three students sit at a table in Red Square on a sunny day

Viking Launch


Viking Launch allows students to move into residence halls a week early and, before the quarter begins, take an experience-based seminar designed to launch them toward a major or professional field.

Viking Launch

Students hike the Chuckanut Mountains

Western Outdoor Orientation Trips (WOOT)


WOOT supports, enhances, and eases the transition to Western for first-year students through outdoor adventure.


Programs for Your First-Year at Western

Two students pint in a studio on campus

First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs)

A FIG is a cluster of three courses: two general education courses (psychology and anthropology, for example) linked with a two-credit seminar (max. of 25 students). The learning community environment created by a FIG cluster can help students connect more quickly to university life, and foster a smoother transition from high school to college learning and expectations. 


A student conducts research in a lab

Distinguished Scholars Programs

While Scholars programs vary in their offerings, the goal of each is to create a small cohort experience for first-year students. Applications are open January through February.

Distinguished Scholars