First-Year Orientation and Programs

Students exploring campus in the fall

Fall Advising and Orientation


Western’s required two-day orientation program provides an opportunity to learn about Western resources and prepare you for classes. Fall Advising and Orientation sessions are available in August and September. You can make your orientation reservation beginning in early June.

Advising and Orientation

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

Engineering student working in the lab.

BEES Program

The BEES program offers a great opportunity to enhance the success of pre-engineering students and prepare them to apply for engineering majors at Western. This program provides a systematic sequence of academic, social, and career support services in addition to providing up to $10,000 in scholarship funding each year to eligible students. Applications are open in February.

BEES Program