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Vol First-Year Experience

Your first year at UT is important. You are meeting new people, seeing new places, and building new skills. To support you through this critical time, all students in their first year at UT will have access to numerous programs and activities to help ease the transition to Rocky Top and accelerate success.

New Vol Orientation – Your orientation to UT

As a new Volunteer, you’ll participate in three phases of orientation leading up to and following the start of your first semester. Each phase provides you with the opportunity to prepare for your transition to UT. Plus, the fun doesn’t stop after your first semester. We do it all over again to welcome you back to campus for the start of the spring! Registration for New Vol Orientation is required for all new incoming students.

Identifying Strengths – Your foundation for growth

You are bringing with you a unique combination of strengths that you already use regularly to achieve your goals and make your place. Chances are these strengths brought you to UT. You’ll take the Clifton Strengths assessment during your New Vol Experience (summer) to clearly identify these strengths and expand your knowledge of your top five through FYS 101 or TRNS 201. Learn how to enhance and apply your strengths by participating in a variety of programs and activities that promote student engagement, well-being, and academic and career awareness.

Vol Success Teams – Your dedicated team

As a new first-year or transfer scholar at UT, you will be assigned a Vol Success Team – your academic advisor, academic coach, and a One Stop counselor. You are central to the team and you will co-create your UT experience with your Vol Success Team.

Vol First-Year Experience Seminars – Your connection to faculty & instructors

Engage with other Vols, faculty, and staff while learning how to navigate life at UT.

FYS 101 (or program comparable) 1-credit first-year seminar connecting you to critical resources like Vol Success Teams and the Academic Success Center. Topics covered in first-year seminars include Diversity & Inclusion, Health Education & Wellness, and Student Engagement & Leadership. You will be pre-enrolled in this course based on your major or college.

  • 3-credit academic course required for your major. Connect with faculty and explore opportunities available in your major. Your advisor will direct you to the correct 3-credit academic course for your major.
  • Optional: 1-credit FYS 129 topic-based seminar. Learn about a subject you’re interested in during your first semester. Signing up for FYS129 will put you in a classroom with a professor whose interests match yours. t doesn’t matter if you know a lot—or just a little—about your seminar topic: You’re there to learn, explore, and exchange ideas. Taking FYS 129 is an excellent opportunity to get to know other first-year students with similar interests and to develop a relationship with a UT professor that can be sustained throughout your UT career. View FYS 129 options. 

As part of your Vol First-Year Experience, TRNS 201 enhances your experience as a transfer student scholar at UT. TRNS 201 is a one-credit-hour course. Whether you are a transfer or starting college after a gap year(s), TRNS 201 provides an opportunity to learn about how to be successful at UT.

  • Topics covered in class: Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Financial Wellness, Research, and Clifton Strengths
  • Making connections: As student in TRNS 201, you’ll connect with a student leader, an instructor who is a faculty or staff at UT, and fellow transfers

This course is open to all transfer students within their first two semesters at the University of Tennessee. Sections are capped at 20 students per section. One credit hour course. Grading Restriction: ABC/N grading only. View a list of available sections.