SLU’s First-Year Experience program helps you transition from high school to college. You’ll learn about everything SLU has to offer, make new friends and choose from dozens of ways to get involved.

SLU 101

SLU’s First-Year Experience starts with your summer orientation, SLU 101. Lifelong friends are made during these first few days together on campus. You’ll also get registered for classes, learn about campus resources and have a great time.

Your parents and family members are encouraged to attend SLU 101 with you to learn about scholarships and financial aid, student health resources, campus safety, academic advising and transition issues.

Fall welcome

Move-in is only a small part of Fall Welcome, which is one of the most exciting times of the year at SLU. Designed to help you feel at home and provide fun opportunities for you get to know your classmates, Fall Welcome includes New Student Convocation and Family Welcome, a day of service, a kick-off dance and a can’t-miss spirit competition at Billiken soccer games.


The support you’ll get during Fall Welcome lasts the entire semester with University 101, a one-credit-hour course focused on your transition to college. These small, interactive classes meet once a week and provide an ongoing introduction to campus resources. While you will typically only have 19 students in your section of U101, nearly 900 students each fall will enroll in the course.

Learning Communities

We know you’re more likely to succeed when your education extends beyond the walls of the classroom. Our learning communities allow you to live in the same residence hall with other students who are in your academic program or who share your interests. You’ll take courses together, making it easy to find study partners, and you’ll participate in activities and service experiences, allowing you to form friendships that last the duration of your time at SLU and beyond.

  • Diversity and Global Citizenship
  • Engineering and Innovation
  • Ethical Leaders in Business
  • Faith and Formation
    • Health Sciences
    • Honors
    • Leadership for Social Change
    • Life Sciences
    • Micah: Living the Mission

Real Connections

Meredith Walker, class of 2019, says, "Through the honors learning community, I made some of my best friends within the first few weeks of school. You live in this community where events are organized and honors faculty are present to create this surreal, goofy, fun, fulfilling environment where being a nerd is awesome, attending random events is encouraged and ordering Insomnia Cookies at 2 a.m. is highly recommended."

Meredith Walker Class of 2019

7 First-Year Experience highlights

First-Year reading

You’ll always have something to talk about with your fellow Billikens because all incoming students read a common text. You’ll get a free copy of SLU’s first-year reading book and discuss it throughout your first year.

First-Gen students

Nearly 30 percent of SLU’s most recent freshman class will be the first in their family to complete a college degree. If that’s you, don’t worry. SLU’s staff and faculty will help you navigate your first year and connect you with on-campus resources.

Commuter students

You’ll have a commuter assistant, or a CA, to help answer your questions about life at SLU. You’ll also have access to special events during Fall Welcome, a reserved lounge for between-class time and lockers to store your things on campus.