students gathered in social space with comfortable seating

Welcome to Arts First

Arts First is a course-based program that builds students’ foundational competencies in communication and analysis during their first year at university in small-group classroom settings. The requirements currently listed on this website are for students beginning their studies between Fall 2018 and Spring 2025.

Communication courses help students to develop skills in speaking, writing, listening, critical reading, and collaboration. They also build competencies in analysis, research, and the thoughtful assessment of information, evidence, and data. These skills and competencies will support student success in their academic careers and in their life beyond university.

Learn more about Arts First

What is Arts First?

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Student view of Arts First

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19 Instructor Disciplines

  • Anthropology
  • Classical Studies
  • Communication Arts
  • Culture & Language Studies
  • Economics
  • English Language & Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Gender and Social Justice
  • Germanic & Slavic Studies
  • History
  • Music
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Social Development Studies
  • Sociology & Legal Studies
  • Spanish & Latin American Studies