Loyola University Chicago

First and Second Year Advising

Student Academic Services

First Year Seminar (UNIV 101)

Welcome to our First Year Seminar


This first year seminar, UNIV 101, is a graduation requirement for all incoming first year students during their first semester. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive extended orientation that is holistic in nature and focuses on academic success and students’ transition to college. Through interactive sessions, students will gain an understanding of Loyola University Chicago, the City of Chicago, campus resources, academic planning and meet with other first year students.


The First Year Seminar Program is an opportunity to help students not only understand the Loyola University Chicago story (the academic philosophy, structure of the university, etc.), but also to begin writing their OWN stories as members of the Loyola community. Through support by academic advisors, students will manage the transition to college, identify their academic goals and plans, interact with full-time staff and create a sense of community with other first year students.

Course Description

Through the use of active learning strategies in this seminar-style course, students will explore what it means to be a Loyola student. All UNIV 101 sections use a small group format to allow first-year students to connect with one another, forge meaningful relationships with their academic advisors, and discover how to take ownership of their undergraduate experiences. Students will learn about Loyola’s Jesuit educational traditions, be introduced to the myriad of services and activities available on campus, and begin to explore how the city of Chicago will contribute to their experiences. Students will learn strategies for academic and personal success in college, and reflect on how to make the most of Loyola University to shape an undergraduate experience around each student’s unique academic, career, and personal goals.

Special Programs

Student athletes and students enrolled in the Honors Program, Learning Communities, LEAP and STEP will have seminars designed to meet the unique needs of each group.

Course Objectives

The Loyola Seminar provides a framework in which students will develop an awareness and understanding of: academic, social and personal resources available at Loyola University and in our Chicago community; Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (experience, critical reflection and action) and key values of a Loyola education.

A forum will be provided for students to raise and address issues associated with the transition to college.

Students will use reading, writing and critical thinking skills.

Student Outcomes

At the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Define and illustrate critical thinking skills and dispositions
  2. Understand the importance of attendance and participation in classroom and co-curricular activities and events on campus
  3. Understand and articulate the characteristics of a Jesuit Education (commitment to excellence, faith in God and the religious experience, service that promotes justice, values-based leadership, global awareness)
  4. Understand and articulate Loyola’s academic structure, requirements and opportunities (i.e. core curriculum, major field of study, co-curricular activities) and reflect on how these choices fit into students’ individual plans
  5. Demonstrate strategies to address common first-year transitional issues
  6. Identify people and resources on campus available for different types of support
  7. Identify factors which contribute to college success
  8. Begin a process of career planning and the selection of a major


These 50-minute sessions are focused on interactive, engaging teaching methods. Each module has been developed in collaboration with campus partners to develop learning outcomes, appropriate resources and assessment strategies and are delivered by the academic advisor. In some cases, classes may be canceled in exchange for attending a relevant speaker or event on the topic.


Creating one common Loyola experience, the content of the course combines aspects of an extended orientation, the acclimation of academic success strategies as well as personal development and reflection.

Each week, students will participate in one module focusing on an area of understanding Loyola and Chicago, academic success or personal development. Through the classroom sessions, online discussions using Blackboard, reflection assignments and group activities, first year students will have a guided transition through the first semester of college that is designed to address their needs, interests and concerns at key points during the first semester.

Understanding Loyola & Chicago

  • Our Loyola Story
  • Degree Requirements
  • Student Engagement
  • Campus Resources
  • Chicago Resources
  • Academic Policies

Academic Success

  • Academic Transition
  • Time Management
  • Study Skills
  • Intro to the Core
  • Reading, Writing, Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning Strategies

Personal Development

  • Exploring Values
  • Self Reflection
  • Goal setting
  • Personal Wellness
  • Group Interaction
  • Class Participation

Additionally, articles will be posted on Blackboard including selections on the Jesuit approach to education, current events, college transition issues, financial wellness, etc. These articles are selected specifically to address the unique experiences of students at Loyola and help them not only understand their own experiences but also place them into a larger context.


This is a seminar course that is dependent on the active participation and engagement of students in the course. Active participation and engagement will be assessed through discussions, completion of activities and attendance in class. Students must earn 70 points or more to successfully complete the requirement of completing the course.