Why Join?

FIGs work because they help incoming freshmen find their intellectual community on campus.

FIGs are small groups of first-year students who share similar academic interests and take a set of classes together. To build community, Freshman Interest Group participants are given priority registration in three key classes relevant to their major/program with other students from their FIG, and take a small weekly seminar led by one of their peers and a faculty/staff member.

Students sit by the columns.

FIG participation positions you to build your professional networks through your weekly FIG seminar, campus tours of key labs and facilities, field trips and much more! The personal and professional support FIG participation provides means that you are more likely to thrive at MU and graduate on time. Last year alone, FIG participants achieved a 93% retention rate! Best of all, joining a FIG entails no additional cost. 

What are the benefits of joining a FIG?

Joining a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) in college offers various benefits to students. Here are some potential advantages:

  • Academic Support: FIGs provide a supportive academic environment where students can collaborate on assignments, discuss course material, and seek help from each other or their FIG leader.
  • Social Connections: FIGs can help students make early connections with peers who share similar academic interests. This can make the transition to college life smoother and provide a sense of community.
  • Personalized Guidance: FIG leaders, who are usually upperclassmen and/or faculty members, can provide valuable guidance on navigating the college experience, choosing courses, and accessing resources on campus.
  • Exposure to Resources: FIGs often introduce students to various campus resources, such as academic support services, research opportunities, and career counseling. This exposure can be especially helpful for freshmen navigating a new and complex academic environment.
  • Increased Engagement: Being part of a FIG can enhance students’ engagement with their studies. Group discussions, collaborative projects and shared learning experiences can make the academic journey more interesting and meaningful. Students who participate in a FIG are more likely to stay engaged throughout their time in college.
  • Professional Networking: Some FIGs may include networking events, guest speakers or field trips that introduce students to professionals in their field of interest. These interactions are beneficial for building early connections in the professional world.
  • Time Management Skills: Juggling multiple classes and assignments can be challenging for freshmen. FIGs provide a structured environment that encourages students to develop effective time management skills and assists them in that transition.
  • Sense of Belonging: College can be a big transition, and a FIG can contribute to a sense of belonging. Having a group of peers who share common interests can help combat feelings of isolation and enhance overall well-being.
  • Exploration of Interests: FIGs may expose students to aspects of their chosen field of study that they hadn’t fully committed to. This exposure can help them refine their academic and career goals.