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The First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program is the University of Georgia's signature academic program for ALL first-year students.

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The program introduces first-year students to scholarly habits of mind, makes them aware of the varied experiences available at UGA, and engages them in the academic culture of the University.

The program encourages faculty to include active learning, experiential learning, and service learning opportunities in their FYO seminar. The guiding principles of the First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program are to excite and engage students at the very beginning of their time at UGA, to help them develop their passions and aspirations early, and to graduate students who are committed to life-long learning and being good global citizens.

Goal One

To engage first-year students in the academic culture of the University of Georgia.

Goal Two

To give first-year students an opportunity for meaningful dialogue with a faculty member and encourage positive, sustained student-faculty interactions.

Goal Three

To introduce first-year students to the instruction, research, public service, and international missions of the University of Georgia, the birthplace of public higher education in America.

Welcome Message

Welcome to the website for the University of Georgia's First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program (colloquially known as FYO).

The word "Odyssey" in the title evokes the idea of a journey full of adventures, a series of experiences that impart knowledge or understanding. That is exactly what a First-Year Odyssey Seminar is meant to do.

If you are a UGA student, welcome to the program. We hope you enjoy your First-Year Odyssey Seminar and the opportunity to explore in depth your instructor's research or service passions. Go to the "For Students" page to search for a seminar that interests you and to access resources that will make your "Odyssey" an engaging experience.

We also welcome new and veteran FYO faculty. Faculty across campus teach these seminars and routinely talk about how much they enjoy the experience. Teaching an FYO seminar is a great opportunity to introduce first-year students to your research and to the wider University community which enriches both their learning experience and your understanding of our students. Go to the "For Faculty" page to submit a proposal to teach an FYO seminar and to access resources that will help you design and deliver an engaging seminar.

Other institutions offer first-year students a special seminar to ease the transition into college, but ours are unique because each FYO seminar is unique; each is designed and taught by tenured, tenure-track, clinical or retired tenured faculty and highlights their scholarship.

Creating the First-Year Odyssey program constituted a major change in how we introduce first-year students to the academic life and culture of the University. As a large research-intensive university, with an entering class of about 6,000 students, we wanted to provide an intimate educational experience that would enable students to become successful in their academic careers. In short, we wanted to "shrink the University" by providing a place for students to establish a relationship in a small class with our world-class tenured, tenure-track, clinical, and retired faculty members. Our six- and ten-year impact reports show that we have done just that.

If we can help in any way, please reach out to


Program Background

FYO was a change in how first-year students were introduced to UGA academic life and culture.

Learn More About FYO


We use student surveys to assess the learning outcomes associated with the goals were achieved.

Learn How We Assess

Engaged Faculty

FYO is successful in large part because of the enthusiasm with which faculty design the program.

Engaged Faculty