First-year interest groups

What is a first-year interest group (FIG)?

students sit in a group of four chairs facing each other while the instructor stands nearby talking with themDesigned to bring together students with similar interests or academic goals, First-year Interest Groups (FIGs) utilize block scheduling to create learning communities and simplify registration to two clicks.

As part of First-Year Student Orientation, students will be invited to sign up for a FIG based on their interests and placement. Most incoming first-year students will take four or five classes their first semester, for a minimum of 12 credits for full-time study. If approved, a set of courses will be pre-loaded into their registration. Students will then work with their advisors to register for their FIG and complete their schedule.

Registering for a FIG takes some of the frustration and guesswork out of selecting and registering for classes!

A common set of courses for an uncommon experience

FIG classes have been carefully selected to apply towards degree requirements while also complimenting the theme of the group. The classes allow students to interact with faculty, staff, and the campus community in a more frequent and intentional manner. Engaging in a shared set of courses will help foster a sense of community to last beyond orientation and the first semester.

Engaged faculty, staff and student support

The FIG coordinator will provide expert referrals to campus resources and academic support, including helping each student complete your schedule with additional courses for full-time study based on your needs and placement. A dedicated page in Canvas will allow for online interaction beyond the scope of the classes. Each FIG will also have a peer mentor to provide support from the student perspective. 

A campus like none other

Wayne State University provides a home base from which to explore everything Detroit and its surrounding areas have to offer. In addition to taking classes together, students have opportunities to connect beyond just the classroom. Whether a student chooses to live on campus or commute, there's something for everyone. Between activities in the Student Center and Fitness Center, studying in the Undergraduate Library, participating in research opportunities, or exploring a multitude of student organizations, the campus is a vibrant hub of activity all day (and evening) long. For a calendar of events, see Get Involved.

First-year interest group listings

Review the groups available for the semester you plan to begin at Wayne State University and then complete the selection survey to indicate which ones interest you.

FIG selection survey

If you are interested in joining a First-Year Interest Group, complete the FIG Selection Survey (WSU AccessID required). You'll receive an email to your WSU account to let you know your request is being processed and we'll be in touch with next steps.

Frequently asked questions

How do FIG courses apply towards degree requirements?
Each class in the FIG block schedule has been selected to meet a degree requirement or move a student forward on a sequence of required courses. Students, you can view your progress through Degree Works.

How does a student sign up for a FIG?
Students complete the FIG Selection Survey indicating which FIG you want on your schedule. You'll receive a confirmation email to let you know when your request has been processed and you can register for your selected block of classes.

To register, log in to the "Register for Classes" area of the Registration Portal ( > click on the Blocks tab > click Submit.

Additional walk-throughs on how to browse for classes, registration, and other useful information are available at

What if a FIG schedule doesn't work other required courses or the student places out of one of the classes due to AP/IB/etc.?
Not a problem! Not all students will be registered through a FIG, and that's okay. Some students register for sets of classes such as the Honors College, Latino/a and Latin American Studies, or the BUILD program and experience many of the same benefits of being in a FIG.

Students should also look into joining a Learning Community, where students with similar interests register for a common course and engage in related activities:

Do the blocks provide full-time enrollment?
It depends on the FIG. Most FIGs have two or three classes (some with laboratory) that account for 8 - 11 credits. Students will need to select additional classes to meet the 12 credit minimum for full-time enrollment. 

How many students are in each FIG?
The FIGs range in size from 24 - 30 students, depending on the courses as determined by the FIG coordinators and departmental academic advisors.

Can students opt-out of one or two of the classes in the FIG during registration?
The FIG courses are designed to complement each other and to ensure students are on the right track. The FIG coordinators and academic advisors will work closely with the students to make sure their first semester schedule meets university and department requirements while maintaining balance between academic and extra-curricular interests. So, if a student is part of a FIG, they will be expected to stay in all the classes.

Students who are not in a FIG should talk with an academic advisor about how to create a schedule that best suits their needs. 

Can students drop FIG classes?
Once registered, a student in a block cannot drop FIG classes themselves. They will need to contact the FIG coordinator to leave the block. Students can add and drop non-FIG classes without restrictions. After the second week of classes, students will be able to withdraw from individual classes, but they will be responsible for the tuition.

I've been approved to join a FIG, now what?
Follow our step-by-step instructions on the student registration page.

Are there other ways in which a student can connect to the Wayne State community?
There are many ways to get involved! The Dean of Students Office (DOSO) coordinates student organizations and various campus activities: