The nine FIGS Elements reflect important areas of development for Rutgers students. Through the lens of an academic subject, each FIGS class explores the nine FIGS elements in creative and educational ways:


Academic Success

We know the academic realities of college are very different from high school. In each course, students will identify their academic strengths and weaknesses and explore new study strategies. FIGS courses will introduce undergraduate research opportunities and familiarize students with learning resources and databases that will maximize their educational experience.

Academic Planning & Requirements

Academic requirements and academic planning are building blocks for any college career. Students will consider their semester timeline and develop semester goals while being introduced to an Academic Dean/Advisor.

Diversity & Inclusion

Students in FIGS will discuss the importance of cultural competence and gain a greater understanding for how diversity specifically relates to their course topic. Students will explore the benefits of Rutgers’ diverse learning community and see how participation in university programming, study abroad experiences, and community service work can expand our appreciation for diversity.

Faculty Involvement

Connecting with Faculty is an important part of the undergraduate experience. PIs will coordinate an in-class visit with a professor who may give a guest lecture, host a tour of a research lab, or participate in a FIGS class excursion. Each PI also selects a Faculty Mentor to turn to during the teaching experience for guidance and subject area expertise.

Personal Wellness

First-year students must learn how to manage their personal wellness, including physical, emotional, and sexual health as well as nutrition and exercise. Students will explore how wellness connects to their FIGS topic and learn about resources at Rutgers that help students manage their wellness.

Involvement & Peer Perspectives

Students will explore the benefits of involvement in clubs, organizations, and internships. Each FIGS will also include a panel of upper-class students sharing their Rutgers experiences and advice. 

Career Development

Students enrolled in a FIGS course will start their career journey by reflecting on their academic experiences, interests, and strengths. Through a self-assessment and in-class presentations, students will learn more about the Office of Career Exploration and Success and the resources that will help them succeed at Rutgers and beyond.

Class Excursion

Each FIGS class extends learning beyond the traditional classroom through a class excursion to a site of interest.  Past excursions include visits to a research lab, local museums and theaters, and local hospitals and medical schools. All excursions take place on campus or at a nearby location accessible by Rutgers bus.

Final Group Project

Each FIGS course will inspire collaborative learning through a culminating group project. Student groups will develop a presentation related to important concepts from their course topic and related Rutgers opportunities and resources.