Through the lens of a topical area, each FIGS class explores nine key elements in creative and educational ways:


Academic Success

We know the academic realities of college are very different than high school. In each course, students will identify their academic strengths and weaknesses and explore new study strategies. They will also be introduced to undergraduate resource opportunities and become familiar 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 & Multiculturalism

Students in FIGS will discuss the importance of cultural competence and gain a greater understanding for how diversity specifically relates to their topical area. Students will explore the advantages associated with Rutgers’ diverse learning community and how participation in university programming, study abroad, and community service can expand our appreciation for diversity.

Faculty Involvement

Connecting with Faculty is an important part of the undergraduate experience, both for FIGS students and Peer Instructors. Each PI will select a Faculty Mentor to turn to for guidance through the teaching experience and answers to topical questions. PIs will also coordinate an in-class visit with a professor from the discipline associated with the FIGS topic (either the PI’s Faculty Mentor or a different faculty member). A professor may join the class for a guest lecture, provide a tour of a research lab, or participate in a class excursion.

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 topical area and be introduced to the 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 journeys and the ways in which they developed leadership skills.

Career Development

Personal wellness is an important issue to consider as a first-year student at Rutgers. Wellness focuses on diet and nutrition, exercise and physical well-being, emotional and sexual health. Students will explore how wellness connects to their specific FIGS topical area and will learn more about the many resources at Rutgers that help students develop and maintain healthy personal habits.

Out of Class Excursion

Each FIGS class extends learning beyond the traditional classroom by including an out-of-class excursion on campus or accessible by Rutgers bus. Past excursions include visits to a research lab, local museums and theaters, and local hospitals and medical schools.

Final Group Project

Students will work in small groups to create a presentation, designed by the Peer Instructor, for the last day of class. This project will highlight key concepts associated with the topical area and outline important connections to the Rutgers experience.