About Us

The Department of First-Year and Transition Studies is home to the fully online graduate degree program in First-Year Studies. The M.S. in First-Year Studies will equip participants with the knowledge of the transitions that first-year students face to prepare them to design, manage and deliver both curricular and co-curricular programs to help first-year students succeed.

This Master of Science degree will encompass the theory and study of factors affecting the initial college experience, including foundations of students’ transitional experiences and research on various programs that promote a successful transition.

Program Brochure


Demonstrate knowledge of the leading theories in curriculum, instruction, and assessment relative to first-year students.

Develop the ability to apply seminal concepts to create effective curricular initiatives and the practical organization of first-year programs.

Understand the use of both quantitative and qualitative research/analyses to investigate and solve problems connected to the field of First-Year Studies while advancing research and teaching in the discipline.

Demonstrate competency in multiculturalism, specifically as it relates to serving the diverse first year student population.

Create outcome assessments and program evaluation protocols to support continuous assessment of first-year programs and experiences.

Conduct primary research in the area of First-Year Studies or in the area of first-year student transitions through the design and analysis of an independent research study that is successfully defended at the conclusion of the program of study.