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First-year Experience

The first-year experience at Bucknell isn't the warmup act. It's the main event. From your first semester on, you can audition for the mainstage play, work on fascinating research with your professor and use the latest high-tech equipment.

It starts with New Student Orientation. Your first days at Bucknell will immerse you in scholarship, tradition and opportunities to discover what it means to become a member of the campus community. Many students will choose a Pre-Orientation program, giving them a fun head start on what's ahead.

These opportunities and programs will help shape your experience during your four years here. You may find a new hobby, discover a new academic interest and make bonds with your fellow Bucknellians.

Explore Pre-Orientation programs and registration information

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Take a Closer Look at the First-year Experience

First-year Common Reading

Each year, Bucknell selects a book that all members of the incoming class will read and discuss. The reading encompasses current events and social issues. New students will have the opportunity to discuss the book with their fellow classmates, orientation leaders and faculty during New Student Orientation.

Learn more about the Common Reading

First-year College Mentors

Each of Bucknell's three colleges has its own first-year mentoring program to help students start pursuing life-changing experiences on and off campus from day one. Peer mentors answer questions and connect first-year students with opportunities like internships, events, clubs and organizations, undergraduate research, study abroad and much more.

Explore all three first-year mentoring programs

Engineering EXCELerator students in Mooney Lab with 3D printers

Get Involved on Campus

With more than 200 clubs and organizations, students have the opportunity to explore new interests, make new friends and take on leadership opportunities.

Explore our clubs and organizations

Take a Closer Look at the Student Organizations

  • Explore the Residential Colleges

    Each Residential College is paired with a first-semester class, which means you get to live and learn with students who share your interests, and connect with your professors both in and out of the classroom.

  • GenFirst mentor and student eating frozen yogurt

    GenFirst! @ Bucknell

    College is a time of "firsts." For some, it is the first time being far away from home. For others, they are the first in their family to attend college. At Bucknell, many of our faculty and staff are members of the first generation community and here to help. If you are a first-generation student and would like to talk about your experiences, look for a "come talk to me" poster, there is a friendly first-generation faculty or staff member who would love to meet and chat with you.

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    College 101

    Parents and families

    Parents and families are invited to sign up for our College 101 program. This summer program runs in conjunction with our virtual summer sessions and includes a few additional required events. All who complete the program will be invited to a special graduation ceremony and receive a certificate of completion in August.

    We highly recommend this program for parents and families who are sending their first child to college in the fall — particularly if your child is the first person in your immediate family to attend college (i.e. a first-generation college student).

    Learn more
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