The First-Year Experience


The first step on your greatest adventure yet. 

First-Year experience hero image

There’s a reason our first-year experience is nationally ranked.

As a major university, Butler is relatively small. But coming here can mean a big change for most new students. So, we’ve created a unique first-year experience—we refer to it as ButlerONE—to help smooth the way into your new environment.
During your first year at Butler—whether you’re a first-time college student or a transfer student from another college or university— you’ll find venues for self-discovery, student-centered advice for your academic future, challenging introductory courses in our Core Curriculum, and a supportive orientation environment to get you focused and assured right away. Think of ButlerONE as your personal GPS to steer you through that first year with confidence as you start your initial journey with us.

A Flight Plan to Help You Soar.


Orientation is when we throw out the welcome mat and introduce all new students to the Butler campus…and the Butler Way. It’s a whirlwind series of days where you’ll be immersed in the college experience for the first time. That means a lot of new places and new faces, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. In fact, we’ll make sure of it by keeping student mentors close by to answer any questions and keep things going smoothly.

First-Year Seminar

Butler’s First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces you to a topic of your choice from over 40 subjects. It also brings you into a close-knit community of first-year students who will be your seminar companions in a small class cohort. Taught by faculty members from disciplines across the University, your FYS group will also work with the same professor all year.

Getting Involved

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your mind to work at Butler. But what about the rest of you? Luckily, Butler is a great place to expand your horizons far beyond the classroom. Whether you’re picking up an old passion or finding a whole new one, Butler gives you endless opportunities to stay fulfilled. Getting involved with campus groups sharpens teamwork, communication skills, decision making, and problem solving.

Student Well-Being

In a college environment where you are finally on your own, it’s easy for new pressures and responsibilities to take a toll on how well you are treating yourself. At Butler, you’re not alone—and we’re here to help. We have the people and the facilities to restore yourself, whether physically or emotionally, so you can focus on having the best possible student experience. You’ve got this. And we’ve got you.

First-Year Seminar

Healthcare and Business and English double major Sadia Khatri says that her First-Year Seminar introduced her to a wide variety of ideas and also taught her so much about herself. She credits her professor—Dr. Hofstetter—with teaching her so much about literature and the world, and most importantly, herself.

A female student stands outside in a field smiling

Campus Life

Some of your best relationships will begin right here. Nearly all incoming first-year students, and most sophomores and juniors, live on campus. Meaning you’re never far from anything you need—your classes, the library, the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC), and late-night snacks are always within walking distance. And off campus, you’ll find a whole world of unique experiences as you explore your favorite new hometown, Indianapolis.

Planning to commute? You’re not alone. We’ve set up new resources and spaces to help make Butler your home-away-from-home.

Tips and Tricks

At Butler, academic advising is a critical piece of the teaching and learning relationship.

A student and faculty member review information together.


Whether you’ve already read all those books about what to expect in college or you’re waiting to see for yourself, read on for a few quick tips on how to make the most of your experience at Butler.