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New Student Programs

From the summer before your first semester through the end of your first academic year, all first-year students will participate in a number of programs designed to welcome, acclimate, engage and support you. These programs include: FOCUS Orientation, First Day for First Years, Welcome Weeks, Transitions and the Common Reading Experience.


FOCUS, is a required two-day, overnight, summer orientation program for first-year students and their parents that provides an overview of University programs, policies and services. FOCUS offers first-year students the opportunity to meet with new classmates, current SXU students, academic advisors and faculty and receive their first semester class schedules.

First Day for First Years

First Day for First Years is a mandatory, day-long program designed to welcome all new first-year students to the academic community and to allow them to experience a unique SXU tradition. This mandatory program includes a welcome, meetings for students, parent/family info sessions, New Student Induction and the Family Picnic.  The parent programs will end directly following the picnic. Welcome Week events will begin that afternoon and continue throughout the weekend and first week of classes.

Welcome Weeks

The first week of fall and spring semesters is known as Welcome Weeks. This annual tradition is designed to welcome all students -- new and returning -- to the new semester. The week includes a series of social, recreational, cultural and artistic programs held the first week of each semester on campus, in the residence halls and in the Chicagoland area.


To continue the transition into college, first-year students are enrolled in Transitions, a one-credit, semester-long course that aims to aid students in adapting to university life from a variety of perspectives. The curriculum includes an introduction to the Saint Xavier University community; development of an appreciation for the broader culture of a university education; and diversity, wellness and success strategies.

Common Reading Experience

Each year, Saint Xavier University selects a common reading in order to provide all first-year students at Saint Xavier with the common experience of reading the same text and considering many of the same issues, inside and outside the classroom. In addition to being a required text for Transitions, this book will also serve as the basis for discussion in General Education courses, especially your First Year Seminar and/or Philosophy 140, and at a series of guest speakers and events held throughout the fall semester.

For more information about New Student Programs, call the Office of Campus Life at 773-341-5060.