The freshman experience at GSU is like no other. This is where your first year of college is designed to give you exactly what you need to succeed and to shape your life and your career.

Freshman-experience That one-of-a-kind first-year experience starts your first day on campus. We have some big ideas waiting for you. In your classes, you’ll notice two things: great, full-time professors teaching and no more than 30 students. No teaching assistants. No packed auditorium-as-classroom. You won’t find that kind of freshman learning environment in any other Illinois public university.  

Join an innovative academic program.

The Freshman Year at GSU is built around an academic program that stresses learning communities, connections, and support. In your first two years, you’ll fulfill general education requirements in full-time, day-time classes through your sophomore year.

Seven First Year Focus Areas:

Arts & Entertainment: Fine Arts, Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies.

Business: Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Health Administration.

Discovery: Undecided? You are not alone! About 1/3 of all Bachelors-level students change majors in college. Spend a year exploring options under the guided expertise of our counseling staff and faculty to save money and time.

Education: Secondary Education (Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics), Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education.   

Humanities: English, History.  

Social & Behavioral Sciences: Anthropology, Communication, Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology.

STEM: Biology, Chemistry, Communication Disorders, Community Health, Computer Science, Information Technology, Mathematics, Nursing.

Freshman-experience 2


  • Classes are small. Professors know your name. Freshman composition is limited to 18 students
  • When freshmen arrive on campus, they will receive their very own GSUConnect Tablet computer at no cost.
  • All first-year classes are taught by experienced faculty members
  • You’ll explore majors, programs and various careers to obtain a world view as you choose your major