Expand each of the topics below for more information. Contact us if you don’t see your question below.

First-Year Seminar helps students acclimate more quickly and smoothly to the pace and rigors of college-level academics as well as the sense of self-reliance, individual responsibility, and self-advocacy that successful college students develop. The dramatic shift of social circumstances and the need to network with professors and other students as well as navigate the systems of an institution are also often overwhelming factors of college life. Studies show that students who take a course like FYS 101 within the first two quarters of starting their college careers are much more likely to succeed and will save time and money because they better understand their academic goals and how to reach them.

Bellevue College students, whose primary intent is to earn either the AAS-DTA or the Associate of Science Track I or II degrees, must fulfill the First-Year Seminar (FYS) requirement.

First-Year Seminar (FYS 101) or its equivalent is required to be taken during the first or second quarter at Bellevue College.

Yes, the following students are exempt from the requirement:

  1. Students who have completed an approved similar first year or college success course at another institution with a grade of D (1.0) or better.
  2.  Students who have completed any degree or certificate that required 45+ quarter credits (18 semester credits / 27 quarter credits) at a regionally accredited college (including BC).
  3. Students who have transferred 45 or more college-level quarter credits (18 semester credits = 27 quarter credits) that count toward the AAS-DTA or AS Track I or II degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Transfer credits only – BC credits cannot count toward these 45).
  4. Students who began taking classes at Bellevue College prior to summer quarter, 2021.
  5. Running Start students who began taking Bellevue College classes prior to summer quarter, 2022.
  6. Students who completed the Neurodiversity Navigators summer course, EXPRL 1194, prior to summer of 2022 are also exempt from the FYS requirement.

The wellness and academic wellness parts of this class have been especially helpful to me because I got to be mindful of my own health and plan for my academic success in the future.

“This class has helped me by taking a step back and looking at ‘basic’ skills or knowledge that might not be known.”

“The steps to complete the assignment were very specific and helpful whenever I got stuck.” 

“The modules that covered aspects of college were especially helpful, due to me not knowing a lot about college.” 

The FYS 101 course will equip students to thrive by exploring their identities and communities through a social justice lens. Students will develop professional and academic skills, along with personal wellness practices. 

FYS 101 will be counted as (restricted) Transferable Electives in Associate in Arts and Sciences (AAS-DTA) and the Associate in Science (AS) Track I and Track II degrees and as electives in most AA degrees offered at Bellevue College.  If you are not working toward the AAS-DTA or AS Track I or II degrees, please reach out to your academic advisor to confirm FYS 101 can be used as an elective in your program of study.

No – you will only be required to complete 90 credits to complete the AAS-DTA or AS Track I and Track II degrees.  FYS credits can be applied as elective credits and will count as “restrictive elective” credits.  Please refer to the degree worksheets and meet with Academic Advising to make sure you are selecting courses that apply towards the AAS-DTA and AS Track I or Track II degrees.

If you are planning to complete an AAS-DTA degree, you should take this class even if you are in pre-college English or Math. Please contact the First Year Seminar Program for section options.

There are a few special sections in the FYS courses – those for TRIO students and those students who would like to join either the Umoja or Puente sections.  There is also a section designed specifically for students who are interested in pursuing STEM degrees and would like more intensive and long-term support.

If you are interested in finding out more about these different sections, please click the links below:

Yes, FYS 101 is a 3-credit college-level course. It will be counted as part of the cumulative and college-level Grade Point Average (GPA).  

FYS helps students:

  • Develop and practice skills to enhance cross-cultural interaction, student-instructor interaction, student-community interaction, student-student interaction, and self-advocacy
  • Develop self-reflection techniques to identify strengths and opportunities for continual growth across the academic, social, wellness, financial, and career spheres
  • Focus on personal growth and mentorship

FYS uses the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a curriculum framework based on cognitive science that promotes equal opportunities to learn and process information to support student success.

  • Allow for student choice and autonomy
  • Find ways to provide for flexibility in learning
  • Utilize multiple means of action and expression, representation, and engagement 

FYS classes will be offered in multiple modalities such as on-campus, online, and hybrid. Click here to see the current class schedule.

Yes.  Online sections will be available to students who take the majority of their classes online.  

These courses at BC will count toward the FYS 101 requirement (that is, if you complete one of these courses, you will not have to take FYS 101):

HD 103 – International Student First Year Experience

HD 120 – Learning Strategies for Student Success

HD 125 – Motivation and Empowerment

HD 173- Career Exploration

STEM 101/102 (must complete both courses) – STEM to Stern I/STEM to Stern II

CEO 101/102 (must complete both courses) – Introduction to College & Career Success/
Survey of Life, Education, and Career Success

ABE 14 or ABE 15 or ESL 87 or ESL 88

Submit an official transfer credit request or open a ticket with evaluations for their review.  To submit an exemption request, please click the following link: First Year Seminar Exemption Page.

Here is a link to current transfer equivalences:  https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/transfer/equivalencies/ 

Students should not be impacted if they take this course as part of their elective credits in their the AAS-DTA or AS Track I or II degrees. Students in these degree programs will need to complete a minimum of 90 credits to complete the AAS-DTA degree, and most students will take 12 – 18 credits per quarter, so this 3-credit course will not defer your anticipated graduation date. 

Yes, any student who took classes before Summer 2021 is exempt; any student who started taking classes during or after Summer 2021 and beyond needs to complete the requirement if they switch to the AAS-DTA. 

Yes, if you are seeking the AAS-DTA or AS Track I or II degree, this course is covered by the tuition and fees payment as part of your degree program.  Students not working toward the AAS-DTA or AS Track I or II degree who want to take the class should reach out to their academic advisor and Financial Aid to determine coverage. 

Running Start students who began taking classes at Bellevue College during or after summer 2022 do need to complete the First-Year Seminar requirement if they plan on graduating from the college with an AAS-DTA or AS-T I or II degree.

Running Start students who are only taking classes to complete high school requirements or do not wish to earn an AAS-DTA or AS-T I or II degree do not need to take a first-year seminar class, but it is still advised as it will help students be successful in the classes they are taking at the college.

Running Start students who began taking classes at Bellevue College prior to the summer of 2022 do not need to take FYS 101.

Please note that your degree planner in ctcLink will not reflect this exemption, but when you apply for graduation, the requirement will be waived.


Email the first-year seminar program at fyseminar@bellevuecollege.edu.

Last Updated February 7, 2024