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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / Learning Communities & FIGs

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Learning Communities and Freshman Interest Groups

All first-year students in arts management, theatre and performance, and all majors within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Purchase College participate in smaller intellectual communities designed to appeal to students’ different academic interests and learning styles. Students may choose from two types of intellectual communities.

  1. Learning Communities (LCs)
    In learning communities, students take a cluster of three courses together, organized around a specific theme, and live together in a freshman residence hall. Students in learning communities are led by a faculty member who serves as their advisor and First-Year Seminar instructor. The faculty member also joins students in coordinating academic and social activities, including field trips, theatre and museum events, dinners, and other informal meetings.
  2. Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)
    Like the learning communities, FIGs are designed around a specific academic interest, but students are not required to live together on campus. FIGs are a cluster of courses organized around a specific theme or major and are offered in almost every academic area. Students in FIGs are assigned to a special freshman advisor who also serves as their First-Year Seminar instructor. While students in FIGs do not work with a faculty member in residence, they may participate in common activities, depending on the focus of their FIG.

Based on a student’s academic interest, he or she will choose an LC or FIG during summer advising and registration. Students in some majors are required to participate in a majors-only FIG (new media, for example). New students receive information about the advising and registration process by early June, and work with the Advising Center to ensure that they choose an appropriate FIG.

For additional information and updates during 2016–2018, please visit

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