Freshman Academic Institute

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Welcome to the FAI!

The Freshman Academic Institute (FAI) is a three-week summer program in which new Lawrentians experience academic, co-curricular, and campus life at Lawrence. The centerpiece of the FAI is a two-course curriculum in which students engage in the liberal arts tradition of learning as it occurs at Lawrence, through close interaction with our dedicated faculty and collaboration with fellow students both in and outside of the classroom setting. A co-curriculum provides opportunity for students to enhance their academic skills, while extra-curricular activities connect students with peers, upperclassmen, and the larger community. The FAI is held each summer on the Lawrence campus during the three weeks leading up to Welcome Week.

  • Curriculum:  Participants earn three academic credits that can be applied toward graduation requirements through successful completion of two FAI courses taught by Lawrence faculty. These courses include the FAI Seminar, a small, discussion-based, writing-intensive seminar that explores works from a variety of academic disciplines; and Topics in Psychology, a larger, lecture-based exploration of the multifaceted world of the psychological sciences. 
  • Co-Curriculum: Students further develop their academic skills through writing and discussion workshops, peer-tutoring sessions, and interaction with campus resources and services.
  • Extra-Curriculum: Lawrence upperclassmen serving as Program Assistants lead recreational and social activities such as bowling, picnics, hiking, and movies. At the conclusion of the FAI, students, staff, and faculty spend a weekend at Björklunden, Lawrence's northern campus on the shore of Lake Michigan in Door County.
  • Frequently Asked Questions


“FAI was like a practice run for everything that happens at Lawrence, and I think that was my biggest takeaway.  If you’re given an opportunity to perform better, or to prepare yourself so that you can perform better, then why not take it?” - 2014 FAI Participant

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