Freshman Intensive Studies (FIS) FAQs

What is the FIS Contract?

If you decide to enter the program, you must indicate your willingness to follow all program guidelines by signing an FIS contract prior to the start of classes. This document formalizes your agreement to abide by the terms of the FIS program and its expected standards of performance in and out of the classroom.

How are the faculty chosen for the FIS program?

FIS courses are taught by faculty selected because of their interest in teaching and their rapport with students. They provide additional support and guidance throughout the program to help you identify - and resolve- any problems which may affect your academic performance.

Who will know that I’m an FIS student?

Your designation as an FIS student is not made known outside of the program. Two or three of your courses each semester have "all-FIS" enrollments, while the others will have mixed or general University enrollments.

What grades must I earn to continue my studies at FDU?

As an FIS student, you are expected to earn at least a 2.0 grade point (C) average each semester. Students in the FIS program are encouraged to become involved in campus clubs, organizations and athletics. However, if your academic performance begins to fall below acceptable standards following midterm grade reporting, you will be required to curtail your extracurricular activities until your grades improve.

If your GPA falls below a 2.0 mid-year, you will be subject to FIS Probation. By the end of your first year of study, you must have a minimum of 2.0 cumulative GPA (which combines your performance in both semesters).

If your cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, you are subject to suspension from the University.

Am I required to attend FIS Workshops, Study Groups, and One-on-One sessions with the Learning Specialist?

If you are making satisfactory academic progress, you are not required to attend our workshops and study groups. However, we have found that students who work with our Learning Specialists and attend supplemental workshops perform better in their course work. In fact, many of our top performing students attend workshops and meet with a Learning Specialist to work on turning a B into an A.

Will I be able to ​graduate in four years?

Your ability to graduate within four years depends on two factors: your academic major and your personal motivation. As an FIS student, you generally will be able to earn 28-34 credits in your first year at FDU (including Summer Session I) based upon your need for developmental courses and successful completion of all courses attempted.

There are a number of majors, however, which feature a prescribed curriculum beginning in the freshman year. This is especially true for science programs, allied health degrees, and FDU's five-year teacher-education program (QUEST). FIS students interested in the QUEST program make application directly to that program in the spring semester of their freshman year. If admitted into QUEST, students will "catch up" in their Education courses in their sophomore year.

What is the track r​ecord of the FIS program?

After completing the FIS curriculum, graduates of the program consistently perform well in their studies at FDU; many go on to make the University's Dean's and Honors Lists. FIS student retention rates generally are consistent with or slightly above non-FIS students. The FIS program of support clearly helps students at increased risk succeed in their college studies. FIS graduates credit the program with helping them successfully make the transition from high school to college by:

  • Providing them with a structured academic routine
  • Building their study skills and encouraging good study habits
  • Giving them confidence in their test-taking
  • Linking them with the academic and personal support they need in key areas
  • Providing a personal level of support and advising that helped them mature as students.

Some alumni of the program currently are pursuing graduate and professional degrees at major colleges and universities across the country. Others are engaged in exciting and rewarding careers, including an Emmy-winning production coordinator with NBC… a financial analyst… a special education teacher… a successful entrepreneur… an assistant controller with a major multinational company… a hydrogeologist working with the federal government… even a gourmet chef whose meals have been served to international dignitaries.

Can I receive need-ba​sed financial aid as an FIS student?

The credit load typically taken by FIS students meets the federal guidelines for full-time enrollment. As long as you maintain a minimum 12-credit load and if you qualify for need-based financial assistance - your admission to the FIS program will not affect your eligibility for financial aid in any way. You should keep in touch with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure on-going eligibility.