The First-Year Fellowship Certificate Program is an introductory leadership curriculum designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders on campus and beyond! Fellows have the opportunity to participate in a 1.5-credit leadership course in the Spring 2017 semester, in addition to being exposed to greater involvement opportunities at Rutgers!

Previous leadership experience is NOT required to participate!  You can join at any time in the Fall 2016 semester!

Applications for the 2016-2017 First-Year Fellowship Certificate Program are currently closed! For those interested in joining the program for 2017-2018, recruitment and information will be distributed starting in August so stay tuned!

In 2015-2016, over 180 first-year and transfer students were accepted into and completed the First-Year Fellowship Certificate Program! There are limited spaces available so if you would like to express interest in joining, email us at

How to Earn the Certificate


Fall: Events & Engagement

In an effort to maximize your introduction to leadership skills and opportunities on campus, the Leadership department in collaboration with a variety of campus partners designed a diverse calendar of events to connect you with peers and current student leaders, expose you to different organizations and services on campus and assist you in starting to create a toolbox of leadership skills for your own personal development. In addition to attending events, participants are encouraged to attend a leadership advising session with one of our staff members. Events are open to any first-year or transfer student at any time. To fully complete the certificate program, students will need to attain 15 or more points throughout the academic year by attending events listed in our master calendar and complete the 7-class cohort experience in the Spring semester.


Spring: Cohort & Workshops

The second half of our First-Year Fellows program launches in February of each spring semester with a smaller cohort of future leaders looking to take their leadership skills to the next level. This 8-week curriculum works to prepare students for future leadership roles through a variety of interactive workshops covering topics such as goal setting, time management, public speaking, personality inventories & ethical decision-making. First-Year Fellowship participants will also be given priority to attend a variety of exclusive leadership retreats and immersive service trip experiences.

Already Collecting Points?

Some students have started collecting points without even knowing it! Check out the Calendar of Events to see the various programs you can attend to earn points! Fellows have the Fall & Spring semesters to collect all 15 points.

First-Year Fellowship Testimonials

“The First-Year Fellowship Program was a major reason as to why I enjoyed my first year at Rutgers so much. It offered SO MANY opportunities to get involved (some of which I would have never been exposed to if it weren’t for this program) and I am very excited to see what sophomore year will bring.”
M.A., Class of 2017

“I loved all the events and this really made my first year at college. I made a lot of friends and learned so much, but most importantly I realized that how involved I get and how much I grow as a leader is 100% determined by my initiative to take advantage of experiences like this! I highly recommend it to every first-year next year.”
J.D., Class of 2018

“I enjoyed the Fellowship, and I have made friends that will extend past the program. I met people through the events that I just clicked with. I feel there is no better program to give first-years a true glimpse of what college can be.”
R.P., Class of 2019

Video Testimonials

Interested in the First-Year Fellowship?

The first step is to connect with us & show up! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook and drop us an email to be added to the First-year Fellowship mailing list to receive up-to-date information on all of our events. Check-in to any event that you attend, bring friends along and attend a leadership advising session to start working towards your certificate by the end of your first year at Rutgers.