The First-Year Fellowship Certificate Program features a curriculum designed for emerging leaders to cultivate their skills and abilities to become the next generation of leaders on campus and beyond! Since its inception, over 500 first-year and transfer students have completed the program. Fellows should take advantage of the opportunity to participate in an 8-week, 1.5-credit leadership course in the Fall or Spring semester, in addition to being exposed to greater involvement opportunities at Rutgers!

Previous leadership experience is NOT required to participate!  You can join in at any time! Each year, we offer space in one of 8 cohorts during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Applications for the Spring 2020 Fellowship Cohort are now OPEN! All applications will be due by Sunday, December 8th. You may request an extension by emailing us at firstyearfellowship@gmail.com. Class meetings will be on the following days and times:

  • Monday PM Cohort: Mondays, 7:30PM – 9:30PM
  • Tuesday PM Cohort: Tuesdays, 7:30PM – 9:30PM
  • Wednesday AM Cohort: Wednesdays, 10AM – 12PM
  • Wednesday PM Cohort: Wednesdays, 7:30PM – 9:30PM
  • Thursday PM Cohort: Thursdays, 7:30PM – 9:30PM
  • Friday AM Cohort: Fridays, 10AM – 12PM
  • Friday PM Cohort: Fridays, 3PM – 5PM

Part 1: 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 8 week cohort class experience and Social Change Project.

Part 2: Cohort & Workshops

The second part of the Fellowship program is the 1.5 credit course that takes place in the Fall/Spring semesters. 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.

Meet The Fellowship Team @ Our Launch Parties!

We will be hosting two First-Year Fellowship Launch parties in the Fall 2019 semester! Come hang out with the Fellowship Team where you’ll get free food and an opportunity to get a head start in the program and learn more about what you can expect from being involved. The Fellowship Launch parties will be:


  • Wednesday, September 4th from 6PM – 7PM

    • Gathering Lounge in the Livingston Student Center


  • Tuesday, September 10th from 6PM – 7PM

    • Douglass Lounge in the Douglass Student Center

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

Connect With 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.