Students in a classroom, blurry

First-Year Academics

You're ready to set off on your academic journey.

Grinnell’s individually-advised curriculum lets you choose your own unique set of courses, grounded in the liberal arts, with help from your faculty adviser, whom you’ll come to know well during First-Year Tutorial.

  • Tutorial class meets in the Grinnell College Museum of Art

    First-Year Tutorial

    The First-Year Tutorial, a central feature of Grinnell College’s curriculum for 50 years, is designed to give you significant practice in analytical and critical reading, writing, and speaking. Faculty from all departments of the College teach in the tutorial program. The relationships you build within your Tutorial will extend beyond your first semester. Your Tutorial professor will be your academic adviser until you declare a major (usually in the spring of your second year). During these first two years, you will discuss your goals with your adviser and collaborate to plan an individualized liberal arts program. Your classmates will also become part of your first cohort – a group you’ll be together with in your first semester and will reunite periodically with during your first two years.

    1. Review the 35 Tutorial courses that will be offered this fall. Although some tutorial subjects may appear to relate to academic majors, Tutorials never count toward majors. You should pick based on the topics that sound most interesting to you. You will have many opportunities this year to take courses related to your potential major. The first semesters of college are your time to explore!
    2. Beginning June 1, log in to the New Student Checklist and choose five Tutorials that most interest you. You must enter your preferences by June 15, no later than midnight, Central Daylight Time. In late July you will learn what tutorial section you’ve been placed in, and, consequently, who your academic adviser will be.

    Questions? Check the Tutorial FAQ page.

  • advisor with student

    Academic Planning

    What other courses do you want to take your first semester? To consider your options, and prepare:

    1. Begin by reading Academic Planning for New Students.
    2. To give your faculty adviser a sense of who you are, your academic background, and your interests, on the New Student Checklist (log-in required) complete the Advising Information form by July 15.
    3. Watch for email communication from the language departments during the summer about how to get the correct placement in that subject if you have prior knowledge.

    During New Student Orientation you will register for your other fall classes in consultation with your faculty adviser, creating a well-balanced liberal arts program that fits with the journey you want to create at Grinnell.

    Send any questions to Academic Advising office at or call us at 641-269-3713.

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