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First Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar is a comprehensive 10-week course offered in the first semester that helps first-year students become better acquainted with University life. Students meet once a week and are broken into small groups within their class. A peer educator is assigned to facilitate the activities of each group. The course allows for discussion and presentation with faculty and outside experts and helps students build teamwork and communication skills that they can use throughout their four years at Clarkson. The course introduces students to the broad education mission of Clarkson and provides an introduction to such topics as: Alcohol and Drugs, Cyber Ethics/First Year Advising, Study Skills, Careers, Diversity and Inclusion, Fitness/Wellness and Health Relationships & Personal Safety. 

Common Book Project

Clarkson University has established the tradition of assigning a summer reading to all incoming first-year students. This shared reading provides a common experience that introduces students to the intellectual life of Clarkson and encourages a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. The Common Book will be incorporated into Orientation through group discussions, and will relate to the University’s Convocation, a traditional gathering held each year before the first day of classes that commemorates the official beginning of the academic year. 

Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Book Cover

The 2016 common book is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Mr. Kamkwamba will also deliver the Van Sickle Endowed Lecture at Convocation on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Cheel Arena!

First-year students will receive an email in July in their Clarkson email account with instructions for accessing AlcoholEdu.

AlcoholEdu reduces high-risk drinking and alcohol-related harms among college students. The program motivates behavior change by:

  • Resetting unrealistic expectations about the effects of alcohol
  • Linking choices about drinking to academic and personal success
  • Helping students practice safer decision-making
  • Engaging students to create a healthier campus community 

Haven - Understanding Sexual Assault
First-year students will receive an email in July in their Clarkson email account with instructions for accessing Haven. 

With data from the National Institute of Justice showing that one in five college women and one in 16 men will experience some form of non-consensual sexual activity by graduation, the widespread impact of sexual violence on students presents an urgent and pressing challenge for our nation’s campuses. Haven – Understanding Sexual Assault™ addresses the critical issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, which impact countless college students across the country.

Math & Physics Readiness Survey and Spatial Visualization Survey (For first year students only) - This can be found on your PeopleSoft Account beginning May 13th.

The Math & Physics Readiness Surveys are used to provide guidance to incoming students on whether they are ready for calculus and physics at Clarkson, what they might need to do to prepare for it, and to guide administration in constructing first semester schedules. They are also used for institutional research. The Spatial Visualization Survey is used to provide information on incoming students spatial thinking skills, which are important in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It may be used to guide administration in enrolling incoming students in an optional spatial skills course, and for institutional research.

For more information on summer math programs, visit the Math Department.

Class Schedules
Class schedules for new students are done in Student Administrative Services (SAS) and will be available in PeopleSoft by the end of the first full week in August. 

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
Student Administrative Services processes all request for transfer/AP credit.  For more information, visit the Student Administrative Services.

Clarkson Bookstore
We recommend that you preorder your textbooks at the University Bookstore.

Preordering your textbooks before classes begin will give you the opportunity to be best prepared for the first day of classes and choose from our many options of new, used, rental and digital textbooks.  Please have your class schedule available when placing your order for textbooks.  Prepayment is required, so please have your payment option available upon checkout.  If you are using your Knight Card to purchase your textbooks and want to ensure your funds are available or you have questions about your class schedule, please contact SAS at 315-268-6451.

Once your textbooks are preordered and prepaid, all you will need to do is present your student ID and order number at the University Bookstore in order to pick up your online order.  If you choose not to preorder your textbooks online, to save time in-store, preregister for your textbook rental account at

Should you have any questions or concerns about textbooks or the order process, please call the University Bookstore at 315-265-9260.

For 24/7 shopping convenience, you can also shop online at for all of your campus apparel & gear to show your school pride!

University Libraries
Are you looking for a place to study, need a place to work in groups, or just looking for a good book? Do you need research help and don’t know where to go? The University Libraries offer walk-in research help, private research consultations (by appointment), a variety of work study spaces, computer workstations, wireless Internet, and much more! Our collection includes 500,000 volumes, 3,700+ print and electronic journals, 15,000 electronic books, thousands of government documents and reports, Clarkson University dissertations, the Ridings Collection, and the University Archives. Our mission is to provide comprehensive information resources and services to support research, scholarship, teaching, and learning. The main library is located in the Educational Resources Center and our Physical Therapy Branch Library is downtown in Clarkson Hall. For more information, please come visit us or our Web site: