First-Year In Science and Engineering (FISE)
Living Learning Community
FISE offers a residential experience for first-year students seeking to live in a diverse and inclusive STEM-focused living and learning community. Designed to support first-year students in their transition to college, FISE offers excellent academic resources and programs throughout the year. FISE students leave well prepared to succeed in their future academic work and STEM discipline.
FISE is open to first-year students in the following Penn State colleges:
- College of Agricultural Sciences
- College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
- College of Engineering
- Eberly College of Science
Underrepresented students are highly encouraged to apply. If space permits, participating students' roommate requests may be accommodated.
Program Assistant 2024-2025
If you are interested in serving as a Program Assistant for the 2024-2025 school year and are currently in your first, second or third year (not for incoming first year students) please visit here for more information.
Location and Community
FISE is located in Ritner Hall in the Pollock housing area. Imagine living in a residence hall full of peers from your classes: students who look like you and have similar interests and shared studies. This describes the Ritner-Wolf STEM Neighborhood—a scholarly and diverse STEM living and learning community shared between Ritner Hall and Wolf Hall.
Ritner is home to students from the First-Year in Science and Engineering (FISE), and Wolf houses students from Millennium Scholars Program and Forensic Science House—creating one of the most culturally diverse residence areas on campus. You’ll have the opportunity to live in a supportive educational and social environment while being connected to program and resident assistants who are specially trained to help with your educational needs.
Features of FISE:
Shared First-Year Experience
FISE students live in a residence hall filled with people who are experiencing Penn State for the first time. You will learn from the other first-year students who are exploring and sharing the same discoveries and challenges as you.
Free Academic Resources
As a FISE resident, you will have access to your own in-house facilitated study groups for most first year math and science courses. The study group leaders come to your residence hall, so you do not have to travel anywhere to receive help.
Mentorship and Guidance
The first-year experience can be a challenge academically and socially. To help our students adjust to college life and start their academic career on the right foot, FISE students have access to a group of experienced upper-class science and engineering student mentors. Known as program assistants (PAs), our mentors live in Ritner Hall and plan academic and social activities throughout the year.
Living and Learning Community
Living with students who are interested in the same types of majors can make your transition to college much smoother. You take similar classes making it easier to find study groups. Working in groups is one of the keys to success in college. Having the help and support you need always available to you makes it that much easier to succeed.
How to Select
Selecting FISE is a quick process.
After the offer of admission and HFS Contract(s) are accepted, the HFS Contract(s) will then be available in the eLiving system, where the student can indicate preferences such as housing area, roommate, Living Learning Communities (LLCs), and Campus Meal Plan level by the contract modification deadline which is 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET May 15.
Students who are interested in FISE will do the following when entering their preferences in eLiving
- Select Pollock Halls in the Residence Area Preferences section
- Select LLC: FISE House in the Living Learning Community Preference section.
If you are in the College of Engineering, complete the Engineering Living Learning Community Application.
If you are in the Eberly College of Science, Earth and Mineral Sciences, or Agricultural Sciences, you will learn if you are placed in FISE when you receive your housing assignment in the summer. The Housing Assignment Office does not select the first-year participants assigned to FISE. Mutual roommate requests will only be honored if space permits.