What to expect

Are you wondering what it would be like if you became a STAR student?

The academic experience

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STAR students will take six credit hours. Classes are one hour and 45 minutes and take place from 9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, students will participate in a mandatory one hour supplemental lab in the afternoon, Monday through Thursday.  The lab provides students extra time to understand the material covered in class.

The classes that are offered in the STAR program are:

  • English 110: Rhetoric in the Media - This course examines the use of rhetoric to analyze and write about popular cultural texts such as print media, advertising and commercials, television shows, films, cyberspace, and radio.
  • Communication Studies: Fundamentals of Public Speaking - This course focuses on the development of basic skills for the creation and delivery of oral messages in public and in small groups while emphasizing organization and reasoning.
  • Ethnic Studies 100: Introduction to Ethnic Studies - This course offers an explanation of the social, political, historical, and cultural experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino(as)/Chicano(as), and Native Americans in the United States.
  • Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology - This course explores the basic concepts and interpretations of human action and the significance of a sociological perspective on the human experience. There will only be one section of SOC 101, and it is limited to students participating in the SBS STARS academic cohort.  Students in the SBS STARS cohort will take Sociology 101 instead of Communication Studies.
  • Political Science 230: Security in a Changing World - This class examines different perspectives on the subject of security. We will consider traditional aspects of security such as national security, defense, and the military. We will also consider non-traditional aspects of security that include environmental and human security. This course fulfills the Liberal Studies requirement in the Social and Political Worlds distribution block.
Orientation date May 28th and 29th.

All courses fulfill liberal studies requirements for all academic majors on campus. They will provide you with a solid background of written, communication, presentation, and public speaking skills.

Your academic cohort

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The STAR program has partnered with four colleges and the Honors Program on campus to provide you with the opportunity to participate in supplemental activities related to your major and meet fellow students studying the same subject. You will attend weekly meetings to learn more about the academic expectations and opportunities of your chosen major.

The five academic cohorts are:

  • 5-STAR: Students majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management will meet once a week with a School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) representative to talk about the industry, meet HRM staff and faculty, and take field trips to local HRM businesses.
  • STAR Pals:
  • Health STARS: Students whose major is in the biomedical or health professions will meet twice a week to participate in lab experiments, learn about research, and familiarize themselves with major opportunities.
  • Honors STARS: Students who have applied to be a part of the university Honors Program will meet once a week with a current Honors student to learn more about the program and develop their Honors-level writing skills.
  • SBS STARS: Students majoring in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (i.e. political science, criminal justice, sociology, social work, psychology and international relations) will meet once a week with a representative from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to talk about career opportunities, meet staff and faculty, and explore the various majors.

These activities are designed to enhance your experience, but also require you to manage time effectively and prioritize responsibilities.

If you are interested in a cohort, you must be willing to fully commit to attending the weekly activities.

Peer advising: get advice from experienced undergraduates

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As a STAR student, a peer adviser will work with you during the program and throughout your first and second years at Northern Arizona University.

Peer advisers are upper-level undergraduate students who have mastered the academic and social rigors of college life. They are familiar with the resources on campus and are experts in navigating the campus climate.

Peer advisers provide support in the areas of:

  • academic advisement
  • the financial aid process
  • career and academic opportunities
  • personal guidance

The residential experience

If you join the STAR program, you will live on campus with other STAR students in Tinsley residence hall.

By living on campus, you get to learn the ins and outs of campus living as well as participate in Hall Association. Residential living provides an opportunity for you to:

  • create strong friendships
  • an academic support system
  • a fun and engaging living environment

As a STAR student, a STAR Ambassador will work with you during the program, they are upper-level undergraduate students who have mastered the academic and social rigors of college life. They are familiar with the resources on campus and are experts in navigating the campus climate.

STAR Ambassadors provide support in the areas of:

  • academic advisement
  • the financial aid process
  • career and academic opportunities
  • personal guidance
All STAR students are required to live on-campus during the program. You are required to stay on campus for the entire program.
The STAR Ambassador hall staff will be planning weekend activities to keep you busy and introduce you to various local activities.
You cannot request a specific roommate for the program.  This way, you can meet new people.

Other considerations


To check-in, first download a campus map. You will be e-mailed the first week in July with additional details regarding checking-in.

Do I have to go to Freshman Orientation?

All students selected for the STAR program will be signed up for the STAR Program Freshman Orientation that will take place the weekend of May 28.  If you have already signed up for an orientation session, you may attend that session but will still need to arrive for the STAR program on May 27, 2015. To sign up for orientation click here and for more information about orientation, please visit their website nau.edu/welcome.

To register your family members for orientation, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation at 928-523-0632.

Should I also work during the program?

The program is a fun, engaging, and rigorous experience. STAR students are busy with classes, supplemental labs, coursework, and activities well into the evening on a daily basis.

Do I need a car, bike, or computer?

If you have a car, you can use it during your stay in the program. However, you will need to purchase a parking permit for your vehicle. Please visit Parking Services to purchase your permit.

Bikes are also allowed.  If you don’t have one, don’t worry.  Your classes, the residence hall, the dining hall, and the First-Generation Programs and Initiatives office/LEADS Center are all centrally located. You will not need a bike to get around campus during the program, but there are a lot of great biking trails in the Flagstaff community.

Having a computer is also convenient, as you will have access to the internet in your residence hall.  But if you don’t have one, there are computer labs available on campus. 

Where can I find more general information about the university?

As a future student, see what Northern Arizona University has to offer you.