First-Year Program

WINS Photo

WINS is an expanding student community in the College of Natural Sciences that creates a supportive network and an atmosphere conducive to students pursuing successful careers in science. Participants have the advantage of attending a large research university while also enjoying the group camaraderie and specialized opportunities being a part of WINS provides.

Program Benefits

All WINS students:

  • Receive guaranteed seats in required first-year science courses
  • Have access to a dedicated academic advisor
  • Enrollment in a seminar exclusively tailored to their WINS group
  • Have automatic acceptance into the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)
  • On average, have higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate from the College of Natural Sciences (CNS)
  • Have the opportunity to engage in socially and educationally enriching activities within Austin as well as abroad
  • Are well-positioned to continue their education beyond their years in CNS based on their participation in undergraduate research

WINS First-year Program 

The WINS Program gives students interested in science, research, medicine, industry or any combination of those, the ability to be a part of a small community of scientists. Students in the first-year program are paired with an older WINS mentor who will serve as their guide to campus and the College of Natural Sciences. The program will consist of a weekly small group meeting with mentors focused on professional and career development, networking, study skills, and peer mentoring as well as an FRI seminar teaching research skills in the fall semester. 

Some of our annual activities have included:

  • Local outreach initiatives focused on young girls in science 
  • Partnership with the Thinkery to engage families in fun science activities throughout Austin
  • Career panels that allow students the opportunity to ask job-focused questions
  • Cultural Exchange programs to Argentina and Peru
  • Pre-healthcare shadowing Abroad opportunities in Portugal, Hungary, Greece, & Croatia.

While the seminar is for first-year students only, students are able and often wish to remain involved in program activities all four years.