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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to questions we receive pretty often but if you have a question that is not listed, fill out our Contact Us form and a Block U Ambassador will reach out within 24 hours.

A learning community is a small group of students and faculty studying the same topic over at least two consecutive semesters. Block U is a general education academic learning community in which students complete most all of their general education requirements in their first year with our structured class schedules including a learning community core class.

At the University of Utah there are first-year academic learning communities, living learning communities, and theme communities. Explore the U's First-Year Learning Communities at https://ugs.utah.edu/student-programs/fy-communities.php.

Yes, you can but it depends on which learning communities you want to participate in. Some learning communities have more rigorous time commitments and some have required classes that overlap with ours. If you are interested in multiple learning communities, it is best to discuss the options with your academic advisor.

One of the benefits of Block U is the Intellectual Explorations classes required as part of General Education (Humanities, Applied or Physical Science, Social and Behavioral Science, Fine Arts) are all included in Block U. So, once you complete Block U, you’ll have all of these requirements done, and can move on to the courses required for your major, and any minors you choose. This sets you up to efficiently graduate in four years.

Students who begin their college experience in a learning community tend to have higher first year GPA’s, report higher satisfaction with their first year of college, and express a stronger sense of belonging with the University. Block U students are more likely to choose a major in their first year, and graduate in four years when compared to their peers. Block U is successful because of the high level of engagement students have with faculty, student success advocates, and librarians.

There is no additional coursework. Block U is integrated within your current coursework and all of the required courses for Block U are designed and scheduled to work together.

And Block U is not extra work, it is an efficient way to complete the Intellectual Explorations (IE) portion of General Education for a Bachelors degree. With Block U, students take six Intellectual Exploration (IE) classes as part of the structured schedule, and receive credit for eight.

Each Block U program's core classes are themed courses associated with a specific university college or program.  For example, DaVinci is a Block U program focused on the sciences and is a partnership with the College of Science; Work, Wellness and the Great Outdoors is a partnership with the College of Health. 

The core classes are paired with the student’s choice of Intellectual Explorations courses in specific domains to provide a well-rounded set of general education courses that meet the student’s interests and allow them to explore many major and career paths.

Block U is not organized by major, and each learning community is open to all interested students. One of the goals of Block U is to help each student declare a major by the end of their first year. Block U partners with the Academic Advising Center to introduce an academic advisor to each program who provides information about choosing a major, choosing a career and hands-on workshops to register students for the proper classes. 


If a student is  already firmly committed to a major, we recommend the LEAP learning community as a better option. For more information about LEAP, visit leap.utah.edu.

It’s best to pick a Block that seems interesting to you. That way, you will meet students interested in the same topics and activities as you are, and will enjoy the class content. The content of each Block tends to cross disciplines, and blocks are only loosely related to majors. However, they are a great way to explore areas of study as you consider degree programs.

No, there are no additional costs or hidden fees when participating in Block U.

Students complete 6 general education classes and receive credit for 8 classes, so there can be a financial benefit to participating in Block U. There also can be financial benefits to completing a degree in four years, which is more common among Block U participants. Finally, Block U students can apply for scholarships at the end of the spring semester to be applied during their sophomore year. A $1,000 scholarship is given to one student in each core class. 

As part of Block U, each student has access to a Peer Advisor, a Student Success Advocate and a Librarian that is assigned to the course and often participates in-class sessions. Students benefit from developing relationships with this team of individuals interested in their success.

Yes, Block U Peer Advisors and Sr. Peer Advisors plan and coordinate multiple out-of-class activities and social events for their individual blocks and for the entire program. Previous activities and events have included board game and video game nights, campus scavenger hunts, paint nights, and cooking classes.

The number of activities and events varies each semester depending on circumstances including holidays, exams, and breaks. The average is usually one activity or event each month.

Yes, Block U has scholarship opportunities available to  students who complete the program in their first year. There is a scholarship given per a Block U learning community program that is applied to the awarded student's sophomore year expenses.

Yes, Block U has student leadership opportunities for students who complete the program including becoming a Peer Advisor for their respective block program their second year, becoming a Senior Peer Advisor their third year, and being a Block U Ambassador every summer until graduation.

Having a special certificate on your official university transcript demonstrates that you took your studies seriously. Further, the certificate shows that you gained skills important to employers and graduate schools such as synthesizing material across disciplines, working effectively with other students on long-term projects, and involvement in research, product development and community service.

Complete New Student Orientation
First, you must complete your New Student Orientation. Once you have completed your Virtual Orientation modules, please move on to the Academic Advising section below for information regarding your academic advising appointment.

If you have questions about getting registered for an orientation, how to complete the orientation modules, please contact the Office of Orientation and Tranistion at orientation@utah.edu.

Connect with your Academic College
Once you complete your New Student Orientation modules, you will meet with an academic advisor for first semester course planning. To find your steps to speak with an advisor, review the "Connect with your Academic College" module in your Canvas course. This module will include instructions specific to your academic college/major.

Prepare for your advising appointment by setting up your FERPA pin, familiarize yourself with Graduation Requirements, make a list of topics you are interested in and classes you would like to take, prepare any questions to ask. Don't forget to mention you want to join Block U while meeting with your academic advisor and share with them the Block U learning community worksheet!

If you are having trouble finding your college specific orientation information, visit https://orientation.utah.edu/orientation/orientation_academic_colleges.php

If you are having difficulty connecting with your Academic College, please contact the Office of Orientation & Transition.

Office of Orientation & Transition

Webiste orientation.utah.edu
Phone 801-581-7069
Email orientation@utah.edu
Address
280 A. Ray Olpin Student Union Building (UNION)
200 South Campus Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

 

Quick Advising Question? 

Website advising.utah.edu
Phone 801-581-8146
Email AACReception@utah.edu

Depending on the credits you have earned and will transfer to the University of Utah, Block U may still be for you. We recommend talking to your Academic Advisor and mention your interest in the specific Block U program to work with them to make sure it is good fit. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at https://blocku.utah.edu/contact-us.php

Depending on the credits you have earned and will transfer to the University of Utah, Block U may still be for you. We recommend talking to your Academic Advisor and mention your interest in the specific Block U program to work with them to make sure it is good fit. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at https://blocku.utah.edu/contact-us.php

Generally, no, it is best to be involved in just one learning community during your first year. Business Scholars can join Block U if they are able to fit it into their schedules. We recommend talking to your Business Scholars Academic Advisor and mention your interest in the specific Block U program to work with them to make sure it is a good fit.

Generally, no, it is best to be involved in just one learning community during your first year. We recommend declared Engineering students to participate in the Engineering LEAP academic learning community. Talk to your Engineering Academic Advisor and mention your interest in the specific Block U program or learning communities in general  and work with them to make sure it is a good fit. Visit leap.utah.edu/program-options/engineering.php for more information on the Engineering LEAP (E-LEAP)

Generally, no, it is best to be involved in just one learning community during your first year. Honors Students can join Block U if they are able to fit it into their schedules. We recommend talking to your Honors College Academic Advisor and mention your interest in the specific Block U program to work with them to make sure it is a good fit.

Each student that completes the Block U program will be sent a fillable, electronic version of their Block U certificate to their Umail in June. Our administration staff verifies each student has met the requirements after final grades have been posted. At the same time, the Registrar will apply the official transcript stamp and the students should see this when they run a DARS report. If you have any questions or concerns, please fill out our form at https://blocku.utah.edu/contact-us.php.

Each student that completes the Block U program will be sent a fillable, electronic version of their Block U certificate to their Umail in June. Our administration staff verifies each student has met the requirements after final grades have been posted. At the same time, the Registrar will apply the official transcript stamp and the student should see this when they run a DARS report. If you have any questions or concerns, please fill out our form at https://blocku.utah.edu/contact-us.php.

Yes, Block U provides  a white graduation cord to each student that completes the program, a blue graduation cord to each Peer Advisor, and a green graduation cord to each Sr. Peer Advisor. The semester you graduate, fill out our form at https://blocku.utah.edu/contact-us.php and we will connect with you to schedule a day and time to pick up your graduation cords.

Last Updated: 5/5/21