First-year students are required to attend the non-credit First-Year Discussion Group. The FYDG meets three to four times a semester.  The goals of the FYDG are fourfold: to provide a basic introduction to issues of professionalization, to offer guidance and information about the Rutgers graduate program, to enable first-year students to share their perspectives on making the transition to graduate study, and to introduce students to the extracurricular intellectual life of the department.
The format of these meetings varies: sometimes attendance at an afternoon lecture or job talk is required; sometimes brief readings are assigned.