First-Year Experience (FYE)

General Studies 101 (GENS 101) What is a PEP Leader?

Join Us for Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend takes place four days before the fall semester begins. Students signed up for General Studies 101 are expected to attend Welcome Weekend, to make connections with students, faculty, and staff, become familiar with the campus, and establish a strong foundation for success in the first semester.

Welcome Weekend 2024 begins with check in on Move-In Day - Thursday August 22nd 2024. Events and activities for new students will occur from the evening of Thursday the 22nd through Sunday the 25th, with special events for all students on the evenings of Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th. Details will be sent to students via email in advance and a full schedule will be available on this page soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is General Studies (GENS) 101?

General Studies 101, also known as Gens 101, is a 2-credit course that meets every Monday and Wednesday (and occasional Fridays) of the fall semester,12-12:50 p.m., taught by a departmental faculty member (called a Faculty Mentor) and a PEP Leader (student mentor). Students learn valuable information about UTM, complete learning outcomes, and learn how to have a successful first semester. 93% of entering students enroll in General Studies 101.

What is a PEP Leader, PEP Class?

A PEP Leader (Peer-Enabling Program Leader) is an upperclassman student whose job it is to assist their PEP Students in a smooth college life transition. These students work as a friend, role model, coach, tour guide, and resource for their students.

A PEP Class is what the group of students within one General Studies Class is called. This group will meet during General Studies and experience their first semester together. They are all a part of the same department or major and will travel through Welcome Weekend as a group together, with their PEP Leader guiding them.

How do I see if I am signed up for First Year Initiative/General Studies?

By signing up for SOAR (Summer Orientation and Registration), they should be signed up for First Year Initiative during class registration. To see if you are signed up, log in to their “my UT Martin” account at, click Banner Self-Service > Students > Student Detail Schedule.

How can I sign up for General Studies 101 if I didn't at SOAR?

You can sign up for the course during FYI/Welcome Weekend check-in. You can also reach out to your academic advisor. Both of these methods will ensure you are in the correct section with your major.

What are the benefits of FYI/General Studies 101?

The First Year Initiative Program is extremely beneficial to first-year students in terms of understanding their way around campus, getting to know their peers, knowing what resources are on campus, and how to succeed in their first semester of college. The ten-year first-semester grade point average for first-year students enrolled in General Studies 101 is 3.0 compared to 2.5 for those students who chose not to enroll.

Is there a fee for the FYI program? What does it cover?

There is a $180 student fee that covers participation in the FYI program. This fee funds materials, t-shirts, entertainment, educational programs, and instructional costs.

Will General Studies 101 factor into GPA calculation/scholarships?

General Studies 101 is graded A-F by the Faculty Mentor and does factor into the Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship and the student’s overall GPA. 75% of students earn an “A” in General Studies 101.

First-Year Experience (FYE)
Brad Baumgardner, Director Of Retention
223 Clement Hall
The University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, TN 38238