Book Cover of "The Boys in the Boat," caption: Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the goal/purpose of the Freshman Reading Program?

The Freshman Reading Program aims to provide a common academic experience, to introduce students to intellectual life at the university, to create a greater sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, emphasize the value of reading, and establish the connection between reading, intellectual development, and other cultural events on campus.

Will my participation count for course credit at Utah Valley University?

No, your participation in the Freshman Reading Program does not count for course credit at Utah Valley University. However, the book is a required text for SLSS 1000 and ENGH 0890. Most of those course instructors include book-based assignments within their class. Those students not enrolled in SLSS 1000 or ENGH 0890 are still strongly encouraged to participate in this unique opportunity to exchange your ideas about the book with President Holland, faculty members, and your peers. The Freshman Reading Program serves as your introduction to academic life at Utah Valley University. It's not just about grades — It's about getting the most you possibly can out of YOUR university experience.

How are the reading program books selected?

A faculty committee recommends five books to the University President. He then makes the final selection(s).

Is my participation in the Freshman Reading Program mandatory?

All events within the Freshman Reading Program are optional, however, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities provided. This is college and you’ll get out of it what you choose to put into it.

Is the Freshman Reading Program an isolated event, or will there be other related activities?

The program begins with a book discussion with President Holland. Throughout the year, there will be many other events and activities on campus related to the themes of the book. Check the “Events” tab for updates.

If I have any other questions, who can I ask?

Please send an email to for answers to any other questions not listed above.