Gain new skills, work alongside engaged professors and peers, and tackle real-world problems through research that begins on day one of your freshman year!

As part of Day1 you can:

  • Day1 students record data in the fieldInvestigate how humans are changing the biology and chemistry of our local rivers and lakes
  • Design a product to meet the needs of the community
  • Learn professional geology skills while exploring Northern Michigan
  • Discover a new virus and investigate its genome
  • Build friendships with other Day1 students 

Each Day1 course program explores unique questions using science, mathematics and engineering techniques. The Day1 programs are part of your first-year academic coursework — each program will count towards your graduation requirements. Become part of the program that best fits your interests today!

Why Day1?

  • Improve our world during your college experience
  • Join an inclusive and diverse community of support and friendship
  • Work closely with faculty members
  • Through authentic research, gain critical thinking skills and problem solving skills that will be valuable to all careers

Find the Day1 program that’s right for you


Student engineers tackle a design challenge posed by a customer from the local community. Team up with other first-year engineering students to explore the challenge, develop possible technological solutions and present prototypes to your customer. Join a dynamic community of peers and mentors while doing engineering in a real-world context.

Faculty Mentors

Dr. John Krupczak, Ms. Susan Ipri Brown and Dr. Jeffrey Christians

Visit the Day1: Design page to learn more

Michigan Rocks

Travel to northern Michigan in this immersion experience before classes begin! Join upper-level classmen and faculty mentors to explore Michigan’s geological history through study of rock formations, ancient volcanoes, mineral deposits, fossil-rich inland seas and footprints of glaciers. Through your exploration, you will learn skills that professional geologists and environmental scientists use.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brian Bodenbender

Visit the Day1: Michigan Rocks page to learn more

Phage Discovery & Genomics

Discover the hidden world around you. Join your classmates and other student-scientists from schools all across the U.S. and beyond in a hunt for phages — viruses that infect bacteria. Day1: Phage Discovery allows you to isolate, characterize and name your newly discovered phage in a process of exploration that culminates with the opportunity to sequence the DNA of your phage and explore its genome. All discoveries are shared in public databases used by researchers across the world as part of a nationally recognized research program.

Faculty Mentors

Dr. Joseph Stukey and Dr. Aaron Best

Visit the Day1: Phage Discovery & Genomics page to learn more


What is the impact of human activity on our local rivers and lakes? Investigate the biology and chemistry of our local rivers and lakes on an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty mentors. Your discoveries in this program will help the ongoing efforts of the community to improve the water quality of the Macatawa watershed.

Faculty Mentors

Dr. Aaron Best, Dr. Kenneth Brown, Dr. Brent Krueger, Dr. Michael Philben, Dr. Mike Pikaart and Dr. Brian Yurk

Visit the Day1: Watershed page to learn more