Fall First-year Assignment

This summer, incoming first-year students will participate in This We Believe/UMassD.  

This program is based on Thisibelieve.org, an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives: "a public dialogue about belief – one essay at a time." 

So, whether you come to UMassD from Boston, Massachusetts or Mumbai, India, this summer we'll ask you to:

  • Consider how other people describe their core values, about anything and everything.
  • Then, craft and share your own core values: what you believe‌.

Required assignment

Watch & read:


  • Compose your own essay (250-word length) that describes a meaningful experience and the values you gained from it.


  • By August 15: post your essay on This We Believe/UMassD for your classmates to read and share. The site has directions for posting your essay.
  • By September 5: post your comments on your classmates' essays by the first day of class.

Optional assignment