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Required assignment

New first-year undergraduate students have a required summer assignment - This We Believe/UMassD.


This program is based on, 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 what do you want your new University Community to know about the values and experiences that make you, you!  

Watch & read:

    • View the screencast for details and deadlines. Follow Prof. Meghan Fair of the UMD English Department through her step-by-step video tutorial.


    • 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

 By August 1: Provost's Essay Contest - expand your required 250-word essay into a 500-word essay and submit by the deadline. Learn more about contest tips, rules, deadlines and prizes



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