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

As part of Day1 you can:

  • Day1 StudentsInvestigate water quality and help the local community address issues
  • 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
  • Study environmental issues in the Great Lakes region
  • Live with other Day1 students in the newly renovated Lichty Hall during your first year

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. Day1 offers an inclusive community that encourages collaboration and fosters genuine friendships among a diverse group of students. Become part of the program that best fits your interests today!

Why Day1?

  • Work with passionate and engaging faculty mentors
  • Collaborate with upper-level students and peers
  • Make a difference solving real-world problems
  • Prepare for exciting careers in science, engineering and mathematics

Find the Day1 program that’s right for you

Phage Discovery

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

Learn more


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 and Ms. Susan Ipri Brown

Learn more

Michigan Rocks

Travel to northern Michigan in this immersion experience before classes begin! Join upper-level mentors to explore rock formations that record events from throughout Michigan’s geological history. Study ancient volcanoes and mineral deposits, fossil-rich inland seas, glaciers and modern geological processes as you build the skills to be a professional geologist or environmental scientist.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brian Bodenbender

Learn more


What is the impact of human activity on our local rivers and lakes? Day1: Watershed will engage you in the efforts of our local community to improve the water quality in the greater Holland area and the Great Lakes. Before classes begin, immerse yourself in this environmental science research project alongside students and faculty with trips to the field for sample collection and time in the lab learning how to process those samples.

Faculty Mentors

Dr. Aaron Best, Dr. Brent Krueger and Dr. Brian Yurk

Learn more

Recent blog posts

  1. Exploring Biology in Watershed: An Engineer’s Story

    Posted by Thomas Garcia

    Moving from the dry desert lands to the great lake state of Michigan was a tough choice.  But co...

    Read More
  2. Expanding Research Horizons

    Posted by Thomas Garcia

    I knew that I wanted to do research over the summer, but  I had to choose between research in Wa...

    Read More
  3. Returning to Watershed

    Posted by Thomas Garcia

    I initially decided to come to Hope due in part to its immensity of undergraduate research opport...

    Read More
  4. From Macatawa To Eleuthera — Opportunities After Watershed

    Posted by Thomas Garcia

    I wasn’t sure what I was going to do in college, and so I initially had mixed feelings about ap...

    Read More
  5. Hands-On Engineering Experience with Day1: EDGE

    Posted by Karey Frink

    “This experience has impacted me in many ways, including the sense of being a part of something...

    Read More
  6. Research after Day1 Watershed?

    Posted by Catherine Mader

    Hope College junior Ashley Trojniak of Sterling Heights won the “Outstanding Student Poster Awa...

    Read More
Load More Posts