First-Year Project Overview

The First-Year Project (FYP) course offers all Tuck students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to complex business challenges for real clients.

Under the guidance of a faculty adviser, students develop practical business skills, and our clients—who range from early-stage start-ups to nonprofits to global industry leaders—gain insights from students who are studying at one of the world’s leading business schools.

The FYP is a core course, and student learning is the first objective. But projects are also real, timely business engagements that are important to clients—outcomes matter. The FYP staffs teams of five students who work throughout the nine-week term. Meeting weekly with their client, each team conducts research, applies rigorous analytics, and develops a recommendation for how to best solve the client’s business challenge. Every team has a faculty adviser who also meets with the students weekly, keeps them on track, and evaluates the work they’re doing.

Project Management

FYP faculty advisers ensure that each student team works on key project management skills, such as defining the key question, developing an issue tree, and storyboarding. The projects are completed over the course of nine weeks.

Real-World Experience

FYP students draw upon academic learning gained in their first year at Tuck and their past professional experiences across all industries and sectors. The core courses that are most heavily used by students are Marketing, Managerial Communications, Strategy, Micro Economics, and Analytics.

Primary Research

FYP teams consist of five students staffed for their expertise and diversity of experience; they approach client questions with a new, unbiased perspective providing original research to solve the proposed business problem. Providing clients with knowledge and data not previously known through primary research is often one of the highest-value outcomes for clients, and is required work for all teams.

Types of FYPs

Traditional FYP

A majority of First-Year Projects fit into the traditional spring term course. For traditional FYPs, teams work with clients outside of the Tuck community on business challenges or opportunities determined by the client. Clients can be from organizations in any sector or industry, for- or non-profit, early stage/start-up to Fortune 500, domestic or global. A project deep-dive is usually of a strategic nature, and can focus on functional areas such as marketing, finance, operations and strategy. What we look for are committed client partners, and projects that fit into the structure of the spring term course.


The entrepreneurship FYP (eFYP) course provides a unique opportunity for a current Tuck first-year student to advance a conceptual or early stage business concept working with four peers during the spring term. The eFYP uses hypothesis-driven principles to identify the assumptions behind a business idea and to begin to test and refine these assumptions in the real world. The goal here is to build a tested and viable business model from the initial idea.  eFYP teams work closely with Tuck’s Center for Entrepreneurship.