Skip to Content

National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Submit a Manuscript

The Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition is a semiannual, refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to share empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education.

Invitation to Submit

The Journal publishes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods empirically based studies. Appropriate topics for the Journal include:

  • Explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences—including outcomes related to success, learning, and development—of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years. These transitions include, but are not limited to, the first college year, the transfer transition, the sophomore year, the senior year and transition out of college, and the transition to graduate work. 
  • Transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students)
  • Explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to any of the transitions identified above 

The Journal does not publish manuscripts describing program evaluations or assessments. Manuscripts of this type will not be forwarded for peer review.

Readers include educators with diverse research backgrounds. Therefore, all findings should be presented as clearly as possible. It is important that all relevant methodological information is included in the Method section. In addition, the manuscript should clearly articulate the findings, the significance of those findings, and their implications for theory, practice, policy, and future research. Please see the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for additional guidance on manuscript elements and reporting standards.

Authors are invited to submit an electronic copy of an original manuscript that is not under review by another journal. Manuscripts should be a maximum of 30 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins, inclusive of references, tables, figures and an abstract of 150 words or less. Mansucripts should follow the guidance of the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Manuscripts should be appropriately blinded, and authors’ names and institutions should not appear on the manuscript.

Manuscript submissions are handled online via PeerTrack. If you are a first-time user of this system, you will first need to register. Once you have created an account, you can upload your manuscript to the Journal's online review system.

For more information, contact Rishi Sriram, Ph.D., editor at or


Characteristics of a Strong Manuscript

Before being forwarded for peer review, manuscripts undergo an initial review by the editor, who determines their appropriateness for the Journal using three broad criteria: (a) Does the research focus on a topic or issue related to the content of the Journal? (b) Is the manuscript a report of empirical research? and (c) Does an initial review of the quality of the manuscript warrant moving forward to peer review? Manuscripts describing program assessments or evaluations will not be forwarded for peer review. Please see the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for additional guidance and recommendations for a strong manuscript.

Reviewers will evaluate manuscripts for acceptance to the Journal along the following lines:

Overall Evaluation

  • Evidence of new findings or ideas
  • Potential contribution to the study of college student transitions
  • Evidence of a compelling rationale for the research study
  • Clarity of writing
  • Balance among the length of the Introduction/Literature Review, Methods, and Discussion sections
  • Currency and relevance of citations
  • Appropriateness and clarity of tables and graphs
  • Evidence of grounding in relevant theory and literature
  • Usefulness of recommendations for practice and future research

Methodology Review

  • Clarity of research questions
  • Adequacy of descriptions of sample and/or sampling methods
  • Clarity of descriptions of measures and treatment procedures
  • Appropriateness of research design for the study’s hypotheses or research questions
  • Appropriateness of statistical tests OR qualitative analyses used
  • Clarity of presentation of findings
  • Congruence of discussion/recommendation section with the results
  • Degree that results are situated in the context of previous studies/professional literature 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.