Skip to Main Content

2015-2016 Catalog

First-Year Seminar Program

The First-Year Seminar, which is required of all students, is designed to introduce students to intellectual inquiry through engaging them as thinkers, speakers, and writers. Each seminar focuses intensively on a special topic that is articulated with related cocurricular activities. Limited to approximately 16 students per section, the First-Year Seminar includes significant reading, writing, discussion, and presentation and is affiliated with the College Writing Program. Students are also introduced to use of the library for research. First-Year Seminars are designed to generate collaboration among faculty from various disciplines and to encourage intellectual communities among students and faculty. While each seminar is taught independently, most are grouped in topical clusters that may share common lectures and readings, co-teaching, tutorials, cocurricular activities, etc. Seminars normally meet three hours per week; a fourth hour may be scheduled at the discretion of the faculty. First-Year Seminars are a critical part of the Common Course of Study, a corequisite for other courses taken by students in their first semester, and a prerequisite for subsequent courses. A representative listing of seminars appears at right, although the offerings change each year. During the summer, all entering first-year students receive, as part of the registration materials, a list of the seminars to be given in the following fall. Students are asked to indicate their first five choices; every effort is made to place students according to their preferences.

First Year Seminar Courses