First-Year Seminars

First-Year Seminars (FYS) are inter- or multi-disciplinary courses that enable faculty and first-year students to engage in extensive inquiry about an issue, topic or problem that is of special interest to the instructor. First-Year Seminars are focused on the seminar-style of investigation; they are not survey courses or introductions to a specific discipline. They afford the faculty and students an opportunity to explore a subject broadly and intensively.

First-Year Seminars are voluntary, but we encourage students to enroll in them since they aim to give new students a unique introduction to college-level learning. The seminars are small in size (16 students, 20 if team-taught) and are restricted to first-year students. They incorporate training in the use of intellectual capacities that form the foundation of a successful liberal arts education. These capacities include some or all of the following: writing, speaking, library research, accessing databases, working in small groups, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking. First-Year Seminars are also effective in showing students how to integrate student support services into their academic pursuits.