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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the spring 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

First-Year Seminars

Student taking notes on a laptop in a small seminar course


You are strongly advised to take a first-year seminar (FYS). These unique inter- or multidisciplinary courses let faculty and first-year students engage in extensive inquiry about an issue, topic or problem of interest. From examining Indian cinema, to writing essays about the landscape, to exploring the Bible, these seminars cover a wide range of inventive topics. Although not required, these small classes give you a valuable opportunity to experience the benefits of college-level learning through seminar-style investigation.

These exciting classes incorporate all the capacities of a successful liberal arts education, including helping first-year students develop their skills in writing, speaking, library research, accessing databases, working in small groups, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking. You will also gain practical experience in learning how to integrate student support services into your academic pursuits.

Seminars are designed for small groups of 16 to 20 first-year students. The current offerings for First-Year Seminars can be found in the Smith College Course Catalog.

Faculty Interested in Teaching Courses

Faculty interested in teaching a first-year seminar will find detailed information about teaching, as well as requisite forms, links to important information and answers to frequently asked questions on the Moodle site, which is open to all faculty members.