Academics > First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar

Let's face it—classes, homework, and tests in college are nothing like high school. We realize this is often a shock for new students, so we offer a First-Year Seminar program, where you can get a feel for the rigors of college academics in a way that emphasizes small-class instruction, group discussion, and college writing.

You begin by choosing a First-Year Seminar course for the fall term. We offer a number of courses for you to choose from, covering a range of subjects—from Art and the Creative Process to Economics and the Public Interest, from Probability: A World of Chance to Introduction to Cinema Studies—that will pique your interest, as well as, in many cases, fulfill a General Education requirement. If you're already certain which area you will major in, you may also choose a course in your department of study.

All of the First-Year Seminar courses are Writing Emphasis courses, meaning a number of writing exercises will be incorporated into your class. At the end of the term, you will have the opportunity to put together a portfolio of your best papers, which will be read by two faculty members from different departments. From this, you will experience cross-disciplinary standards for college-level writing, and receive further recommendation for writing courses based on this evaluation of your portfolio.