Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a “Seminar”?
A: A course with a limited enrollment (in this case, 20) involving discussion (rather than lecture) and other work that engages you and your fellow students in active learning. The instructor facilitates, you participate, and we collaborate in the discovery and application of knowledge.

Q: How much time and credit do First-Year Seminars involve?
A: These 15-week, 3-credit courses meet for 150 minutes per week. In these, as in other courses, you should expect to do as much as six additional hours per week of reading, writing, or other assignments outside the classroom.

Q: Do First-Year Seminars count toward General Education requirements?
A: Yes. These courses explore a wide variety of engaging subjects in the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences (see the “credit” line in the individual course descriptions), but they all develop skills that you will need during and after college.

Q: Why should I take a First-Year Seminar?
A: Take a First-Year Seminar in order to explore a topic in depth and have an intellectual adventure, get to know an instructor and other students in a supportive learning environment, enhance your ability to work independently and collaboratively. Convinced?

Q: What do students have to say about First-Year Seminars?
A: “The seminar is different because you get to discuss more and connect more with other students. You don’t just have to sit there and listen to lecture.” “It’s nice to have all freshmen in your class and know they are going through a lot of the same changes you are.” “The professor really seemed to care about his students and wanted to help out and get to know them. I believe that’s very important and helps everyone learn.” “An excellent way of adjusting to the college learning method.” “This class was very helpful in building my confidence for college.”