First-Year Seminars

Classroom First-Year Seminars are an array of specially designed courses offered only to first-year students. Students choose from dozens of intriguing seminars creatively designed to hone writing, speaking, critical thinking, and other learning skills. Each seminar is built around a provocative personal interest of the instructor.

  • Enrollment is limited to 16
  • FYS classes encourage participation and discussion
  • To keep conversation going outside the classroom, members of each seminar are assigned to the same residence hall


FYS-102-3 The World's Children

FYS-103 Natives on Film

FYS-103-3 Bringing the Past into the Present

FYS-105-2 Bubonic Plague, Avian flu, and Zombies: Pandemics Past, Present, Future

FYS-107 The Bush Administration: Approach to the War on Terror, Torture, and Prisoners of War.

FYS-113-4 Hangins Too Good for em: Punishment in America

FYS-114 Propaganda, Persuasion and the Public Sphere: Democracy in an Age of Mass Media

FYS-115-3 Electoral Politics: Parties, Procedures, Strategies and Reform

FYS-118-2 Why Jazz Matters: The Legacy of Pops, Duke, and Miles

FYS-120-3 What Would Smokey Say?

FYS-121-3 Soldiers’ Tales – Reading and Writing War

FYS-122-2 Autism: Facts, Myths, and Controversies

FYS-124 A Dying Ocean: The Increasing Environmental Challenge to the Marine Ecosystem

FYS-128-3 Shakespeare’s Sisters: Women’s Literature in English

FYS-130-1 Women's Health and Sexuality

FYS-131-2 Dante’s Divine Comedy: The Poet, The Pilgrim, The Prophet

FYS-136-3 I Think, Therefore I Write: Philosophy in French Fiction

FYS-138-2 Plato, Personhood, and Popcorn: Big Ideas on the Big Screen

FYS-143-2 Protest Music & Social Change in the American Experience

FYS-143-3 Flipping the Switch

FYS-144-2 Why Do People Dance?

FYS-149-2 Atomic Lizards, Robots, Pocket Monsters and Cute Kitties: Japanese Pop Culture Goes Global

FYS-150 Death and the Meaning of Life

FYS-153 History of Modern Sports and Leisure

FYS-155-2 Cancer in Society: A War Against Immortality

FYS-156-2 Green Eggs And Government Cheese: Food For Environmental Sustainability

FYS-157-2 Food, Water, Shelter, Song: Staying Human on a Planet in Transition

FYS-158-3 Failing Upward: How ‘Failure to Launch’ May not Actually be Failure

FYS-159-4 A Day in the Life: 24 Hours in Literature and Film

FYS-162-3 Traffic School

FYS-165 Anarchism and the Anarchist

FYS-167 The Pity of War

FYS-168-2 Trials and Tribulations: Tormenting Literature

FYS-176-2 Lasers: Light and Easy!

FYS-177 Complementary Medicine: A Cultural and Scientific Inquiry

FYS-178-2 Voice of the Rebel in America

FYS-181-3 A Whale of a Tale: Moby Dick in American History and Culture

FYS-183 Investigate the Battlefield of Gettysburg

FYS-183-4 Blood on the Moon: Literature and the American Civil War

FYS-185-2 The Long Shadow of the Civil War

FYS-197 Florence: Art, Money and Power in the Renaissance City

FYS-198-2 Tryin' to find a Way Back Home: Introduction to Literature of Homelessness in America