First-Year Seminars

 
 

What are First-Year Seminars?

First-Year Seminars offer the benefits of an experience often reserved for college seniors to students beginning their college career.

These courses, designed for and offered only to students in their first semester at Gettysburg College, provide an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and a small cohort of peers to explore a topic that they all find interesting. First-Year Seminars employ and develop a variety of skills including writing, speaking, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and the use of technology or instrumentation.

All students in a First-Year Seminar live in the same residence hall, which provides them with an opportunity to integrate their academic and residential lives. This experience, alongside programming offered through the college’s extended orientation program, offers students the opportunity of learning and working with other students and faculty on common educational interests and goals while deliberately fostering connections that support the transition to college.

Did you know?

  • Class size is limited to 16 students
  • Seminars focus on one particular topic springing from a professor's personal interest
  • Seminars emphasize the active participation of students
  • All students in a First-Year Seminar live in the same residence hall

Don't miss your first opportunity to meet your future mentors.

 
 

First-Year Seminar may include field trips, films, guest speakers, workshops, and community service projects. Many of these opportunities are designed for a specific seminar or group of related seminars.

First-Year Seminars are focused on a professor's personal interest, presented in a way that invites discussion.

Learn about the impact of First-Year Seminars

 

First-Year Seminars

 
 

First-Year Seminar Stories

Bringing the Past into the Present

Bringing the Past into the Present

“How we understand our past and the past of other people, changes in response to present-day concerns and reflects the shifting nature of collective memory. Our own histories and experiences shape how we view the past and present day.” Read more

Bubonic Plague, Avian flu, and Zombies

Bubonic Plague, Avian flu, and Zombies

Ebola. Enterovirus D68. This fall while the world was challenged with how to contain the latest epidemics, the students in Health Sciences Prof. Amy Dailey’s first-year seminar were studying them. Read more

A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

Can one’s life really change unalterably in one day? That’s the question English Prof. Christopher D’Addario’s students spent a semester answering by viewing films and reading novels that take place over the course of 24 hours. Read more

Protest Music and Social Change in the American Experience

Protest Music and Social Change in the American Experience

“I wanted to create a course that tied history and music together in a non-conventional way. Music itself is an entry point – it’s creative and interesting.” Read more

Why Suzy Won’t Take Science and Dan Won’t Play With Dolls

Why Suzy Won’t Take Science and Dan Won’t Play With Dolls

Professor Stephenson asks students to think about how this may affect the scientific process. Is science always really objective? If we’re told our gender is bad at math or good at science, what does that do to our test scores? Read more

History, Geography, and Woodie Guthrie

History, Geography, and Woodie Guthrie

“It was awesome that I could take a class that had focused study and discussion around great musicians like Woody Guthrie, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. Read more

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