Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the First-Year Seminar?
Your first year at college can be a daunting experience, and the expectations are wildly different from high school. Your First-Year Seminar is a class where you can develop critical academic skills, such as how to critically analyze an academic paper, present a scientific argument, and confidently join the academic conversation. Most of your other classes will be large lectures, but the First-Year Seminar will allow you to get to know and build a relationship with a professor in a small class environment.
Do all first-year students need to take a First-Year Seminar?
All CAS students must complete the First-Year Seminar requirement before they can graduate. Sometimes, a very small number of students cannot take a First-Year Seminar in their first year, and must work with their adviser to identify a seminar-style class that will fulfill this requirement for them.
What kind of alternative class can fulfill this requirement?
You should work with your academic adviser to identify a suitable course, but be aware that this must be a course offered at CAS (have a -UA code); it must be a small, seminar-style, discussion-based course, with an enrollment cap of no greater than 30; the course must count for 4 credits (you may take two 2pt courses instead); and the course must be taken as an elective (i.e. it cannot double-count towards a major, minor, or other program requirement). You may only choose this option if we cannot accommodate you in a First-Year Seminar.
Are First-Year Seminars open to non-CAS students or upperclass students?
Unfortunately, all First-Year Seminars are open to First-Year CAS students only.