Registration for First-year Seminars

First-year Seminars offer every first-year student an opportunity to participate in a course structured around intensive writing, independent research, small group discussion, and reading across the disciplines. A First-year Seminar is taken in the term immediately following completion of Writing 5 or Writing 2-3.

During the normal course registration process for the upcoming term, students who are scheduled to take a First-year Seminar review the First-year Seminars offered and elect/request the seminar they prefer, along with their other course elections. Whether they get into the seminar they elected/requested is determined during the registration processing period. Students who did not get into their first choice during initial course election choose another First-year Seminar from among those with space available during the course changes period prior to the start of classes. Students enrolled in a First-year Seminar may use the online registration system to switch into a different seminar, as long as there is space available, during the course changes period or during the add-drop period in the first week of classes.

The details on the schedule for course election, course changes period, and add-drop period for a given term can be found on the registrar's website. Advice on switching among First-year Seminars during the course changes and add-drop period can be found on our website on our switch page.

Enrollment in a First-year Seminar is limited to 16 students. Enrollment above the limit is never allowed in a First-year Seminar course. Open slots are first-come, first-served. No waiting lists are maintained.

See First-year Seminar Course Descriptions for more information on the topics offered. The descriptions page will display the descriptions for the upcoming term shortly before registration opens to first-year students for that term.

Important Scheduling Guidelines Regarding First-year Seminars:

  • Successful completion of Writing 5 (or Writing 2-3) is a prerequisite for enrollment in a First-year Seminar.
  • Students who take Writing 5 in the fall must take their First-year Seminar in winter term.
  • Students who take Writing 5 in the winter and all Writing 2-3 students must take a First-year Seminar in spring term.
  • Students are not eligible to participate in Off-Campus Programs until they have satisfied the First-year Seminar requirement.

A First-year Seminar may serve in satisfaction of specific General Education requirements, provided that the individual seminar has been approved for this purpose, and for the specific year and term, by the Committee on Instruction.