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First-Year Options

All students have different needs and desires for their education. For that reason, the First-Year Options Program is all about choice. It gives Georgetown first-years a taste of the decision-making that goes into course selection.

Regardless of intended major or minor, every first-year student must enroll in a curriculum based in one of the three options: the Liberal Arts Seminar, the Ignatius Seminars, or the regular First-Year Academic Program. Each is a unique offering with its own objectives. Students are encouraged to learn more about all three options before choosing how to start their academic career at Georgetown. Admitted first-year students are sent information and application materials in early June.

The online application for the Liberal Arts Seminar and the Ignatius Seminars is now available.

To apply, you will need to log in with your Georgetown University NetID and NetID password. If you have any questions about your Georgetown NetID, please see the NetID Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Applications must be submitted by Monday, June 9, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

A pdf of the First-Year Options brochure is also available.


Liberal Arts Seminar

The Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS) is a yearlong program that connects 30 first-years to scholarship, faculty, and each other through cooperative learning. Four liberal arts professors guide students through an investigation focusing on exploring empires in history, especially Mediterranean empires such as Rome and the empires of the New World. There is particular focus on the relationship between empire and religion, along with other cultural practices such as slavery and urbanism. This shared intellectual experience of cooperative learning builds a strong sense of community for student and faculty participants. Students enrolled in the program will be expected to refine their ability to speak and write within and across disciplines.

All Georgetown first-years are eligible to apply to the LAS. Science and pre-med students who wish to participate will need to arrange for lab schedules to accommodate the seminar. Students will take two courses and receive six credits each semester. The program fulfills four core requirements: two in theology, one in writing and one in history
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Instructors for the 2014–15 Liberal Arts Seminar

  • Paul Heck, Department of Theology (Fall 2014)
  • Jonathan Ray, Department of Theology (Fall 2014)
  • Alison Games, Department of History (Spring 2015)
  • Josiah Osgood, Department of Classics (Spring 2015)

Ignatius Seminars

Ignatius Seminars are creative and intellectual courses that explore the intersections among science, religion, law, art, and culture, both in history and in daily life. Named for St. Ignatius of Loyola—on whose philosophy Jesuit education is based—the seminars gives first-year students the chance to know what it means to learn in the context of cura personalis, the Jesuit ideal of care for the whole person. These small seminars focus not only on conveying information and intellectual content, but also on building a home for wisdom and enriching all dimensions of our students’ lives.

Students will take one course during their fall semester only and will receive three credits. The seminar counts as one elective course toward graduation.

Topics for the 2014 Ignatius Seminars

  • Consuming Passions in the Ancient, Early Modern, and ModernWorlds—Deborah Lesko Baker, Department of French
  • Staging Selves: Identity, Performance, and the Quest for the Contemporary Self—Jennifer Fink, Department of English
  • Religion and Politics: Washington, Jerusalem, Rome, Geneva—Rev. John Langan, S.J., Department of Philosophy
  • African American Food Culture—Marcia Chatelain, Department of History and African American Studies Program
  • Italy and Imagination—John Pfordresher, Department of English
  • Artificial Intelligence: From NAND to Consciousness—Marcus Maloof, Department of Computer Science
  • The Other Washington—Maurice Jackson, Department of History
  • The Gifts of the Greeks—Jim O’Donnell, Department of Classics
  • The City of the Sun: Catching Fire. Utopia/Dystopia in Literature and Film—Milla Fedorova, Department of Slavic Languages
  • Serving the Common Good—Bette Jacobs, Department of Health Systems Administration
  • Living Responsibilities—Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia

Regular First-Year Academic Program

Most students arrive at Georgetown without a clear idea of their academic interests. As a result, most first-year students choose to enroll in the traditional curriculum offered by Georgetown College. The regular curriculum is accommodating and broad—well-suited for intellectual exploration. Many students use the curriculum to satisfy core requirements and to pursue electives, which is a great way to discover potential majors or minors.

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