Skip to main content

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 full pdf of the First-Year Options brochure can be found here. The window for submissions has now closed for the 201314 academic year.


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 of the period between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, focusing on European developments in faith, science, literature, and music as the region interacted with the New World. 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. The program fulfills four general education requirements: two humanities and writing and two history.

Instructors for the 2013–14 Liberal Arts Seminar

  • Anthony R. DelDonna, Department of Performing Arts (Fall 2013)
  • Bryan McCann, Department of History (Fall 2013)
  • Tomasso Astarita, Department of History (Spring 2014)
  • Patrick R. O’Malley, Department of English (Spring 2014)

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 2013 Ignatius Seminars

  • Faith, Fiction, and Film—Bárbara Mujica, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • 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
  • Science and Religion in the West: Historical Perspectives—Rev. David J. Collins, S.J., Department of History
  • Computer Science: Past, Present, and Future!—Mahendran Velauthapillai, Department of Computer Science
  • Following in the Framer’s Footsteps: Rewriting the Constitution for the 21st Century—James I. Lengle, Department of Government
  • What’s Next? Thinking About the Future—Elizabeth McKeown, Department of Theology
  • Fusing Horizons: Knowing Each Other, Knowing Our Selves—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 opt 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 general education requirements and to pursue electives, which is a great way to discover potential majors or minors.

Georgetown College108 White-Gravenor37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057Phone: (202) 687.4043Fax: (202) 687.7290

Connect with us via: