First-Year Seminars

2022 participants at Mt. Vernon standing in front of Washington's home

Signature, Small Cohort Classes for First-Year Students in the College of Arts & Sciences

First-Year Seminars are unique courses exclusively for first-year students in the College. These courses are designed to enhance the first-year experience by creating small, intellectually rich communities with faculty and peers. Our First-Year Seminars explore a wide variety of topics across the liberal arts disciplines, with something for every interest and curiosity.

Features of First-Year Seminars

  • Capped at 16-20 students per seminar to foster small, community-oriented environments
  • Connect new students to a faculty mentor
  • Introduce students to the art of academic discussion, analytical reading, and effective writing
  • Provide students with an introduction to the intellectual life of the university
  • Include experiential learning activities
  • Fulfill core requirements and, in some cases, serve as elective coursework in major and minor programs.

Explore Your Options

Applying for a Seminar

Newly admitted first-year students will be invited to explore First-Year Seminar options, and apply to their top choices, in early summer!

Experience First-Year Seminars