Get answers to your questions about First-Year Seminar.

What is First-Year Seminar (FYS)? 

FYS is a special course for first-semester students designed to help you transition to the academic and social aspects of college life. Students choose from a series of diverse and appealing topics taught by faculty and staff from various divisions. It provides an exciting, challenging, educational experience in a supportive environment. Learn more about FYS here.

Why do I have to take it? 

Research shows that First-Year Seminars are key to student success. They help you learn good study habits, improve your academic performance, make friends, and get involved in college life.

How big are the classes? 

Small – an average class has 15-20 students. This allows you to get to know your professor, peer mentor, and classmates really well. Together, you’ll form a great support network.

What is the role of the Peer Mentors? 

Peer Mentors, upper-class students assigned to each FYS class, will be your link to other campus constituencies (faculty, staff, administration, other students, etc.), both inside and outside of class.

Who teaches the FYS course? 

Faculty from across the five academic divisions and staff from the Center for Academic Excellence and Student Affairs teach the courses. Each instructor is trained in FYS teaching strategies and committed to your success.

Do I have a choice of seminar topic? 

Yes. You’ll receive a list of FYS course topics during the spring before your first year, and you’ll choose your course during summer Orientation. We make every effort to ensure you get one of your top choices.

Will my FYS course relate to my major? 

It may, but one of the purposes of FYS is to expose you to topics outside of your major field. It gives you the opportunity to study a topic of personal interest with an instructor who is passionate about that topic.

Do all FYS classes have the same assignments and workload? 

Each FYS seminar is an individual experience, although there are some commonalities among sections. All sections:

  • Require you to think critically
  • Address time management, diversity, conflict management, and adjustment to college life
  • Expose you to helpful campus resources
  • Require you to attend campus events
  • Include a final project instead of exam