The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will:

-Critically analyze information and ideas
-Examine issues from multiple perspectives
-Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason
-Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and
-Create clear academic writing

The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and between students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

All Dickinson first-year students arrive on campus for orientation knowing which seminar they will join.
The following First-Year Seminars are offered in the Fall of 2017:

Should We Fear Globalization in the Twenty-First Century?

The Science of Competition

Civil Disobedience in History

Community Studios: Creating Affordable Art for Others

Music of the Holocaust and Under Soviet Oppression

Ideas That Have Shaped the World

(Re)presenting Haiti Through Noir Short-Stories

Muslim Lives in the First Person

The Emperor’s New Clothes: Textiles from a Historical, Scientific, and Environmental Perspective

The Creative Process

Arguing about Politics, Society and Culture in China and Japan

At the Crossroads: Critical Issues for the United States

Belonging and Exclusion, Here and Now

The Not So Beautiful Game? Thinking about Football (Soccer) Culture in Britain

Ideas That Have Shaped the World

Famous Psyches: Examining the Connection between Unique “Genius” and “Madness”

What a Privileged Gaze Overlooks: Reframing Social Justice and Hispanic Documentary Film

Are We Alone in the Solar System?

You Mean You Burned ALL the Oil? Energy in the Time of Trump

Ideas That Have Shaped the World

Does the Place Make the Person? The Effects of the Physical Environment on Human Psychology

Cryptology: The Science and Culture of Secrecy

Bioethics and Bioissues

Italians in America: Yesterday and Today

Learning Injustice: The School-to-Prison Pipeline

Home and Belonging as an Immigrant in 21st Century America

Technology and Social Interaction

The Persistence of Racism

Fright Night: Perspectives on Halloween and the Supernatural

The Ordinary Business of Life–Worldly Philosophy and the Secret History of the ‘Dismal Science’–A Thematic History of Economic Thought

Social Justice and American Education

Composing Disability: How Identity and Power Shape Normalcy

The Entropy–Renewable Energy–Sustainability Connection

Biophilia: Human Connections to Other Life Forms

Music, Mediated: How Recording Technology Transformed Music

Good and Evil in the Human Imagination: Ethical Issues in Fiction

Between Two Worlds: The Mexican Americans in The United States

Finding Meaning: An introspective Examination of Life’s Purpose in College and Beyond

Decisions, Decisions! Why We Make Bad Ones and How to Make Better Ones

Literature and the Obsession with the Blind Impress

The Business of Sports

Into the Wild: Exploring the American Wilderness

Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All? Marginalizing Politics and Acts of Resistance

The Gateless Gate: Zen Teachings through Riddles and Images

Chinese Fiction: from Ghosts and Demons to Magic Realism, Science Fiction