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 2014:

19th Century Founders of 20th Century Discourse: Marx, Darwin, Freud, and Du Bois
Aesthetic Affinities between American and French Poets and Painters
America in the Eyes of the World
American Popular Musics: Styles, Subcultures, Identities
Corporate Governance During the Financial Crisis
Culture and Environment in Upland Asia
Digital Humanities
Doing What We Should: How to Encourage Environmentally-Responsible Behavior
Energy: Local Production and Consumption
Ethical Issues in Fiction and Fantasy
Fashioning African American Identities and Social Consciousness
Founders of Modern Discourse: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
From Facebook to Face Time:  Living and Learning in the Digital Age
Green Music:  Soundscapes and Landscapes
Ideas That Have Shaped The World
Latin American Short Stories: From JosĂ© Victorino Lastarria to Luis SepĂșlveda
Marx:  Myth or Reality
Molecules of Madness
Myth, Religion and the Creative Impulse
Nano-Dreams and Nano-Nightmares: Hype and Hope for Nanotechnology in Society
Order and Chaos in Science and Society
Science Friction -- Dystopian Visions
Speaking Out about Sustainability
Speech: How versus What
Spirituality, Science and the Environmental Movement
Storytelling in Organizations, Cultures and Families
Sustainability in German Culture
Tangled: African American Hair in the US
The Art of the Detective in Fiction and Film
The Human Genome
The Red Ribbon
Tropical Asia
Understanding the Academic Community: Scholars, Researchers, and the Creation of Knowledge
Water: From Abundant Resource to Scarce Good
Where Art & Politics Collide: The Visual Artist as Provocateur, Social Critic and Commentator
Mediated Realities
Tell Me Why:  The Role of Information in Society
Autobiography and its Discontents