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 2021:

Civil Disobedience in History

Queer in Space (and Place)

Black Horror: Black Spirituality and Literature and Culture of the Supernatural

From Babble to Babel: Becoming Bilingual

Reality and Other Lies

Suffragettes, Radicals, and Riveters: British Women in The First World War

Catastrophe and Care: The Past and Present of Mutual Aid

Magic, Mystery, and Mayhem: Imagining Witches

Lies, Revenge, and Really Bad Ideas: How Behavioral Economics Explains Some of Our Most Human Moments

Rise of the Machines: Representations of Artificial Intelligence in Science Fiction

Arguing about Politics, Society, and Culture in China, Vietnam, and Japan

The Design of Everyday Things: A Starter Kit for Good Design

Ideas That Have Shaped the World

The Psychology of Living Your Best Life

Science vs. Religion: Discord or Accord?

How the U.S. Institutionalized Racism                     

The Evolution of a Cheeseburger

What? Now You Say We Have LOTS of Oil?

Outsider Performance: Creative Interventions Beyond the Empty Space

Calling Bullshit: Fighting for Facts in a Post-Truth World

The Unending Crusades: Religion, Violence, Mythistory and its Legacy

Pandemics: Past, Present, and Potential

From Peasants to Technocrats: The Nature of Work

I Am Not Who You Think I Am: Fictions of Self, Identity, and Difference in Literature, Film, Popular Culture

Family Drama

Seeing and Understanding the Human Place in Nature

Polar Opposites? Global Warming at Earth’s Extremes

But Is It Art?

Philosofood: Making Sense of Ourselves through Our Relationships with Food

Process and Invention in the Arts: Investigating the Nature of Creative Practice

How to Avoid High-Tech Dystopia? The Promises and Perils of Digital Technology for Humanity, Economy, and Society

A State of Denial: Understanding and Responding to Climate Change Denialism

Political Economy of Gender, Race, and Class

Wicked Problems/Virtuous Solutions: Strategies for the Greater Good

Deliberating the Local