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First-Year Seminars

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 2024:

Humans & Nature:Fighting for Green in a Gray World

HIP, HIP, Hooray! Crafting Your Future Through Transformative Learning Experiences

Small Screen, Big Picture: Religion on Television

Introduction to Community

The Multiverse of Mythology

Do Stories Make Us Human?

Neither chimp nor computer: What, if anything, makes us human?

Race in Brazil: Challenging Discourses

Ideas that have Shaped the World

Marginalized Science: The Discoveries of Underrepresented People in STEM

You Contain Multitudes: The Microbiome in Human Health and Disease

Reading on the Edge of Your Seat: The Art of the Short Story

The Uses and Abuses of Photography

Good and Evil in the Human Imagination: Ethics in Fiction

Civil Disobedience in History                

Fear Factor: A Multi-Disciplinary Exploration

The 2024 US Presidential Election: Is Dialogue across Difference Possible?

I'm the Universe

Collaborative Visual Story Telling

Exploring conflict: Events big and small that affect daily life for us all

Bizarrchaeolgoy: Evaluating What We Believe About the Past

War...What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!

Prophet and Philosopher: Scirnce Fiction in Multimedia

Contested Campus: Key Issues in Higher Education

African American Food and Identity in American Popular Culture

The Art of the Detective in Fiction and Film

28 N College Street: Political Geography and the Power of Place

How the US Institutionalized Racism

Machines Among Us: The Social Life of AI, Algorithms, and Digital Automation

Sex and Sexuality in the Italian Middle Ages

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

American Cool

Villians Unveiled: The Narrative Journey of Literary and Cinematic Antagonists

The Search for Life in the Solar System and Beyond: What are we looking for, and what do we do if we find it?!?!?

Video Explorations in Physics: Sharing the Beauty of Science with the World

Bioethics and Bioissues

Polyphemus to Pikachu: Making Sense of Monsters