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 2016:

Time and the Past, Present, and Future
Digital Culture: From Instagram to World of Warcraft
Molecules of Madness
Can Stories Save the World?  Empathy, Narrative, and Social Justice
Seeking Ideas from Fiction for Improving Humanity’s Relationship with Our Environments
The Code of Life: Promises and Progress of the Human Genome Project
R U Talking 2 Me? Conversation in the Age of Texting, Tweeting, and Snapchatting
Mental Illness: From Movies to Memoirs  
Hope or Threat?  Migrants in History, Popular Culture, and the Media
Game Changers, Gaffes, and Zingers: Debates and Debating
Food Justice
No Playing Allowed: Banned and Censored Theater
Text, Image, Memory: Graphic Novels as Personal Narratives
Pensar en la Pelota: Thinking about Soccer and Society in Latin America
Black Lives Matter
Writing and Resistance: The Emergence of an Afro-Cuban Aesthetic
Finding Meaning: An Introspective Examination of Life’s Purpose in College and Beyond
Public Health, Private Lives
Ideas That Have Shaped The World
The Economic History of the World: Why Some Countries are Rich and Others are Poor
Suffragettes, Radicals, and Riveters: How Women in the First World War Made the World Modern
The Empire Strikes Back: The Transformation of London into the World’s Most Multicultural City
In Search of the Sports Gene: Hurting or Enhancing the Olympic Dream?
War and Memory in East Asia
It’s Just a Theory: Public Perceptions of Science
Lost in Interpretation: How Literature and Philosophy Can Help Us Become Smarter Viewers and Better People
Unfinished Business: Education and the American Civil Rights
Will the Poor Always Be with Us?
Exploring American Wilderness
Within Marginal Confines: Exploring Coercing Myth, Language and Identity
Reading and Writing Short Stories
Fire and Ice: Volcanoes, Glaciers, and the Fate of Humanity
Mountain people, Traditional Knowledge, and the Environment in China
Galileo’s Commandments
The Great Recession: An In-Depth Examination of the Recent Financial Crisis, Causes, and Aftermath
Drama and the American Dream
Where is the Next Silicon Valley?
How America Eats: Food and Culture in America