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:

A Right to Care
Animal Rights
Are We Alone in the Solar System? 
Baseball and Cultures in the Americas
Cyberculture: Cyborgs, Replicants and Other Messengers from the Future of Information
Defining Beauty: Convergence in the History of Art and Science
French Imperialism Narratives in Africa and the Caribbean
Globalized Latin American Icons Revisited: From Simon Bolivar to Salma Hayek
Ideas That Have Shaped the World
Intoxication: Exploring the Cultural Contexts of Drugs and Alcohol
Law and Justice
Law and the War On Terrorism
Making Meaning in our Lives: The Psychology of Religion 
Malcom X: The Myth, The Man, and The Legacy
Meaning and Aesthetics in Hispanic Cinema
Mediated Realities 
Modern Morals for Modern Medicine
Music and the Mind 
Music, Mediated: How Recording Technology Transformed Music 
Nano-Dreams and Nano-Nightmares: Hype and Hope for Nanotechnology in Society 
On the Delivery of Healthcare
Seeing and Understanding the Human Place in Nature
Social Justice and American Education
Speaking Out About Sustainability
Technology and Social Interaction 
The Impact of War on Politics, Society and Culture: American and Comparative Perspectives 
The Lower East Side: An Immigrant Home in America
The Red Ribbon
The Science of Eating, Then and Now
The Secret History of the Dismal Science
Thoreau and American Nature Writing
Understanding Intercultural Communication in Today's Global Society
Unmasking the Mask: Meaning, Mythology, and Metaphor
Volcanic Planet: Life, Lava and the Pursuit of Happiness
Water for a Thirsty World
The Art of the Detective in Fiction and Film