First-Year Seminar

Taken during your first semester as a four-credit graded course, the First-Year Seminar at Southwestern University introduces students to the practice of making connections, with a special focus on incorporating perspectives from multiple disciplines. 


Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Office of the Dean of the Faculty


The First-Year Seminar Program (FYS) brings new students into the Southwestern community. Each seminar cultivates a sense of belonging and inclusion among students, and exposes them to SU’s expectations for their academic work. Though each faculty member organizes a seminar around a different topic, all of the seminars work towards developing a common set of skills. These include information literacy, reading critically, writing cogently, and participating in informed discussion and debate. In their seminars students engage in a liberal arts mode of learning, which exposes them to a wide array of disciplinary approaches and topics. FYS is the student’s first introduction to the Paideia philosophy of making connections. They learn how seemingly disparate ways of thinking can be fully interwoven and how to connect liberal arts learning with the extra- and co-curricular activities and organizations in which they engage.


2016 FYS Presentations

 “Confucius Says” Dr. Allison Miller
“Tuning the Hemispheres” Dr. David Asbury