First-Year Seminars

Welcome to Mount Holyoke College!

The First-Year Seminar Program welcomes students to Mount Holyoke College, inviting you to join in the pleasure of an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts. In these small, discussion-based seminars, you will work with faculty to develop values and habits of mind that will form the foundation for their education at Mount Holyoke: making meaning in a complex world, intellectual confidence and resilience, academic integrity, community on campus. These are the first steps to achieving the College’s Learning Goals and courses will connect to those goals in discipline-specific ways. Some recently offered First-Year Seminars include "All About Love," "Forensic Science," "How Wars End," "Jack the Ripper", and "Religion and Science Fiction." For a complete listing of Fall 2015 First-Year Seminars, please consult our online course registration system, ISIS.

As an entering student, you must enroll in a First-Year Seminar in your first semester at Mount Holyoke. (Those who enter with sophomore or junior standing as transfer students or as Frances Perkins scholars are exempt from the requirement—although we strongly encourage to consider taking one of these courses!).  Please note: the vast majority are FYS offerings are in the fall semester, with seats in the small number of spring semester First-Year Seminars primarily reserved for students who enter the College in the spring.

Therefore, we strongly encourage you to pick your FYSEM course before selecting any other courses and building your schedule around the FYSEM course.   To this end, some students this fall will pre-enroll in the subset of first-year seminar sections known as the FirstYear@MountHolyoke courses. But most entering students will simply register for their FYSEM during June registration.  
It is best to think of your First-Year Seminar as an opportunity to broaden your education, so pick a course on a subject about which you have always wondered, but never had the opportunity to explore.  At the same time, first-year seminars fulfill some of the College’s learning goals, which can help inform a new student’s exploration of the College’s liberal arts curriculum.

My very best wishes as you embark on your college career this coming fall!

Liz Markovits, First Year Seminar Director