First-Year Seminars

Welcome to Mount Holyoke College!

The First-Year Seminar Program welcomes students to Mount Holyoke College, inviting them to join in the pleasure of an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts. In these small, discussion-based seminars, students and faculty work together 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.

All entering students should enroll in a First Year Seminar their first semester at Mount Holyoke and are required to complete the requirement by the end of their first year (those who enter with sophomore or junior standing as transfer students or as Frances Perkins scholars are exempt from the requirement). 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 Spring transfer students. 

Therefore, we strongly encourage you to pick your FYS course before selecting any other courses and building your schedule around the FYS course. 

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!