Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Information for Students

Why take a Freshman Seminar?

It’s your first year at the UW. You’re looking for an interesting class to fill out your schedule, maybe a class that’s a little different from what you normally have to take. You don’t want another classroom with the desks arranged in rows. You want something fresh, lively, maybe a little off-beat. You want a class in which you can meet other people and get to know the professor. And you want a class where you don’t have to worry too much about the final grade.

Does this sound like you? Then you should check out the Freshman Collegium Seminars course descriptions.

What makes these classes so great? Here are a few reasons:

  1. They’re designed for freshmen only, so everyone in class will be as new to the UW as you are.
  2. They’re taught by some of our very best professors, who are teaching these classes because they care about first year students and want to make sure you succeed at the UW.
  3. They’re small—typically no more than 20 students, and sometimes 12-15—which means everyone gets to know each other—even the professor. Knowing a professor can lead to internships, research opportunities, letters of recommendation, or just good advice from someone who recognizes you on campus.
  4. They’re discussion-based, meaning you don’t just listen, you actually get to talk. What do you talk about? Ideas! Events! Opinions! Seminars are about things that matter and make a difference in the world.
  5. They’re low risk. We created these classes because we want you to try something new. Explore a new subject you know nothing about. Try a new style of teaching and learning. Dive into an issue that you haven’t thought much about. We’ve made these seminars “low risk” by making them 1 credit (typically) and grading them Credit/No credit so they don’t impact your GPA.

Seminars are offered in fall, winter, and spring. There’s no limit to the number of seminars you can take, as long as you’re a freshman. The seminars do fill quickly though, so you should sign up early in the registration period. And after you sign up, tell your friends to do the same!

For more specific information about a particular seminar, please contact the instructor listed for the course.