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First-Year Seminar Program

University of Denver

First-Year Seminar Program

The First-Year Seminar (FSEM) Program offers students an introduction to the intellectual life of the University. Offered in the Fall quarter, the small class size provides an in-depth academic experience that is rigorous and engaging. In addition to developing self-motivated academic passion, students can expect to hone the academic skills essential for successful college work.

Each seminar focuses on one or more of the following academic skills: writing, critical reading and thinking, discussion, argumentation and debate, and information literacy. This program enables students to engage with faculty in the exploration of novel and challenging topics and lays the groundwork for extraordinary academic and personal growth.

How to register for the first-year seminar

You should have registered for your First-Year Seminar over the summer when you registered for all of your other courses for the Fall. If you need assistance navigating your schedule or changing your FSEM, please contact Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Structure of the First-Year Seminar

The structure of the First-Year Seminars offers students an opportunity for academic and personal growth by pairing a small group of students with faculty mentors who are ready to facilitate learning on subjects they are passionate about. The faculty mentor also serves as the student’s advisor for the first year, until the student declares a major.

Students meet their FSEM classes during Discoveries Week, where students are welcomed into the University community. At the end of Discoveries Week, FSEM classes go on Destinations trips, which foster that sense of community and provide an entry point into the curricular content of the FSEM course or further introduce students to the Denver area. 

As the first course in the Common Curriculum, FSEM classes meet for 4 hours per week during the fall quarter. After the end of the Fall quarter, the First-Year Seminar faculty mentor will meet with each student during the winter and spring quarters for advising and registration help. Faculty Mentors are also a good source of support at any time during the first year.