Required of all first-year students in their first semester, the First-Year Seminar in Critical Inquiry is a small, writing-intensive class of no more than 15 students. Taught by a professor who also serves as their academic adviser, each seminar invites students to engage in a set of issues, questions, or ideas that can be illuminated by the interdisciplinary perspectives of the liberal arts.
Through FYS, students develop the abilities, and especially the writing skills, that are essential to critical thinking. These abilities include interpreting complex texts, constructing an argument, supporting the argument with evidence, defending the argument orally, and critiquing multiple perspectives, including one’s own.
FYS introduces students to the independent thinking and academic skills that they will need in subsequent courses, including Junior and Senior Independent Study.
All First-Year Seminars will:
In any given year, topics cover a wide range of issues and ideas. For example:
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