I. Cross-disciplinary courses

  • First-year Seminar (2 courses)

  • Gender (1 course)

  • Ethics Common Seminar (1 course)

*Experiential and Capstone requirements pending faculty approval.

First-year Seminar (FYS)

FYS is a required full-year course (four credits each semester) taken during the first year. The fall semester, "Voice and Expression," is designed to help students improve their ability to read carefully and think critically about what they read, to write in a variety of academic formats, to increase their information literacy as they conduct basic library searches and resource review, and to develop discussion skills necessary for successful college course work. The spring semester, "Advocacy and Argumentation," builds on those skills, and includes a significant research project and opportunities to improve skills of oral presentation. FYS is taught by faculty from across the curriculum. Though each section is unique in content and approach, every FYS section provides opportunities to develop the same intellectual skills. Through a wide variety of assignments and projects, students take an active part in developing as reader, thinker, listener, writer, speaker, and researcher at the undergraduate level.

An important feature of FYS is that the professor serves as faculty advisor for each of the students in his or her section of FYS. The students in each section stay together for both semesters, developing a sense of community and continuity.

Gender (GE)

We are all - male and female - gendered beings.  Gender shapes collective human perspectives and actions, while strongly influencing our individual experiences.  Liberally educated students should be aware of their gendered identity, and how it affects their place in the world.  Courses fulfilling this requirement use gender as a primary focus for analysis of  course content. In addition, because gender cannot be considered in a vacuum, courses discuss how gender intersects with categories of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, or sexuality. Finally, courses fulfilling the Gender Requirement explore the connections between local experiences of gender and the relevant structural and theoretical contexts of the course.


 The Ethics Common Seminar  helps students develop the ability to recognize ethical issues, examine them form multiple perspectives and articulate the reasoned arguments that support their normative judgments as a means of developing their  ability to make responsible decisions.

 Course topics will vary based on the expertise of the instructor but are chosen specifically because they are debatable and widen the field of moral vision.  Junior or Senior standing is a prerequisite for this course.