• First-Year Students

  • First-Year Seminars

    Each entering first year student must register for a first year seminar. First year seminars provide students with an introduction to college and a sense of community by placing them in small classes of 16-18 first year students. Each seminar, while focusing on a topic unique to that seminar, concentrates on developing the skills of careful reading, critical thinking, group discussion, and writing that are basic to college level study.

    What should you expect from your first year seminar? 

    • Undertaking projects and assignments that involve critical thinking in more than one area of knowledge. 
    • Practicing important skills of discussion, careful reading, and clear writing in class discussions, small group work, and assignments. 
    • Being actively involved in planning your future at Hamline and beyond with your FYSEM instructor, who is also your academic advisor. 
    • Working as a team member with your peers in your seminar, as well as with others from other seminars.

    What FYSEM options are there?  

    There are two kinds of first-year seminars: traditional FYSEMS and writing-intensive FYSEMS. Writing-intensive seminars integrate a more extensive use of and reflection about writing skills and practices. Students who register for a writing-intensive seminar do not register for English 1110. You can read a full list of available FYSEMS below.

    In addition to your instructor, all FYSEMS have two (or sometimes more!) people assigned to achieve the courses' objectives: the Campus Colleague and the New Student Mentor. The campus colleague is a staff member whose work with the FYSEM provides further resources for students to connect with Hamline. The new student mentor is a returning student who leads the first-years through the fall Piper Passages orientation and remains engaged with the FYSEM students through the first semester.