First-Year Seminar (FYSEM)

Each entering first-year student must register for a First Year Seminar (FYSEM). FYSEMs provide students with an introduction to college and a sense of community by placing them in small classes of 16 to 18 first-year students. Each seminar focuses on a topic unique to that seminar and develops the skills of careful reading, critical thinking, group discussion, and writing that are basic to college-level study.

In addition to your instructor, all FYSEMs have two (or sometimes more!) people assigned to achieve the course's objectives: the campus colleague and the New Student Mentor (NSM). 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 spring and fall Orientation and remains engaged with the FYSEM students through the first semester.

What should you expect from your FYSEM?

  • Undertaking projects and assignments that involve critical thinking in multiple areas 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

First Year Seminar topics for fall 2024 will be listed soon. Please check back.