What is a Freshman Seminar?

October 21, 2019

By Graschelle Farinas Hipolito

First-year students are often too intimidated to approach faculty, but these small classes that are capped at 19 students help break down barriers. With over 300 seminars offered each year, these unique classes offer first-year UC Davis students the opportunity to connect with faculty over unique interests and a shared sense of curiosity.

Ecology for Anglers

November 20, 2019
Fall 2019 First-Year Seminar Ecology for Anglers elevates a common hobby into a learning opportunity through field trips and real-life application to the greater Davis area.

Taught by Dr. Louie Yang, Ecology for Anglers looked at the strong intersections between ecologists and anglers with focuses on local and broad ecology, environmental changes, and of course—fishing. This First-Year Seminar was a bit different than others because it included four 5-hour field trips rather than weekly classroom meetings.

First Generation Seminars: The Power of a Shared Identity

October 31, 2019
First-Gen Seminars pairs first-generation faculty and students in a small, for-credit class environment where they share a common experience, foster a sense of belonging, and engage intellectual curiosity.

Jill G. Joseph, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., taught the First-Generation Seminar: Can Injustice Make You Sick? in Spring 2019. As one of three First-Gen Seminars that quarter, Dr. Joseph's class focused on how social circumstances, such as housing, education, employment, and other factors intersected with personal health.

UC Davis Receives Mellon Grant to Integrate the Arts, Humanities and Science in New Courses through Partnership with the University Honors Program and First-Year Seminars

June 20, 2019
UC Davis has been awarded a $600,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to offer new undergraduate courses that integrate the arts, humanities and science.

The new SHAPE program – Science, Humanities and Arts: Process and Engagement – will offer interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from the arts, humanities and science, and the curriculum will be augmented with the work of visiting performance artists.

A Day in Class: Wild Davis Course Gets First-Year Students Outside

May 30, 2018

By Greg Watry

"On a sunny spring afternoon, students in the First-Year Seminar class 'Wild Davis' ambled through the arboretum’s oak grove, inspecting the trees and their growths... There’s a lot to see on the UC Davis campus, and Department of Evolution and Ecology faculty Sharon Strauss and Laci Gerhart-Barley designed 'Wild Davis' with a simple goal: to connect new students, regardless of academic discipline, with the plants and animals that also call UC Davis home."

First-Year Seminar Introduces Possibilities of Consulting Profession

April 20, 2018

By Managerial Economics News

"One of Justin Garey’s greatest takeaways from the First-Year Seminar (FYS) 'I Want to Be a Consultant, I Just Don’t Know What They Do' was learning the difference between a process and a project.

"'A process needs to be efficient and smart and a project can be quick and ugly, solving the immediate problem,' said Garey, a junior majoring in managerial economics. 'Applicable to real life, I wish I knew it 10 years ago.'"

Grunge, Freshmen and the Humanities: Students Explore Music Genre in Freshman Seminar

December 11, 2017

By UC Davis College of Letters & Science

Dust off your favorite flannel and Nirvana tee. Professor Robert Newcomb of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese has found a way to bring grunge – its music and culture – to UC Davis with his class, “Smells Like Teen Spirit: Grunge and the Seattle Sound.”

13 First-Year Seminars for the Curious Student

March 26, 2016

By Sharon Knox

First-Year Seminars tap into the shared curiosity of UC Davis students and their instructors to create communities of people excited to learn.  With approximately 300 seminars offered each year, there’s plenty to discover.  

Check out 13 of the most unique courses offered at UC Davis, including The Cultural Life of the City of Davis, Zombies and Druids, Eating in California, and There is Life After Cheddar!