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First Year Seminars

Your First Year Seminar (FSEM 100) is one of the most important and memorable courses you will take at Stetson. The purpose of FSEM 100 is to help you understand the human condition and, as a result, to make it better.

During your FSEM, you will join with a Stetson professor who has chosen the seminar’s topic. Your instructor will choose readings to help you and your peers examine complex challenges associated with the course’s theme. Throughout the seminar, you will be exposed to what it takes to be successful at Stetson and beyond the classroom through an awareness of the learning and support services we offer. 

Fall 2024 FSEMs

three smiling students walking and talking outside

You will engage in conversations that value difference while empowering you to understand why others hold different perspectives. In other words, you will join an intellectual community of teachers, researchers and practitioners committed to maintaining the rigors and rewards of a relationship-rich liberal arts education. Welcome to Stetson’s First Year Seminar Program!

First, select seminar topics you find interesting from among the options listed on the Fall 2024 First Year Seminars page. Next, carefully read each seminar description and faculty biography and decide on your five favorite seminars. Finally, list your top five FSEMs on your Personal Date Advising (PDA) form as you onboard into your Stetson experience. The earlier you do this, the better chance you have of getting one of your top choices! 

First-year students in Music Education will take MUED 265 and Honors students will take HONR 101 instead of FSEM 100. Each FSEM will enroll a maximum of sixteen students. Due to the accelerated FSEM schedule, which ends just before Thanksgiving, you cannot change your FSEM after it begins in August. You must enroll in FSEM to matriculate. It is a required course that cannot be dropped. 

Your FSEM will involve a significant amount of writing as it is the first of four Writing Enhanced (WE) courses you will take at Stetson. Each FSEM offers opportunities to revise your writing assignments in response to feedback and you will have access to the incredible research resources at the duPont-Ball Library. As part of the seminar, you will also have ample opportunity to present your ideas.

Your FSEM has the following four general learning objectives:

  • Writing: Students can write effectively to a variety of audiences and for a variety of purposes.
  • Information Literacy: Students can locate, engage with, and evaluate information relevant to a question, topic, or research need OR to contribute to scholarly, professional, civic, and/or personal conversations.
  • Speaking: Students can speak in an understandable, organized, and audience-appropriate fashion to explain their ideas, express their feelings, or support a conclusion. 
  • Critical Thinking: Students can analyze, evaluate, and synthesize data to reach a conclusion or develop a position.