Junior Seminars

For Students and Advisors

A Junior Seminar focuses on one of the five areas of Personal and Social Responsibility:

  1. Environmental Responsibility
  2. Ethical or Spiritual Inquiry
  3. Health and Wellness
  4. Human Diversity
  5. Social Justice

Although the courses are taught within specific departments, they will ask you to think more broadly, beyond the paradigms or methods of any single disciplinary approach.

As you address complex and persistent questions, at issue in the world around you, you will draw on your foundation in General Education- skills in reading, writing, thinking, and problem-solving- as well as the knowledge and understandings you are developing in your Major and Electives.

Courses satisfying the Junior Seminars requirement have "JS" after the course number.

Selecting a Junior Seminar

  • Junior Seminars are designed to have a broad appeal and will be most effective if they enroll students coming from many different disciplines. Students are encouraged to take a Junior Seminar outside their major field of study.
  • Your major department is not allowed to require you to take a specific Junior Seminar. A Junior Seminar, however, may be offered as an option in one of the major requirements, such as asking you to take two courses from a list of five, or asking you to take four additional courses from the department's offerings. If you take the Junior Seminar being offered as an option, it will count both for the major and for the General Education requirement.
  • Departments may limit the number of their own majors who are allowed to enroll in order to ensure disciplinary diversity.
  • Keep in mind, too, that no more than three courses from a single department may be used to satisfy General Education requirements.

Who Has to Take a Junior Seminar?

College of Arts and Sciences

Students who first enrolled in the fall of 2008 or later must take a Junior Seminar.

College of Law

Students in the College of Law are not required to take a Junior Seminar.

School of Business Administration

Students who first enrolled in the fall of 2010 or later must take a Junior Seminar.

School of Music

Students who are working toward a bachelor of arts degree in music must take a Junior Seminar.

When Should I Take a Junior Seminar?

  • The Junior Seminar should be taken during the "traditional" junior year (third year of enrollment for a student on track to graduate in four years). Students who have firm plans to graduate in less than four years may take it earlier.
  • Students who need to satisfy the Junior Seminar requirement are given priority in registering for a Junior Seminar. Other juniors and seniors may register if space is available.
  • Students who are required to have two Personal and Social Responsibility courses may use Junior Seminars for both, but they must be from different areas.