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First-Year Seminars (FYS) are small, discussion-based courses designed to introduce freshmen to the excitement of intellectual discovery at KU. FYS courses give students opportunities to work closely with faculty who are on the cutting edge of discovery in their own disciplines. Each class focuses on an exciting and important topic that capitalizes on the faculty member’s expertise. The FYS experience develops and inspires students’ own intellectual curiosity and fosters the skills that will help them find, evaluate, and articulate answers to their questions. The goal is to lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning and inquiry to serve our students in their academic and professional careers and as contributors to their own communities.

A limited number of FYS for transfer students will be available in the future.

Student FAQs

What would I get out of a FYS?

  • Taking a FYS will enable you to explore an unfamiliar area that intrigues you or delve into a topic related to your academic interests.
  • FYS are designed to help you develop university-level skills in critical thinking and writing that you will use at KU and in your professional career.
  • Each FYS counts for 3 credit hours and fulfills a general education requirement.
  • All FYS have fewer than 20 students. You will have the opportunity to get to know other students in your class and your professor.

What will my FYS be like?

  • FYS have fewer than 20 students and involve active learning, discussion, and engagement with peers in your class.
  • FYS courses will provide you with hands-on experiential learning opportunities, such as field trips, laboratory research, service projects, or attending artistic performances or exhibits.
  • There are interesting opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate across FYS courses and to look at important questions from a variety of approaches.

What if I don’t know anything about the topic?

The only prerequisite to enroll in a FYS is freshman status. Prior knowledge of the subject matter is not expected.

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