Discover. Engage. Belong.

Proposal Process & Guidelines

The First-Year Seminar review committee welcomes proposals from all disciplines and KU schools.

Fall 2019 online proposal submission deadline: Wednesday, October 24th
*Deadline Extended to October 30th

The Office of First-Year Experience will host the following information sessions for faculty interested in teaching a First-Year Seminar: 

Monday, October 1
3-4 PM
Watson Library RM 455
Thursday, October 4
Noon-1 PM
Watson Library RM 455

Interested faculty are also welcome to contact Sarah Crawford-Parker at with questions or to discuss seminar topic ideas.

First-Year Seminars are an enrollment option for incoming freshman students during the fall semester.  First-Year Seminars have been in high demand among first-year students, so our goal is to continue to expand our offerings. The proposal process ensures that seminars are designed and structure to meet the critical thinking learning outcome (goal 1.1) for the KU Core. 

First-Year Seminars are 3-credit hour, faculty-taught courses that introduce KU freshmen to the intellectual life and research culture of the university. First-Year Seminars focus on exciting content areas connected to the faculty member’s own expertise and provide students with the opportunity to learn skills critical to their success as college students. FYSs prioritize student-faculty interaction and have fewer than 20 students enrolled per section. Each FYS offering is unique, but all are organized to satisfy the critical thinking learning outcome for the KU Core:

Students will be able to analyze and evaluate assumptions, claims, evidence, arguments, and forms of expression; select and apply interpretive tools.

Other characteristics of a First-Year Seminar:

First-Year Seminars foster a sense of belonging for students new to the university. Through an investigation of an interesting question or topic in a discipline, students also develop academic skills that serve as a strong foundation for their studies at KU. First-Year Seminars share the following characteristics:

  • They have no prerequisites.
  • They use a small set of materials to help students develop skills critical to college success that they will use in a variety of courses and contexts—time management, information literacy, early research skills, academic writing, etc.
  • Class time prioritizes discussion and active learning.
  • Course and assignment design supports early and frequent feedback.
  • Seminars provide early exposure to experiential learning opportunities.
  • Seminars include an integrative assignment and plan for gauging students’ achievement of the critical thinking learning outcome.

Please review the “About the Program” page for more information about program learning outcomes and required elements.


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