Purpose and Goals of the First-Year Seminar Program

First-Year Seminars are intended to:

  • Enable first-year students and faculty to interact in a small class experience
    (maximum enrollment of 20 students)
  • Introduce students to the demands of intellectual inquiry
  • Engage students as participants in the university's intellectual community
  • Develop students' communication skills
  • Help students to discover the value of specialized academic knowledge


The FYS office requests information from departmental staff about their seminar offerings and maintains a course database. It works closely with Academic Advising to ensure that the on-line Course Guide accurately lists each term's first-year seminars. The FYS office helps to allocate approximately 150-200 spaces reserved for students in specific Michigan Learning Communities, such as CSP, LHSP, MCSP, UROP in Residence and WISE.


The FYS Brochure is produced in Fall term to highlight offerings arranged by distribution, along with basic course information and a brief description. LSA students scheduled to attend Summer Orientation receive a copy of the Fall brochure in their packet. Over 500 brochures are distributed to faculty, administration, LSA departments, and other UM Schools and colleges whose students enroll in first-year seminars. Academic Advising and several other Schools and colleges receive regular updates on course additions, cancellations, or changes.

Administration and Enrollment Management

Only first year students, including those with sophomore standing due to AP credits, may enroll in a First-Year Seminar. The FYS office is responsible for reserving all spaces accordingly.

Throughout Summer Orientation, the FYS office monitors enrollment in all seminars, including spaces reserved for MLC participants. Seats in First Year Seminars are opened up gradually throughout the summer.  Academic Advising receives a weekly list of all open seminars. This list is posted online for students. In sum, the FYS office works closely with Academic Advising, CSP and incoming students who want to enroll in a first-year seminar.

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1382 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan