First-Year Seminar

Small class size and close contact with faculty

Camille Parrish and Dykstra Eusden lead a field trip to Maine’s Cliff Island to teach students how to identify and measure the different rock formations to create a surficial geology map in ArcGIS.

The First-Year Seminar is one of the first courses you’ll take and a model for the work you’ll do in the next four years: You, a professor and a handful of your peers get together and dig into a specialized topic.

Samples of First-Year Seminars

  • Addictions, Obsessions, Manias
  • Anatomy of a Few Small Machines
  • DiY and Mash-up Culture
  • Latin American Time Machine
  • Detailed 2013 FYS List
  • Love and Friendship in the Classical World
  • Physics in the Twentieth Century
  • Searching for the Good Life
  • War and Poetry


Simple things done well

Two fundamentals for lifelong learning are strong writing and clear thinking. At Bates, you’ll develop both from the start. Our First-Year Seminar is a small class focused on improving your writing and critical thinking skills. Developing these skills early will help you in your transition to college-level academic work while introducing you to your academic adviser.


Working one-on-one

Your First-Year Seminar professor also serves as your academic adviser, a person you can discuss your academic choices and direction with. Students tend to feel more comfortable asking for advice from a faculty member they know through a course.

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