First Year Seminar

First-Year Seminars

For a complete list of First-Year Seminar courses offered at Bates, please see the schedule of courses in Garnet Gateway.

The First-Year Seminar program at Bates is designed to accomplish a number of important goals in your transition to college. Primary among them are:

  • to introduce you to college-level writing, and to the skills and competencies you will need to acquire to become a critical thinker and articulate communicator;
  • to provide an advising cohort for new students whereby your First-Year Seminar instructor serves as your academic advisor until you officially declare your major;
  • to create a community of support that introduces you to the network of offices, advisors, mentors, organizations, and activities that can help to sustain you not only through this important transition, but for your entire career at the college.

Small class size and close contact with faculty

Simple things done well

The two most fundamental elements for life long learning are writing well and thinking clearly. At Bates, you’ll develop both from the start. Our First-Year Seminar (FYS) 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 also introducing you to your academic advisor.

Working one on one

Your First-Year Seminar professor also serves as your academic advisor, a person you can talk with about your academic choices and direction. We’ve learned that students feel more comfortable asking for advice from a faculty member they know through a class.