The First Year Seminar is Middlebury's gateway to education in the liberal arts, using intensive engagement between professors and students to facilitate the transition from high school to college.  In these courses, students participate actively in their own learning and begin to acquire the writing and speaking skills necessary for independent, intellectual achievement throughout college and beyond.

Every entering Middlebury student takes a First Year Seminar during the first semester on campus. The First Year Seminar is a small, writing-intensive course, limited to about 15 students each, and taught by a faculty member, who also serves as the student's academic advisor until the choice of a major (usually in the middle of the second year). Every year, Middlebury College faculty offer over 40 seminars, each with a different topic.