Notes on Spring Registration for Fall First-Years

Below is information sent to us from chairs, directors, and instructors concerning Spring Registration, including reminders about non-100-numbered classes available for first years; classes, sections, or seats newly added; and advice about particular courses and prerequisites that might be helpful.  The notes are organized by Department or Program. Below that is general information from the Dean of Curriculum and the FYS Program.



ART (Studio Art)

New course with 23 seats open!

Foundation Drawing ART 0157 A
 MT 07:30 PM - 10:25 PM
JHN 308
White, Roger
In this course we will learn to make drawings and graphic images to reveal the world we inhabit. Skills learned will include how to make perspective, architecture, value, and contour line systems. We will draw from observation of the natural world including, the human figure, exploring structure, expression, and psychology. We will also make and use photographic images. No previous studio experience is required or expected. 6 hrs. lect./lab ART (2/11).

GEOL (Geology)

Due to some movement among courses in the sciences, there are about 27  seats open (not counting reserved ones) in GEOL 142 – The Ocean Floor.



INTD (Interdepartmental)

INT 210--Sophomore Seminar (College Writing); This section is open to Second-Semester First-Years.    Rebecca Gould is teaching it, and she is advertising it as follows:

If you are interested in exploring the Big Questions that arise in college education (especially, although not exclusively, through the humanities) this seminar may be just right for you.  The Sophomore Seminar (also open to first-years) explores the following questions: “What is the nature of the good life?”; “How do we live it together?” and “How do we pursue it for ourselves and for others?” In asking these questions, we will also explore how race, class and gender can shape and sometimes disrupt the pursuit of the good life.  Side by side with this inquiry, we will examine what we are doing here and now at Middlebury College.  What is the meaning of a “liberal arts” education?  How do we define it and why should (or shouldn’t) we defend it?”  Readings include reflections on the meaning of the liberal arts, sacred texts from the world’s wisdom traditions, philosophies of happiness, social justice writings and poetry pertaining to these themes. 

Slightly tweaked official course description:

Course Description:

This course is designed for sophomores who are interested in exploring the meaning and the purpose of a liberal arts education. To frame this investigation, we will use the question "What is the good life and how shall I live it?" Through an interdisciplinary and multicultural array of readings and films we will engage our course question through intellectual discussion, written reflection, and personal practice. There will be significant opportunities for in-class oral presentation, as well as regular writing assignments. Readings will include reflections on a liberal arts education in the U.S. (Emerson, Brann, Nussbaum, bell hooks); on "the good life" (excerpts from Aristotle, Thoreau and sacred texts of different traditions); on social science analyses of contemporary life; texts on the neuroscience of happiness; as well as literary and cinematic representations of lives well-lived.


31 seats still available!
INTD 108: The European Catastrophe, 1914-1945. The world wars of the twentieth century that originated in Europe have had obvious and undeniable consequences on modern history. From the perfection of mechanized warfare to the fall of the European imperial state system to the birth of bolshevism and fascism, this thirty-year war of the twentieth century scrambled the political, social, and cultural geography of Europe and ironically laid the groundwork for an enduring peace and inter-state unification in the postwar era. This course provides undergraduates with an introduction to the political, social, and cultural history of the period and will examine the origins and effects of the Great War, the polarization of politics in the interwar period, and the origins, execution, and consequences of World War II. 2 hrs lect/1 hr disc. HIST. Instructor: Prakash. 



ITAL (Italian)

ITAL0290: Dante in English

Prof. Patricia Zupan, Italian

MWF 11:15-12:05   ATD (Atwater Dining Seminar Room) 

Dante’s Comedy is a classic of world literature: we will explore why.  We will read and discuss Inferno, Purgatorio, and selected cantos of Paradiso with reference to Dante’s poetic predecessors (Virgil, Romance language love poetry); his broader cultural context (politics, religion, philosophy, visual arts); and our own modern and contemporary context (translations, poetry, film, visual arts).

Course work:  Active and structured oral participation in class; three take-home exams; one analytical paper using provided sources (c. 8 pp) in two drafts; oral presentations No prior knowledge of Dante or Italian necessary.

Contact or come to first class if interested!



MUSC (Music)

In November, Music added ten seats to MUSC 160, their Fundamentals of Music Theory course with Taylor.  There are still 6 seats open (2/11).

SOAN (Sociology and Anthropology)

In November, Sociology and Anthropology opened up 15 extra seats in SOAN 103, Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology (Stoll). There are still 11 seats available in that course.

This course introduces students to the varieties of human experience in social life and to the differing approaches and levels of analysis used by anthropologists to explain it. Topics include: culture and race, rituals and symbolism, kinship and gender roles, social evolution, political economy, and sociolinguistics. Ethnographic examples are drawn chiefly from non-Western societies, from simple bands to great agrarian states. The ultimate aim is to enable students to think critically about the bases of their own culture and about practices and beliefs previously unanalyzed and unexamined. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc./2 hrs. screen



RELI  (Religion)

6 non-CW spots and 1 CW spot have become available in the afternoon sections (sections B and C) of RELI 228 (Japanese Religions), MW 12:15-1:30.


RELI 280--Studies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, with Prof. Schine, has 22 seats open!

Studies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is an introductory course that focuses on a major religious text in the Western tradition. We will closely read diverse selections from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings in English translation; no familiarity with the Bible or background is presumed. Special attention will be paid to matters of genre and methods of modern biblical scholarship, as well as Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretation.



WRPR (Writing and Rhetoric Program)

There are 11 seats open in WRPR/GSFS 211: Trickery, Bodies, and Resistance: The Tradition(s) of Rhetoric.
Prof. James Sanchez (

Meets T/Th 1:30-2:45pm in Chateau 110.

How do female identifying subjects position themselves (and their bodies) rhetorically in a male-dominated society? How do Black and Latinx rhetorical traditions of call-and-response and code-switching connect with and resist classical traditions of oration and stylistics? In this course we will study the tradition(s) of rhetoric by moving from the trickery of sophists to budding works in feminist rhetorics and cultural rhetorics. Students in this class will learn to synthesize the various traditions of rhetoric in historical and contemporary terms and to critically understand cultural customs that exist outside the white, heteronormative Greco-Roman tradition. (SOC, AMR, CMP) 2/11




ENAM (English and American Literatures):

Any 100- or 200-level course in ENAM would be very well-suited to first-year students; additionally, 300-level courses tend to be more theoretical in topic, but have no prerequisites and the majority of them would be accessible to first-year students as well.

GSFS (Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies):
GSFS0223 Intro to Gay & Lesbian Studies has worked very well with first years in the past and usually has room.

HARC (History of Art and Architecture):
All HARC 200-level classes and a few 300-level courses are fine for first-year students.  Here is a list of all Spring courses suitable for Fall First-years:

HARC 100 – Monuments and Ideas in Western Art

HARC 102 – Monuments and Ideas in Asian Art

HARC 130 – Introduction to Architectural Design--a great class for first–years, especially for those who are interested in the Architectural Studies major.

HARC 201 – Italian Renaissance Art

HARC 219 – Early Medieval and Romanesque Art

HARC 230 – Modern Architecture

HARC 231 – Architecture and the Environment--a great class for students interested in Architectural Studies.

HARC 238 – Japanese Art

HARC 318 – Art and Architecture of Mughal India

HARC 339 – Home: The Why Behind the Way We Live

HARC 354 – The Rhetoric of Public Memory (cross-listed with the writing program and a CW class)

HARC 356 – Awe (this seminar would be well suited to both incoming students and second-semester first-years)

Other 300-level classes are generally not suitable for first-years (especially HARC 301), unless they have sufficient prior coursework.  Students who think they might qualify for a 300-level class not on this list should contact the Department Chair.

HIST (History):
No History classes below 400 require a pre-requisite.  Unless otherwise indicated, all such courses should then be accessible to first-year students if space permits. 

100-level courses are the broadest in content/scope; 200-level courses are more temporally defined; and 300-level courses are more thematically organized.  There is nothing we offer at the 300-level that would be out of the reach of first-year students.


MUSC (Music):
Music offers the following courses suitable for First-Year Students--courses which often do not fill, because it doesn't always occur to First Years to look for them:

MUSC 0160 Theory I: Fundamentals (ART).

MUSC 0130 Topics in Music (ART).

MUSC 0232 Music in the United States (AMR/ART/NOR).

MUSC 0246 A Cappella Ensemble Performance (ART/CMP) – no prerequisite but some music reading knowledge is needed.

MUSC 0250 Performance Art (ART) – knowledge of an instrument or voice is desirable, though not required.

Also, Music has just added one more course suitable for first years:
MUSC 0237 History of African American Music (Spring 2019):

In this course we will explore the evolution of American music from the perspective of its African roots to various styles of black music in the United States. In considering African American music as an artform, cultural expression, and political force, important issues and ideas will be examined, including the intersection of race, politics, gender, and emerging technologies to the production and consumption of American music. We will turn a musical ear to the sounds and significance of American musical genres such as sacred and secular folk styles, the Harlem Renaissance, blues, jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop. AMRARTNOR(K. Haas)

Meets Mondays and Wednesdays

2:50-4:05 PM in MCA 221


PSCI (Political Science):
Here is list of upper-level PSCI courses that first years can consider (i.e., they assume less prior knowledge of PSCI than some might think):

PSCI 0225 (West European Politics)
PSCI 0304 (International Political Economy)
PSCI 0330 (Comparative Development Strategies)

PSYC (Psychology):
The Psychology Department is making the following changes to help free up seats for first-year students who have entered in the Fall:

PSYC 0220 (DiBianca Fasoli)--Normally, this course simply has the prerequisite of PSYC 0105, but psychology will allow students with an AP Examination score of 4 or 5, or earned a score of 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level psychology exam to register for the course as well, and has removed the credit restriction on the course.

PSYC 0333 (Michelle McCauley)--We added 5 seats to this. And first year students are welcome. This course is open to all majors and has only one prerequisite, which is EITHER Intro to Psych (or AP credit for Intro) OR one of the  Environmental Studies core classes (specifically, undergraduate level PSYC 0105, minimum Grade of D or AP  Psychology 4 or Psychology Departmental Exam 70 or Undergraduate level ENVS 0112, minimum Grade of D, or Undergraduate level ENVS 0211, minimum Grade of D, or Undergraduate level ENVS 0215, minimum Grade of D). 

For PSYC 0318 Race and Ethnicity (I. Elisha)--This course is now open to all majors and has only ONE prerequisite (PSYC 105), not two.  Non-majors who have the prerequisite or equivalent should ask for a waiver.


THEA (Theatre):
Mira Veickley has agreed to postpone teaching her Costume II class (scheduled for spring 2019), and will instead teach a section of ARDV0116 (section B), "The Creative Process."

The class will be T/H 9:30-11 in CFA 232.


WRPR (Writing and Rhetoric Program)
This Spring, the Writing & Rhetoric Program is offering two courses to support students who wish to build confidence and skills in academic writing. The first course, Writing in Academic Contexts II (offered M/W from 2:50-4pm with Hector Vila), focuses on a variety of skills, from pre-writing and revision to library research and oral presentations. 

The second, English Grammar: Concepts and Controversies (offered T/Th 1:30-2:45pm with Shawna Shapiro), is appropriate for students who need more work with syntax and style, but is also open to students who are interested in grammar for other reasons.

Full descriptions for both courses can be found here:

Please feel free to be in touch with Shawna Shapiro, or any of her WRPR colleagues, if you would like to know more about these courses.

There are still lots of spots open in WRPR/GSFS 211: Trickery, Bodies, and Resistance: The Tradition(s) of Rhetoric.
Prof. James Sanchez (

Meets T/Th 1:30-2:45pm in Chateau 110.

How do female identifying subjects position themselves (and their bodies) rhetorically in a male-dominated society? How do Black and Latinx rhetorical traditions of call-and-response and code-switching connect with and resist classical traditions of oration and stylistics? In this course we will study the tradition(s) of rhetoric by moving from the trickery of sophists to budding works in feminist rhetorics and cultural rhetorics. Students in this class will learn to synthesize the various traditions of rhetoric in historical and contemporary terms and to critically understand cultural customs that exist outside the white, heteronormative Greco-Roman tradition. (SOC, AMR, CMP)



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 is Spring-term registration day for first-year students, beginning at 7 am (“Round 1,” or “Practice” registration, for which they don’t need alternate PINs, begins on November 1 and ends on November 6 at noon).  You DO need to schedule individual meetings with your students prior to the November 15 Spring term registration, for which they WILL need alternate PINs.  I would schedule these meetings starting at the beginning of November.  Please note:  while we don’t know whether many students will have challenges obtaining preferred courses, we should be prepared for that possibility, insofar as:

  • in the Spring, it is often more difficult for second-semester first years (those who have entered in the Fall) to get into preferred courses than it was in the Fall, because no seats are reserved, in the Spring, for second-semester First Years, who are still last in line to register (seats marked “RES FY” are actually reserved for first-year FEBS, not your students).
  • When we have an unexpectedly large entering class (as we did last year and do again this year), classes are fuller, anyway.

Therefore, it is important that advisees be prepared, when they meet with us and when they sit down to register.

To be prepared when they meet with us:

  • We recommend that, for Spring registration in the first year, advisees have 12 different courses that they can see themselves taking, with these different courses arranged in workable class schedules (note that the Preparing to Meet Your Advisor page on the FYSWebsite can still be useful in this regard);
  • While alerting second-semester students that they are still not first in line for course selection, we should also try to dissuade them from coming to academic advisors with technical questions about how to get to the front of their virtual course-choosing queue)  If they want to discuss this, they can take it up with those who know the software and have used it: the Registrar or peers with first-hand experience in registering. 

To be prepared (following meetings with us) when they sit down to register:

  • if they have any doubts about their status, they should check with the Registrar to make sure there are no “holds” on their registrations;
  • they should have a list of courses, with CRNs, ready to go and organized into viable schedules, via the Electronic Schedule Planner;
  • they should have looked carefully and widely at course possibilities;
  • they should also have checked courses in the “Round One” or “Practice Round” (11/1-11/6), for which no alternate PIN is needed;
  • As November 15 approaches, they might keep track of the number of seats open in the classes on their lists so that (if possible) they can make sure they have some back-ups with relatively plentiful open seats;
  • and, of course, they should have an alternate PIN from having met with you (you will receive these on Bannerweb soon).
  • NOTE: First-year students should not restrict themselves to 100-level courses. In many (though not all) departments, 200-numbered courses may suitable, without prerequisites, for first-year students to take, and in some departments, 300-numbered courses are similarly appropriate for some first years.  In other words, though course numbers do, insome departments (e.g. natural sciences and math), correspond to levels of study, in many, they often do not, but represent other characteristics, such as scope or kind of topic. Rather than going by the numbers or courses, then, first-year students should pay close attention to prerequisites and other indications of prior knowledge expected, as indicated in individual course descriptions, as well as general departmental policies articulated in the catalogue by each department or program prior to that department or program’s course listings.

    Where to get such information:  The First Year Registration booklet (pp. 20-37) does list Spring courses suitable for First Years to take, regardless of course numbers.  But since that booklet came out last April, there have been changes.  At this point, the most reliable places to look for suitable Spring courses online are the online course schedule and online catalogue.

    To make sure that they do not need waivers, and that they will not be restricted from courses, students should ALWAYS take advantage of round one registration (11/1-11/6),which they can access via Bannerweb, without an alternate PIN.  Round One registration will immediately alert students to any restrictions on 100-, 200- and 300-numbered courses.

In case they don’t get the courses they prefer, or don’t get four courses online, we would also hope advisees can be made to understand the following:

  • that there is still time for exploration, and there are still lots of wonderful avenues for exploration, even if things don’t go exactly according to plan;
  • that they still have distribution and cultures and civilizations requirements to fulfill, and they can search for courses that fulfill them;
  • that there are still paths to fulfilling long-term aspirations despite short-term frustrations (such as not getting four “first-choice” courses exactly on November 15); and
  • that even short-term frustrations can often be overcome via conversations with professors and green “add cards” at the beginning of the semester. 

In other words, even if Spring online registration doesn’t go exactly as they hope, they can still have a fulfilling experience next semester and throughout College. Online registration is only the beginning of the registration process, and second-semester students are still only at the beginnings of their academic careers.  Once Registration ends, we can, I hope, remind advisees of all this, as necessary, and lower anxiety, should it be on the rise!