Middlebury’s first-year seminar is a small discussion-based course specifically tailored to the needs of incoming students and designed to serve as an entry point to a liberal arts education. 

Each seminar is organized around a unique, intellectually intriguing topic, but all seminars share learning goals that aim to familiarize recent high-school graduates with the standards for college-level work in thinking, speaking, writing, and contributing to an academic community. It is like no other course across a student’s college career.

Middlebury faculty from across the College design and teach these seminars while also serving as academic advisors to all their seminar students. First-year seminar instructors thus provide new students with the essential foundation for college-level learning as well as strong advising support from day one. First-year seminars are a signature element of Middlebury’s curriculum and a powerful catalyst for student bonding within our small residential setting.

First-Year Seminar Fall 2024

All new students entering in the fall will receive the First-Year Registration Booklet via email in May. The booklet contains essential information for students and parents about what to expect from first-year seminars, which ones are being offered in the upcoming term, and how to express interest in seminars for which students want to be considered. The FYS Booklet also includes very helpful details about other course offerings appropriate for first-year students, registration procedures, placement exams, etc. All new first-year students will complete FYS course registration in December and will then complete the rest of their course registration in January. 

Students, please familiarize yourselves with this information before you arrive on campus. We anticipate that the booklet, as well as the information provided here on the FYS program website, will answer most of your questions. If you still have questions or concerns, please contact the First-Year Seminar program leadership team at fysd@middlebury.edu. See more about the Current Semester.

FYS’s Other Half

First-Year Advising

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