Frequently Asked Questions

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Your first-year seminar class will meet during Orientation. At that time, your First Year Seminar professor, who is also your academic advisor, will go over course selection and registration and you will sign up for individual meetings with them during the week.

Some professors structure this first class to be a broad introduction to Middlebury’s academic environment, while others choose to begin exploring the seminar topic immediately.

You may even get some homework for your second class meeting, the following week!

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You can take a placement test. See the Placement Exam webpage to learn the details. You can also speak with faculty members from particular departments at the Academic Forum.

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If you plan to be pre-med, be sure to meet with Mary Lothrop or Hannah Benz, our Health Professions advisors, in order to familiarize yourself with the pre-med course requirements. You don’t have to major in the sciences to be pre-med, but it’s important that you start early and take the right sequence of courses. Note that the First Year Registration Booklet, sent to you by email before your arrival, has information on these sequences of courses. The full Health Professions Handbook has even more information, as does the Health Professions website on which it is located. Consult these documents, but do also meet with our health professions staff as early as possible.

Other departments, Economics and International Studies, for example, ask you to get started early in order to get through required preliminary courses. Again, read the college catalog. Talk to your advisor.

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It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to major in. The first year is for experimenting, finding out about yourself and your interests. If you hope to study abroad in your junior year, however, it does make sense to get started in your major this year, so you will have required courses out of the way by then. Likewise, it is important to start pre-medical courses if you intend to take the MCATs during your junior year.

If you have two or three major possibilities, take classes in your first year in those areas, and you will end up knowing more about your direction at the end of the year. Read the college catalog closely so you know the demands of different departments in which you are interested.

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Not yet. Each first-year seminar is writing intensive. Sometime in the next three semesters, after the first, you will have to take one more writing-intensive class. You cannot get writing credit for an additional course beyond your FYS in your first semester.

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The ITS Help Desk in the Davis Family Library takes pride in being user friendly. There are student consultants who will work with you to troubleshoot your computer issues, including connectivity, printing, scanning, etc. Drop in to the Help Desk in the library during Orientation to discuss with the consultants your needs and concerns.

The Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) provides guidance and resources on digital wellness and digital learning, including navigating the essential platforms used at Middlebury, such as Canvas, Zoom, and Panopto.