Freshman Seminar Program

The Freshman Seminar program offers first-year students the opportunity to enroll in small classes with some of Yale’s most distinguished faculty members. Some seminars provide an introduction to a particular field of study; others take an interdisciplinary approach to a selected topic. Whatever the subject and method of instruction, each seminar is designed specifically with freshmen in mind and provides an opportunity to work closely with faculty members and peers.

Approximately fifty freshman seminars across a wide range of subjects are offered every year. Enrollment in each seminar is limited to fifteen or eighteen students, depending on the nature of the course. Most seminars meet twice each week and do not, unless otherwise noted, presume any prior experience in the field. All freshman seminars carry regular Yale course credit and count toward the fulfillment of appropriate distributional and major requirements.

Application to Freshman Seminars

Students apply on line for freshman seminars and are admitted by a computerized lottery. Application takes place during Freshman Orientation for fall-term seminars and at the end of the fall term for spring-term seminars. Demand for many of the courses exceeds the supply of available spaces, and not everyone who applies to the program will be admitted. Students who are accepted into either Directed Studies or Perspectives on Science and Engineering are ordinarily not permitted to enroll in a freshman seminar.

A list of the seminars offered in 2013–2014 is available through the links below. A list of seminars planned for 2014–2015 will be available on this site by mid-July, and additional application information will be posted in mid-August. If you have questions about the program, contact the Program Director, Dean George Levesque.