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The First-Year Seminar is designed to help students gain skills in critical thinking and information literacy skills - academic skills that we know help students succeed in college. For full details of the goals and learning outcomes of the course, as well as general information relating to the seminars, please see our FYS Policy Document.
No. Once a First-Year Seminar course is approved by the USP committee, it will automatically be sent to the Registrar’s office.
The USP committee requires that each FYS course by re-submitted once following its original approval. You will be contacted by the USP committee and asked to submit a re-approval checklist and your syllabus when it is time for your course to be re-approved. Once the First-Year Seminar course has been re-approved, it will then go into the standard three year rotation that is required of all courses.
Yes. Change of course instructor for a previously approved First-Year Seminar also requires notification to Steve Barrett (Associate Vice Provost) and Allison Gernant, First-Year Seminar Coordinator. Once the change is decided, please email notification of the change and if you plan on using the same course descriptions and learning outcomes in the course. If you need the previously approved course materials, please email the USP committee.
Yes. If there are any major changes – from the title of the course, the course description, or the learning outcomes – are made to a course, a new First-Year application must be submitted to the USP committee.
First-Year Seminar may not be required for a major or a minor, nor may they be listed on a check list for a major or minor. These seminars are meant to foster intellectual engagement rather than meet foundational disciplinary requirements. Additional information can be found on the FYS Policy Document.
Please refer to the Student FAQs for more help. If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact Allison Gernant.
USP policy requires that students must complete the FYS (and pass with a C or higher) within their first year at UW. Failure to do so could seriously impede the student's progress. Of course, withdrawal from the FYS is not forbidden. Sometimes it is in the student's best interest to withdraw from a class and try again the following semester. We would, however, like the student to discuss this option with their course instructor and advisor prior to making a decision, so that the student understands the possible consequences.
Withdrawal policy: Please note that students may not withdraw from the First-Year Seminar (FYS) without approval from their instructor and academic advisor. This policy is not intended to cause undue difficulty for students. Rather, it is intended to emphasize the importance of the academic skills that students will develop in this course that will help to set you up for future success in your programs. If at any time you are concerned about your academic performance in this FYS please make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible.
Once the student gains permission from the instructor and advisor, the student attaches a copy of the email withdrawal approvals from the instructor and advisor, and now sends an email withdrawal request to the Office of the Registrar.
For more information about the First Year Seminar, please contact Allison Gernant, First Year Seminar Coordinator.