First Year Seminar
A great education takes you beyond lectures and tests and into the territory of discussion, debate, and active exploration. At Drake, this experience starts as soon as you arrive with the First Year Seminar.
Small Classes, Fascinating Topics
The First Year Seminar is a small class with no more than 20 students that focuses on a special topic. It’s all about dialogue, discovery, and making connections—connections between ideas and connections with your fellow travelers on this intellectual journey. In fact, you won’t just see your classmates in class; you’ll live in the same building with them, often on the same floor.
Each First Year Seminar addresses a specific theme—topics that may strike you as surprising. Consider a few recent examples:
- Ghost Stories
- Conspiracy Theories in the U.S.
- Ethics & Star Trek
- Exploring the Portrayal of Mental Illness
The current Fall Course Listing provides the most recent list of all First Year Seminars, complete with descriptions. You can choose from nearly 50 seminar options, either a topic related to your major or something completely different you’d like to explore.
Friendships and Connections Beyond Class
At Drake, we believe the friendships you make with students and faculty are just as important as the information you learn and the skills you gain in your classes. The First Year Seminar is a first step in developing connections that will last a lifetime.
So that you can get to know your professor and the other students in your seminar group right from the start, you’ll go through Welcome Weekend with them after arriving on campus. Later, you’ll have the chance to take part in other activities together. Some classes hold capture the flag tournaments. Others visit the Drake Diner or plan movie nights. All of them develop a special sense of community.