Freshman Seminars

Description of First Year Exploration Seminars 

These seminars are small seminar classes taught by senior faculty from across the university. They aim to include a wide range of topics relevant to the pursuit of a comprehensive liberal arts education. Seminar topics may introduce a particular discipline or new area of study, explore an area of professional interest, or provide insight on contemporary issues. 

Benefits of Enrollment 

First year exploration seminars offer enrolled students the opportunity to learn from some of UC Santa Barbara's best faculty in a small course limited to just twenty students. Seminars provide an excellent way for students to connect with senior faculty early in their undergraduate careers. Senior faculty volunteer to teach freshman seminars, and design courses based upon their research and current events. 
Seminars give students the opportunity to explore various liberal arts topics in an intimate setting with a manageable workload. 

Guidelines for Enrollment

Students may take up to three seminars during their first year of study. Seminars may be taken for one credit and are pass/no pass only. The Office of Undergraduate Education has further eligibility and enrollment information .

Examples of First Year Exploration Seminars

Close to 100 seminars are offered each academic year (excluding summer). Example courses from past academic years include:
  • The Exploration of Identity & Art: Personal, Cultural, Familial & Sexual (taught by Dr. Kip Fulbeck, Art)