First-year seminars introduce students to social and academic life at the University, providing a small-group experience to support students' transition.
Contact
Dr. James M. Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum
Phone
517-355-0171
Email
lucasjam@msu.edu
First-year seminars introduce students to social and academic life at the University, providing a small-group experience to support students' transition to college. These are considered high-impact practices by AAC&U, and are offered centrally in Undergraduate Studies, as well as within the colleges.
 
MSU has a range of seminar offerings, including special topic seminars, college transition seminars, off-campus and global seminars, as well as seminars offered by academic colleges and majors. These options allow for incoming students to engage in small learning communities designed to help them succeed in college. Some of these opportunities are specialized and offered in departments and colleges, and other seminars are open to everyone and offered by the university.

Get going! Choose a first-year seminar that is right for you!
Spartans roll up their sleeves and delve into learning with a passion. First-year seminars provoke your thinking and stimulate big ideas for your experience as a Spartan.

  • First-Year Seminars Abroad (UGS 102) - Begin your academic experience in a variety of exciting locations around the world. UGS 102 seminars are led by faculty the summer before you begin at MSU. They allow you to explore global issues, connect with faculty, and develop confidence in the transition to MSU.

  • First-Year Seminars Away (UGS 103) - Explore interesting topics around the United States as you travel with faculty and experts to experience learning first-hand. UGS 103 seminars are held in the summer before you begin your fall classes and allow you to connect with faculty and develop confidence in the transition to MSU.

  • College, Department, or Program-Based First-year [MS1] Seminars - Explore a variety of topics with faculty and experts to experience learning first-hand within a specific college. Many of these courses are part of a specific major or major preference.

  • "Big Ideas Seminar" Series (UGS 101) and First-Year Seminars on Campus (UGS 110) – Participate in small seminars led by amazing faculty and experts on topics that are designed to intrigue you. UGS 101 seminars are offered both fall and spring semesters for first- and second-year students only. UGS 110 courses are offered in the Fall for newly admitted students. Develop important college success skills, test and challenge ideas, and connect with faculty who will continue to have an interest in you and your studies here at MSU. 
For more information about the first-year seminars, contact James Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education & Curriculum, at lucasjam@msu.edu.

Education abroad experiences are a powerful and important way for students to gain needed academic, professional, and personal skills in today's world. Evidence suggests that students who participate in a study abroad program enhance their ability to understand and interact with diversity, consider global issues from different perspectives, and navigate complex situations with confidence.

Undergraduate Studies (UGS 102) seminars are led by MSU faculty and academic staff the summer before you begin MSU. The purpose of the program is to build your knowledge and skills as outlined above, while exploring global issues and topics in an experiential, hands-on setting. These seminars can count toward students' general education requirements.

Specific ways a first-year seminar abroad program can benefit students include:
  • Academically, by engaging them in small seminar classes designed to stimulate discussion and thought around interesting global topics, introduce them to MSU faculty and staff members, and develop their critical thinking, writing, and study skills.

  • Professionally, by providing them with an opportunity to improve their cultural understanding and enhance their experience living and learning in intercultural settings.  

  • Personally, by offering them the opportunity to make new friends and "learn what college life is like" before actually living on campus.
 
Past first-year seminar abroad students say that the experience helped them clarify their academic and career goals, meet new people, and be more confident living and learning at MSU. 

For more information, including a list of current programs and the application process, please visit the Office of Education Abroad website. Please email any inquiries you may have about first-year seminar abroad programs to fsabroad@msu.edu or contact Dr. Sheila Marquardt at 517-884-8977 or marqua36@msu.edu.

Are you looking for a chance to gain academic experience, engage with MSU professors, and learn more about a specific topic? A first-year seminar away could be the right opportunity for you. Explore intriguing topics around the United States as you travel with faculty and experts to experience learning first-hand. Undergraduate Studies (UGS 103) seminars are held during the summer before you begin your fall classes. These seminars can count toward students' general education requirements.
 
Specific ways a first-year seminar away program can benefit students include:
  • Academically, by engaging them in small seminar classes designed to stimulate discussion and thought around interesting topics, introduce them to MSU faculty and staff members, and develop their critical thinking, writing, and study skills.

  • Professionally, by providing them with an opportunity to improve their cultural understanding and enhance their experience living and learning in intercultural settings.

  • Personally, by offering them the opportunity to make new friends and "learn what college life is like" before actually living on campus.

For more information, including a list of current programs and the application process, please visit the college websites.  Please email any inquiries you may have about first-year seminar away programs to Dr. Sheila Marquardt at 517-884-8977 or marqua36@msu.edu.

A variety of colleges across MSU's campus offer program-based seminars as part of individual academic programs at MSU. Students can learn more about a variety of majors and programs available throughout the university.

The following colleges at MSU offer program-based first-year seminars:

First-year seminars offer a unique opportunity to work with university faculty and academic staff to explore issues that affect your life and to bond with a small group of students who share your interests. UGS 101 seminars are offered both during fall and spring semesters for first- and second-year students, and UGS 110 seminars are offered in the fall for newly admitted students only.

First-year seminars provide an opportunity for testing and challenging ideas, as well as connecting with faculty who will continue to have an interest in you and your studies here at MSU. Seminars may be used as elective credits toward your degree and may meet at variable times throughout the semester. Be sure to note when each individual class section meets.

For more information about first-year seminars on campus, contact Dr. Nate Clason at 517-884-3678 or clasonna@msu.edu