First Year Seminar
One of the first decisions you’ll make at McDaniel is to pick a First-Year Seminar, or FYS for short. That very first course selection plays a big role in determining how you’ll plan your schedule and successfully begin designing your personal version of the McDaniel Plan. With a maximum of 15 students and a professor who will serve as your advisor all year, these innovative courses with titles like “Born to Buy: America’s Consumer Society” introduce you to what academic life will be like and helps ease the transition between high school and college. The subject you choose is up to you. All of the 35 different FYS courses are planned to incorporate common learning experiences even with wildly different course content.
In addition to your faculty advisor, one or two peer mentors selected by faculty will help with the seminars. These juniors and seniors will help you navigate the steps of orientation to get you off to a good start in your first few days, but best of all, they’ll be right beside you all semester to provide a friendly piece of advice or help you make connections around campus.
Sample First-Year Seminars
Horror in Fiction and Film
Myths and Stories of India
Historic Preservation: From Main Street to Your Street
Gender, Literature, Culture
The Literature of War (and Peace)
From the Holocaust to German Unification
Radioactivity and its Social Consequences
Drugs and the Mind
The Psychology of Women
The Good Life: Comparative Perspectives
Latino Culture in the U.S.
Understanding Eating Disorders
Acting: The Creative Process
“I took Dr. Orzolek Kronner's FYS, Private Troubles or Public Issues. I enjoyed the class because it was more of a discussion-based class where we talked about social issues facing the country, such as mental illness, poverty and homelessness, teenage pregnancy, etc. It was a nice class to have to help you transfer into college.” — Allie Shreves, 2014
“I took, From Chaos to Compromise: Reacting to the Past, taught by Dr. Spence of the English department. It consisted of taking on the roles of important players from history. We immersed ourselves in the material so far that an entire class of freshmen was reading Platonic dialogues and arguing religious philosophy and looking at it as a fun activity—and it actually was fun.” — Alan Lyons, 2014
“My first year seminar was, Our Unseen Enemies: Emerging Viruses, taught by Dr. Susan Parrish. I enjoyed this class because it simultaneously introduced me to the topic of viruses, while helping me create friendships, and learn the ins and outs of college life.” — Louis Lachman, 2012