Freshman Seminars: Introduction to inquiry
Freshmen build skills, bond with classmates in seminars
Princeton NJ — As part of their introduction to Princeton, freshmen this fall have been performing in a laptop computer orchestra, examining the growing presence of Hispanics in America and finding the holy in everyday life through contemporary fiction.
All of these topics — and 69 others — are being covered in the Freshman Seminar Program this year. The seminars are intended to provide the individual attention and introduction to inquiry that is so crucial for new students.
Some 880 freshmen — about 70 percent of the class — will take advantage of the opportunity to work in small-group settings with professors on topics of particular interest.
Some 880 freshmen — about 70 percent of the class — will take advantage of the opportunity to work in small-group settings with professors on topics of particular interest. Most freshman seminars do not require prior knowledge in the subject, relying on the expertise of the faculty members and on the hard work and enthusiasm of the students. Faculty members emphasize discussion, papers and in-class presentations rather than quizzes and exams.
The students usually meet in the residential colleges and often continue discussions over meals and in other informal settings. The seminar program and the residential colleges frequently co-sponsor special events, such as film series, guest lectures, museum trips and field excursions.
Students commonly say that their freshman seminar was one of their best academic experiences at Princeton and that they form their most enduring intellectual friendships with fellow students in the seminar.
This issue of the Princeton Weekly Bulletin includes stories on three of the fall freshman seminars.