How it Works

First-Year Seminar classes meet four hours per week during the fall quarter. After the fall quarter, your FSEM professor continues on as your advisor and mentor for the rest of the year. You will meet with your FSEM professor during advising week to plan your schedule and discuss possible courses. FSEM professors are also a good source of support if you need assistance any time during your first year. You can read more about how to find descriptions of seminars below.

Professor speaking to students

How Should I Choose My FSEM?

FSEM provides the opportunity to explore engaging topics in depth. When choosing a course, we encourage you to try something outside your comfort zone or something you haven't been exposed to previously. The intention is to increase your depth of knowledge on an important topic, while building community with your peers.

How do I register for FSEM?

You will register for your First-Year Seminar online during July 2022. The Office of the Registrar maintains the most up-to-date information about registration. The student registration website can also help with this process.

Once you have found a few interesting FSEM courses, make note of each CRN and go to PioneerWeb to register.

Course Descriptions

You will register for your First-Year Seminar course in July 2022. Prior to registration week, you will be notified of your registration time. Classes fill quickly, so choose a few FSEMs you'd like to take.

To view the 2022 FSEM course descriptions, you can either visit the online class schedule and follow the steps below:

  1. Select "Autumn Quarter 2022."
  2. In the subject box, select "First-Year Seminar" and click "search."
  3. Click on any course title to view more information such as course descriptions, course meeting times, etc.

OR use the document below to look over all of the course descriptions in one place. Please note that the descriptions are organized by the instructor's last name. For questions on registering for other Autumn 2022 courses, please visit the New Student Registration website.

First-Year Seminar FAQs

  • What am I supposed to get out of my FSEM?

    Each seminar fosters a vitally-felt, exciting sense of intellectual community. Seminar topics reflect the intellectual passions of the faculty who lead them. Each seminar introduces you to the rigorous academic expectations held here at the University and helps you improve your academic skills.

  • Do I have to register for an FSEM?


    All first-time, first-year students are required to take a First-Year Seminar course. While some institutions do not offer first-year seminars, we believe they are essential to fostering community and shared experiences among first-year students.

  • Who is my advisor?

    At the University of Denver, undergraduate students have an academic advising network that includes support from their FSEM professor, staff academic advisor, and major faculty advisor. First-Year Seminar professors serve as faculty mentors and support first-year students in their transition to the University. Staff Academic Advisors work with students on degree planning outside of their academic field and understanding university policies. Staff Academic Advisors also support student development through strengths-based skill-building, including understanding who they are as learners, goal setting, time management, and organizational skills. Beginning in their second year, students meet with their assigned major faculty advisor. Major faculty advisors assist students in understanding the curriculum and research opportunities in their selected fields.

  • I'm coming in with AP/IB credits. Do I still need to take an FSEM?

    Yes. If this is your first time as a full-time college student, you must take an FSEM regardless of the number of AP/IB credits you have.

  • When will I register for my FSEM?

    You will register for your FSEM over the summer at the same time that you register for all of your other courses.

  • The FSEM I want is full. Now what?

    Find another FSEM! There are no waitlists for FSEM classes, so once a class is full, you must choose another class. Plan to register when your time ticket first opens in order to maximize your options. If you have difficulty registering, please contact us at