University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

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Contact Information

Nanette Hanks
Assistant Dean for Curriculum

115 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Freshman Seminar Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

Given enrollment patterns and potential educational impact, we prefer that seminars be offered in the fall term rather than the spring.

Seminars are offered for 3 credits and enrollment is limited to 20 students.

They are considered a regular part of a faculty member's instructional workload. Because they carry the departmental designator, students readily identify your unit as its curricular home. Freshman seminars may not be cross-listed across designators.

Freshman seminars and liberal education requirements

Freshman seminars can carry one of the liberal education theme requirements (Civic Life & Ethics, Diversity & Social Justice in the United States, The Environment, Global Perspectives, and Technology and Society) and can also be writing intensive. They cannot be used to fulfill any of the liberal education core requirements.

Theme requirement approval

  • All freshman seminars proposed to meet theme requirements must be approved by the college and the Council on Liberal Education. 
  • All freshman seminars proposed for writing intensive must be approved by the colelge and the Campus Writing Board.
  • Even if a seminar has been approved for a liberal education theme and/or for writing intensive in previous years, it must be reapproved each time that it is offered. Seminars not proposed for theme requirements or writing intensive are approved at the college level only.

Preparing your course proposal form

Before you prepare your course proposal form, we recommend reviewing our sample faculty biography and freshman seminar descriptions.