First Year Seminars are experiential courses designed to help students become integrated into the Oglethorpe University community, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire college survival skills. FYS courses offer a stimulating learning experience and focus on specific topics of interest not offered in the traditional curriculum. Topics cover a bredth of fields and the range includes social and environmental issues, local history, fine arts, career development, student success, and more. The variety of topics and the hands-on nature of the course allows students to discover interests and new ideas in a tangible way. Each course is taught by a faculty member with interest or experience in the topic and mentored by student leaders in the sophomore, junior, or senior class. FYS courses give students the opportunity to develop new ideas while orienting themselves in the Oglethorpe community.

Key Components

Previous Topics

FYS courses cover a range of topics with new ones offered each semester. Past topics have included:

  • Human Voice in Speech & Song
  • Journey Through Jazz
  • Science, Tech, & the Future
  • Life Skills
  • Leadership Through Service
  • Welcome to Atlanta
  • Biology, Medicine, & You
  • Eyes on Africa
  • The Poet in Asia
  • Disease in Our Times
  • Theatre & Performance

OUr Atlanta Program

As part of their FYS classes, the OUr Atlanta program connects first year students with Atlanta’s world-class businesses and nonprofit organizations through a series OUr Atlanta trips. These trips expose students to the culture and history of Atlanta, while drawing tangible connections between the classroom and the community. Locations and experiences are selected to coincide with the various FYS topics and have included trips to the Atlanta History Center, Blue Heron Nature Preserve, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The Carter Center, the Coca-Cola Company Headquarters, The High Museum of Art, The King CenterZoo Atlanta, just to name a few! 

Peer Mentors

7348844294_d9cb0fabff_cEach FYS course is paired with one or more student mentors. These mentors work closely with first year students, participating in Orientation (Day of Service pictured) and all FYS activities throughout the course of the semester. As established members, and oftentimes leaders in the Oglethorpe community, student mentors are an invaluable resource in connecting first year students with events, organizations, and people who match their need and interests.