First-Year Courses

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Academic Programs
Weyerhaeuser Room 215
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651-696-6075 (fax)

First Year course at David Lanegran's home

The first-year course: A seminar for first-year students

During their first semester all first-year students take one course designated as a First-Year Course. The course is limited to 16 incoming students and is taught in seminar style by a faculty member who becomes the advisor for each of the students. This means that new students have immediate access to their advisor for academic and other questions and that their advisor will know them.

All First-Year Courses pay particular attention to writing and library research to ensure that all students are introduced to Macalester's high academic expectations for these skills. Many of these courses are regular department offerings that have been tailored to the needs of incoming students. Those courses meet requirements for a major in that department and serve as prerequisites to more advanced courses.

Some First-Year Courses are designated as residential courses. Students who enroll in one of these courses live near one another in the same residence hall, usually on the same floor. This facilitates discussion and group work outside of the classroom. Many courses also utilize student writing preceptors to provide additional writing support and peer mentoring.

During the last week of May, an on-line Registration Guide is made available to incoming students. Included in the Registration Guide are descriptions of the First-Year Courses being offered that year as well as information about choosing the other three courses to be taken in the first semester. Students select and are registered in their courses during the summer, although changes may be made during Orientation, which immediately precedes the beginning of the semester.

Sample First-Year Courses from 2014-2015

Department professor Course Name Residential
American Studies Karin Aguilar-San Juan AMST 103-01: The Problem of Race in US Social Thought and Policy (R)
Anthropology Olga Gonzalez ANTH 194-01: The Politics of Memory in Latin America (R)
Art & Art History Kari Shepherdson-Scott ART 149-01: Introduction to Visual Culture (R)
Asian Languages and Culture Satoko Suzuki ASIA/JAPA/LING/WGSS 150-01: Language and Gender in Japanese Society (R)
Biology Sarah Boyer BIOL 194-01: Creatures and Curiosities (R)
Biology Devavani Chatterjea BIOL 194-02: Bodies on Fire:  Inflammatory Diseases in the 21st Century (R)
Chemistry Katy Splan CHEM 111-01: General Chemistry  and Lab 9 (R)
Classics Nanette Goldman CLAS 194-01: Tenors in Togas: Greek and Roman Myth in Opera
Economics Raymond Robertson ECON 119-03: Principles of Economics (R)
Economics Amy Damon ECON 119-06: Principles of Economics
English Kristin Naca ENGL 150-01: Introduction to Creative Writing
Enivronmental Studies Christopher Wells ENVI 234-01/HIST 234-01: American Environmental History (R)
French Andrew Billing FREN 194-01: Loving and Loathing our Posthuman Future: Science Fiction and Technology in French Film and Literature (R)
Geography Dan Trudeau GEOG 201-02: Introduction to Urban Studies (R)
Geography William Moseley GEOG 243-01: Geography of Africa: Local Resources and Livelihoods in a Global Context (R)
Geology Ray Rogers and Jeff Thole GEOL 165-01 & GEOL 165-L1: History and the Evolution of the Earth and Lab (R)
German and Russian Studies Linda Schulte-Sasse GERM 255-01: German Cinema Studies - Art/Horror (R)
Hispanic Studies Toni Dorca HISP 305-01: Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Oral and Written Expression (R)
History Ernesto Capello HIST 181-01/LATI 181-01: Introduction to Latin America
International Studies Ahmed Samatar INTL 110-01: Introduction to International Studies: Globalization – Homogeneity and Heterogeneity
Math Karen Saxe and Julie Dolan MATH 116-01/POLI 194-01: Politics and Mathematics of Elections
Math Alicia Johnson MATH 155-05: sixfiveone.org: A Twin Cities Statistics Collaborative (R)
Media and Cultural Studies John Kim MCST 194-01: Screens (R)
Music Mark Mazullo MUSI 155: Music and Freedom
Music Victoria Malawey MUSI 194-01: Cover Songs (R)
Philosophy Diane Michelfelder PHIL 225-01/COMP 154-01: Ethics and the Internet (R)
Philosophy William Wilcox PHIL 121-01: Ethics (R)
Physics Sung Kyu Kim PHYS 111-01: Contemporary Concepts
Political Science Zornitsa Keremidchieva POLI 101-01: Argument and Advocacy (R)
Political Science Julie Dolan and Karen Saxe POLI 194-01/ MATH 116-01: Politics and Mathematics of Elections
Political Science Patrick Schmidt POLI 316-01: Information Policy, Politics, and Law (R)
Psychology Darcy Burgund PSYC 194-01: The Origin of Consciousness
Sociology Khaldoun Samman SOCI 194-01: Moral Panics and the Other
Theatre and Dance Harry Waters Jr. and Eric Colleary THDA 105-01: Making the Musical: Introducing Theatre Studies
Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Sonita Sarker WGSS 105-01: Transnational Perspective on Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality