Application FAQ

When does the Freshman Seminar application process begin?

The application period for fall seminars takes place every August. The spring term application period is held in December and January. Term specific dates are given on the "Seminars" - "How To Apply" page.

Can I apply to both fall and spring semester seminars in August?

Only fall seminars are open for application in August. Spring term seminars are open for application in December. We run two separate application cycles in order to increase your chances of getting a seat in one of your top-choice seminars.

Is there an advantage to taking a seminar in the fall?

No. Although more seminars are offered in the fall term, you should apply to whichever seminars interest you most, regardless of the term in which they are offered. You may take a seminar in both terms, space permitting, although instructors are encouraged to give priority in the spring term to students who have not taken a fall term seminar.

Does it help my chances to apply early?

All applications will be reviewed at the same time by instructors so no special preference will be given to early applications. However, you may wish to avoid any last-minute problems due to heavy online traffic within 24 hours of the deadline. Rarely, an instructor will choose to hold interviews for selected applicants and will review the applications during the week before the deadline in order to choose and make arrangements for meeting during Open Days week. For those few seminars where this is the case, a note about this will be prominently included with the seminar description in the application system.  

Is there a limit to how many applications I may submit?

No. Each term, you may apply to as many Freshman Seminars as genuinely interest you. However we urge you to apply to at least seven seminars in order to increase your chances of getting a seat in one of your top-choice seminars. Remember to rank your choices!

How is admission to a Freshman Seminar determined?

Seminar placement is ultimately done by a matching algorithm that is run after all applications have been submitted. However, different factors influence the algorithm’s outcome: instructors can select or deny students based on their essays and other relevant information; and student rankings and preferences are also taken into consideration.

What if I am not accepted to a seminar?

Although we offer over 100 seminars each year, we cannot guarantee you a seat in a specific seminar. Demand for particular seminars varies widely, and there can often be too many applications for the seminar(s) in which you have expressed interest. If you haven’t been admitted to a seminar, however, there may still be hope. Not all seminars will be filled to capacity, and we will post a list of seminars that still have open spaces on our website after preliminary assignments are made.

Are there waiting lists for seminars?

No, but there will be a list of seminars with openings posted on the website after the initial online application period is over. We encourage all students who are still looking to enroll to check this list.

May I shop or audit a Freshman Seminar?

No, a Freshman Seminar is a small, limited enrollment course that may not be shopped or audited. Class size is 12-15 freshmen.

What if my seminar conflicts with my Expos assignment?

Because Expos is a requirement and a Freshman Seminar is an elective, you should discuss with your adviser how to schedule these two important first-year experiences. You may request a change in your Expos assignment to accommodate your Freshman Seminar.