Propose a Seminar

Faculty discuss teaching strategies for their freshman seminars.


Instructor Eligibility Requirements
All Freshman Seminar instructors must hold an active Harvard University teaching appointment. Instructors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences must hold a teaching appointment at the rank of Lecturer or above. Faculty from other Harvard schools must hold an appointment of Assistant Professor or above, including Clinical Professor. Emeriti Faculty and FAS Visiting Professors are also eligible to teach seminars. At this time, Preceptors, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Visiting Fellows, Adjunct Faculty, and other research (non-teaching) appointments or supervised (non-faculty) appointments are not eligible.

How to Propose a Freshman Seminar
Download the Freshman Seminar Proposal Form and return to us by email,, before the deadlines listed below. Please contact us if you have any questions. Sample syllabi below.

If your appointment is pending, please provide details on your expected date of appointment and your current status at Harvard.  Please attach a current C.V. if you are an FAS Lecturer, Non-FAS Faculty, or Visiting Faculty and edit it to 5 pages if possible.

The Faculty of the Committee on Freshman Seminars meets periodically during the spring term to review proposals for the following academic year.

Spring 2020 submission deadlines will be posted here as soon as the schedule is finalized.






Funding for Seminar Activities
Seminars receive a budget of $300 for course-related expenses.
Instructors may also apply for funding from the Division of Arts and Humanities, see their website for more information. Please note that the application deadlines for Arts & Humanities funding differ from Freshman Seminar proposal deadlines.

Sample Syllabi


Carol Abbate Music and Film

Karen Thornber Global Crime Fiction: Tackling Crime, Corruption, and Social Disintegration

Peter Der Manuelian Digging Egypt's the Past: Harvard and Egyptian Archaeology 

Charles Stang Lawrence of Arabia: His Life, Literature, and Legacy

Natural Sciences

Miaki Ishii GeoSciFi Movies: Real vs. Fiction

Cumrun Vafa Physics, Math, and Puzzles

Craig Hunter It's a Mystery: Understanding the “Impossible”

Social Sciences

David Armitage Advice to Young Leaders

William Fash Clash of Titans, Seats of Empire: The Aztecs, Toltecs, and Race of Giants in Ancient Mexico

Benjamin Friedman, Americans at Work in the Age of Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Mary Waters Social Science and American Social Problems