First-Year Seminar

In Northwestern’s unique First-Year Seminar (FYS), you'll read the same books and discuss the same issues as every other first-year student. In the process, you'll grow closer as a class and more confident as a new college student.

The foundation of the college’s First-Year Experience, FYS serves as an introduction to:

  • College in general
  • The Christian liberal arts
  • Northwestern College
  • Reformed theology

The small size of First-Year Seminar classes—no more than 16 students per section—encourages deep discussions and close friendships. You’ll meet for the first time during orientation prior to the start of the school and then, guided by a professor, three times a week for the rest of the semester. The course itself involves extensive reading, writing and speaking focused on four questions reflected in the two great commandments of Matthew 22: Who am I? Where am I? Who are my neighbors? and How will I live in the world?

Wrestling with those questions in a Christian academic community, you’ll become a more thoughtful, reflective and faithful person—equipped with the knowledge, skills and virtues you’ll need to succeed at Northwestern and beyond.

Faculty mentors

The First-Year Seminar encourages interdisciplinary thinking—the hallmark of a liberal arts education. Classes are taught by carefully selected faculty from a wide variety of fields who are committed to the integration of faith and learning.

In addition to our top-10 U.S. News & World Report ranking, we’ve received national recognition for excellent academics, student volunteerism, affordability, conservation and other achievements. Learn more


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