The First Year Seminar

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You graduated from high school, came to Orientation, bought your books…now what?

The cornerstone of the Marist Core, the First Year Seminar (FYS) introduces you to the College as a learning community. We offer a wide range of topics designed to expand your academic horizons and fuel your curiosity. The small size of each FYS provides you with an opportunity for close work with faculty and classmates. Workshops in the course help you learn about the College's campus life and services. Many courses also involve field trips to such destinations as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan (above, left); the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library in Boston (above, right), or, for students in our Freshman Florence Experience, the city of Florence and beyond (above, center).

common readingA campus-wide Common Reading provides a touchstone for FYS courses and for events and conversation throughout the Marist community as a whole. The 2017-18 Common Reading is The Distance Between Us, a memoir by award-winning novelist Reyna Grande (Washington Square Press, 2013). Ms. Grande will come to campus in September to deliver a lecture attended by all FYS students. Other events throughout the academic year will invite you to reflect on the questions raised by the book.

The Common Reading is chosen by a committee that includes faculty from across the College and a student representative. Past Common Reading selections include Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown, 2010), Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map (Riverhead, 2005), and Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore (Spiegel and Grau, 2011). All Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 FYS students need to have purchased and read the book BEFORE classes begin. You will complete an essay assignment based on the book during the first few weeks of classes.

Fall 2017 FYS Course Titles and Descriptions (see below for Honors FYS sections)

**Please note: The deadline for submitting FYS preferences has now passed. If you did not submit preferences, you will either be placed in a Fall 2017 FYS with available seats or you will take the FYS in Spring 2018. **

  A Place for Nature: Americans & Their Love of Green Space  

  The Haunted Nineteenth Century

  Life Skills 101

  Empire, Race, and Sexuality in Latin America

  Plagues, Pathogens, and Pandemics

  The Human Body, in Sickness and in Health

  Science Fiction

  Reading the Apocalypse

  Greek Myth and the Other


  Gendered Bodies, Alien Relationships

  Race, Gender, Slavery, and the Making of America

  SMART: Social Media as a Revolutionary Technology

  Murder, Madness, and Mental Mayhem  

  Free Will and Contemporary Neuroscience and Psychology   

  The Politics of Food

  Birth of the Cool: Investigating Jazz

  Social Justice: From the Sidelines to the Frontlines

  Not That Seventies Show

  Music and the Drama of History

  Cyberethics: Are We Using Technology for Good or Evil?

  "The Painter of Modern Life"

  Greening America

  Outside @ Marist: The River, the Region, and Us

  John Milton, Genius

  Did "It" Happen Again?

Fall 2017 Honors FYS Course Titles

FYS Director Kevin Gaugler   

 A Message from Dr. Kevin Gaugler, Director of the First Year Seminar
 The First Year Seminar provides you with an opportunity to expand
 your academic horizons. Since the FYS is a stand-alone course that does not 
 fulfill other curricular requirements, it gives you the chance to explore a subject
 or question purely because it interests you. So take a risk. Test a theory.
 Lead the academic conversation in an unexpected new direction. We look
 forward to learning alongside you.