30 Years of Freshman and Sophomore Seminars

September 1, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

The 2022-23 academic year will mark the 30th anniversary of Freshman and Sophomore Seminars at Berkeley. By teaching a seminar, you help new students become active members of Berkeley's intellectual community.

Most seminars meet once a week, for one unit of credit, and are meant to be discussion-based and interactive. In 2022-23, we especially welcome seminars that take up the question: “What is a fact?” Of course, seminars can be on almost any topic you can dream up. This fall, faculty are offering seminars on topics as wide ranging as “How and Why Do Birds Sing,” “Getting the News in the Digital Age,” “Night (and Day) in the Museum: What Really Goes on in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology,” “Fashion, the Middle Ages, and the Catholic Imagination,” and “Reproductive Liberty and Justice for All.”

If you are interested in teaching a seminar in spring 2023, please let your department chair and scheduler know, and then submit a Faculty Participation Form by Thursday, September 22, 2022. Senate faculty who teach a Freshman and Sophomore Seminar as an overload will receive a $3,000 grant that can be used for anything related to their teaching or research.

To receive more information about Freshman and Sophomore Seminars or to brainstorm ideas, contact Aileen Liu, Director of Curricular Engagement Initiatives in the College of Letters & Science, at aileen.liu@berkeley.edu.

Finally, please save the date: On Tuesday, November 1, at 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Alumni House, we will host the Freshman and Sophomore Seminar Program’s 30th Anniversary Reception to celebrate and acknowledge the faculty and staff who have supported the program in its first thirty years. Invitations will be sent later this fall.


Jennifer Johnson-Hanks
Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science

Oliver M. O’Reilly
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

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