Make a difference with Freshman and Sophomore Seminars

September 2, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Freshman and Sophomore Seminars provide an unparalleled opportunity for faculty from across campus to explore a scholarly topic with small groups of lower division students. Through teaching a seminar, you can give students an early introduction to research and scholarship while inspiring student inquiry, creativity, and discovery. Seminars are offered in a variety of formats and can be about any topic you wish to explore, including emerging research topics and even interests outside of your traditional focus.

A student who took a Freshman Seminar last semester told us: "It was so cool to learn from such a well-respected member of the Berkeley community and environmental community, but even more importantly, to interact with our professor without pressure and being able to feel calm and be ourselves. I really enjoyed the low-stress environment and everything I learned from it, and it made me feel a closer connection to Berkeley and the intellectual community."

If you are interested in teaching a seminar in Spring 2022, please let your department chair and scheduler know, and then submit a Faculty Participation Form by Thursday, September 30. Senate faculty members 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


Oliver M. O’Reilly
Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

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

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