First Year Seminars by Interest


FYS - First Year Seminar course; taught as a standalone course with a theme if indicated. 

LC - Learning Community; taught as a themed FYS course with associated pre-registered core classes. 

Citizenship & Democracy

The primary objective of this course is to enable students to develop a general understanding of political participation that allows them to function as a more responsible citizen in a democratic society. This objective includes providing a context for students to: (1) Understand the history of political participation in the United States: (2) Identify macro and micro explanations for political participation and citizen behavior; (3) Learn and acquire an awareness of contemporary issues affecting political participation.

Community & Civic Engagement

Community and Civic Engagement explores how all disciplines impact society and enrich the human experience. Students will learn about the importance of an active citizenry by learning about how citizens work together to solve issues that they encounter. Students will meet upperclass students with similar interests and will learn the foundation of becoming an active member in the Auburn community both in the classroom and by partnering with local nonprofit organizations and schools.

Engaging in a Diverse World

The course will enable students to recognize the importance and advantages of understanding and respecting individual and group differences within the AU family and beyond. Through self-evaluation, students will be encouraged to analyze how their own biases reflect the way in which they perceive, treat and interact with others. More specifically students will acquire an understanding of the importance of utilizing and applying emotional intelligence and empathetic engagement in finding common ground when interacting with people with different philosophies and cultures than their own.

Fly Fishing & Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The art of fly fishing can truly be appreciated through practicing mindfulness, which as both are skills for us to develop, will help you be more mindful in your college experience. With the world flying by and college being a fast paced four years, learning and practicing mindfulness will help make meaning of your experiences. No matter your experience level, learning to be mindful and how to fly fish will add to your life. And yes, we will go fly fishing throughout the semester.


Leadership is designed to help first year students make a successful transition to college life. This course will explore the Social Change Model of Leadership and various strategies for academic and social success. Emphasis will be placed on interactive and practical tools for students to emerge as leaders at Auburn and beyond. Students will complete a leadership plan and presentation at the end of the semester.

Marine & Natural Science

The Marine and Natural Sciences Learning Community will help students with an interest in marine biology, or the natural sciences in general, become effective and high performing. Students will learn about the library and other academic resources. Effective study strategies, Auburn's complex academic and social environment, goal-setting, networking, time management, and getting the most out of AU will be discussed. Additionally, how to talk to instructors and how to make classroom/lab

knowledge "your own" will be covered. Students will learn about career strategies and how to build and will meet upperclassmen in the Marine Biology curriculum, recent graduates, marine science professionals and Marine Biology Club members. We'll also discuss and plan for summer classes, Auburn Abroad, internships, and summer job opportunities. This Learning Community will connect students who share an interest in marine life, ecology, environmental studies, and natural sciences with opportunities around campus to learn more about these areas. Students do not have to be a marine biology major to participate but all marine biology majors are urged to join this group and begin networking.

PLUS Scholars

The PLUS Scholars Learning Community will focus on the importance of inclusion & diversity within the Auburn campus community. In addition, scholars will explore ways to increase their cultural competence, raise their critical awareness, and understand how to view the world through the lens of inclusion & diversity. Additionally, the course will enable students to apply study strategies as they relate to the content area practiced.

Pop Culture & Social Justice

Pop Culture and Social Justice is a seminar designed to explore the different ways in which people use various media to tell stories and inspire change. This seminar will explore the ways in which film, music, journalism, and literature become an outlet for current societal and economic issues. Students will examine several different examples of pop culture throughout the semester and analyze the way they address critical thinking, creative thinking, and identity formation.

The Psychology of Being a Student

Do you find psychology to be fascinating? Do you want to know more about how your brain is wired to learn, how motivation and mindset impact your success, and learn ways to maximize your learning based on sound psychological theories and practices? This course explores the connection between psychology and learning, with an emphasis on helping you understand and improve upon how and why you learn the way you do.

Unlocking Your Creativity

In today’s competitive work climate it is the innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers who stand out. This course will cultivate students’ creative potential to empower them to approach problems in dynamic and imaginative ways. Original thinkers stand apart from the crowd in a multitude of disciplines including the arts, business, engineering, medicine, and more. By harnessing these skills students will be able to contribute ideas of value to achieve success in the future.

Women Thriving in Science and Math Careers

The First Year Seminar is designed for students in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. This course will focus on students learning how to identify potential career options in health and non-health settings that match their interests and goals. We will also provide steps students can take to pursue desired career options in these fields where women are traditionally underrepresented. This course represents an opportunity to build a sense of community and connection with other students in related majors. This course is open to all students.

Last modified: May 7, 2018