First-Year Seminar Program

The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences First-Year Seminar Program provides small, discussion-based courses intended to excite new students' intellectual curiosity and interest, develop their academic skills, and help integrate them into the community of scholars that is Duke University. First-Year Seminars are offered in a wide variety of academic disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Many have an interdisciplinary focus, while others engage students in intriguing topics within a single academic field of study. Topics range from global environmental change to film and from visual culture to how urban design shapes politics.

NOTE: Faculty interested in teaching a first-year seminar should review the Guidelines for Teaching First-Year Seminars and contact Program Director Denise Comer for more information.

Course Numbering

  • 89S Series Seminars – First-Year Students Only

First Year Seminars all bear the 89S number (e.g., History 89S). Taught by our leading faculty, these signature classes enroll no more than 18 first-year students per section, allowing our students to engage closely with faculty, with each other, and with ideas at the heart of the seminars.

  • 80S Series Seminars – All Undergraduates

In addition to the 89S seminars available only to enrolled first-year students, several departments offer seminars bearing a number in the 80s that are introductory courses appropriate for first-year students but also open to enrollment to upper-division students.