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Columbia College Chicago
About the Program
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About the Program

The First-Year Seminar is the foundation of Columbia College Chicago's core curriculum. First-Year Seminar is required of all first-year students.

The First-Year Seminar curriculum aims to provide students with practice in the intellectual and creative skills that will form the basis of their learning at Columbia College Chicago and beyond.

The course uses a seminar model—that is, small classes that focus on discussion as the principal means of inquiry. Class members individually and collaboratively discover and generate their own knowledge, rather than mastering knowledge presented to them.

Class discussions focus on a series of topics, on which students encounter texts in a variety of media—books, films, poetry, music, and so on. For each topic, students generate a Topic Study and a Rationale, which benefit from peer review and critique.

Our FAQ answers many of the questions students typically have about FYS.


First-Year Seminar is taught by five full-time Lecturers and an interdisciplinary Teaching Academy drawn from across the College's departments. Comprising past, current, and future FYS instructors, the Teaching Academy provides an opportunity for faculty from across Columbia College Chicago's three schools and nineteen departments to come together to share their creative, scholarly, and pedagogical expertise.


Read our FAQ.

Click here to watch "Inside Look," a look at FYS from the student perspective. "Inside Look" was filmed and edited by Columbia College student Ben Christie.