Freshman Seminars

Welcome to the Freshman Seminar Program!

Something exciting is about to happen.  You're at the start of an academic journey.  The Princeton courses you take over the next four years will lead you into all sorts of directions: you'll encounter new fields of knowledge, discover new ideas, and, above all, experience the adventure of learning.

There is perhaps no better way to begin that journey than by taking a Freshman Seminar.

Open only to members of the first-year class, the FRS program is designed to give students an early opportunity to experience the excitement of working closely with an instructor and a small group of fellow students on a topic of special interest. Those topics span an extraordinary range and are taught by some of the University's most esteemed instructors.  Because of that, many students subsequently identify their Freshman Seminar as one of their most enjoyable and meaningful academic experiences at Princeton — one that enabled them to discover new intellectual passions and form enduring relationships with faculty members and fellow students.

Using our application portal, list and submit your course choices before the period ends.  You may revisit the application portal in order to change your preferences as many times as necessary until the deadline.  Please note: Freshman Seminar applications are NOT processed on a first-come first-served basis. All applications are processed after the deadline.


Students at P-rade on a motorcycle that they built in FRS 106 taught by Mic Littman, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

In "Art and Science of Motorcycle Design" (FRS 106), students restore a vintage Triumph motorcycle, reading and discussing literature around the topic along the way. Here, students take their project for a spin in the P-rade.

Students at FRS 140 Cirque des Mathématiques

Students in "Cirque des Mathématiques" (FRS 140) analyze circus acts as a way to explore creative applications of mathematics.

FRS 159 - Rembrandt. Students looking at Rembrandt prints

"Rembrandt" (FRS 159) includes frequent use of the Princeton Art Museum's holdings.

FRS 149 Ethics in Finance. Students with Professor JC de Swaan in NYC

In addition to a deep dive into finance theory and practice, "Ethics in Finance" (FRS 149) students travel to NYC to meet and interact with key figures in the industry.

Student Testimonials

I gained an entirely new and immensely valuable perspective on Christianity as it is now, along with several possibilities of what the lives of early Christian women are like. Professor Luijendijk did a wonderful job engaging with her students personally– answering numerous questions about both material and future course studies. She always brought the most delightful attitude to class and made it that much more special.

Professor Littman is absolutely amazing! He brought together a group of participants from various concentrations, many of which were not BSE, and helped them to understand basic principles of engineering, motorcycle design, and the philosophy behind both. He encouraged student participation through the use of roles such as scribe, photographer, and hands–on assembly and disassembly groups.

Professor Anderson's kindness and willingness to challenge us really made a difference in this course, helping me grow as a reader and discuss topics important to me. I was able to digest difficult texts and draw concepts about life out of them.

Professor Edward's seminar is a phenomenal class, and it truly shifted how I approach choosing and engaging in classes. It is probably the most influential class I have taken at Princeton.

Professor Fellbaum did a great job in covering a topic that is so complex in such a clear and organized manner. Looking back, I realize just how in–depth and how much content we covered, and how much more I know about this field.

Ethics in Finance was my favorite class this semester. Each lecture was such carefully crafted and Professor de Swaan clearly cares a lot about his students and the material he is teaching. I think he did a really good job at keeping me and my classmates engaged and excited about the material we were studying.

Dr. Feng approached the course from a very open–minded and inclusive perspective. She did not assume any of us had prior knowledge regarding the environment (including policy, issues, technology, etc.), chemistry, etc. Because of this, she placed every student on equal footing and exposed students to areas that they typically wouldn't have studied. (As an engineering student, I learned about environmental policy, and the humanities students learned about the scientific/technical aspects of environmental issues.) I do not have any ideas on how to improve the course! I think it was excellently designed and taught.

This class got me into philosophy for the first time in my life. Professor Guelzo is a fascinating person who is incredibly kind, funny, and encouraging to all of his students. He has a natural cadence and method of teaching that makes each and every class both fascinating and exciting to attend. Overall, I really recommend this class to everyone interested in American thought.

This class is amazing! Not only is Professor Moore fascinating and a great professor, but having a class dedicated to student opinion and discussion is a refreshing change from the intense, cutthroat classes I was expecting in my first semester. There were not too many writing assignments, but when there were, they were manageable and honestly fun to write. I've learned so much from this class, from Perrault's and Grimm's fairy tales to modern day conspiracy theories. Definitely take this!!!!

I thought Professor Zelizer was my best professor in all my courses at Princeton.Professor Zelizer taught us the importance of always expressing our ideas, even if we aren't fully confident in them. He also taught us how to connect seemingly unrelated events together and identify historical trends and themes.

Though I was skeptical at first this course ended up being a highlight of my first seminar and Professor Vandenbroucke created an incredible environment for me to embrace my first semester. Very high–quality course. Stillness taught me a lot about self–expression in the form of dancing/art, meditation, and taking a break when it's needed most. I can't stress enough how much I loved taking this course.
This was one of the best classes I have ever taken. I feel I learned so much as a human being and look forward to applying these skills to improve my life and wellbeing.

Professor Kelts is a legend. Would take any class taught by him.
This was my favorite class this semester because of the intimacy of our discussions. This class demonstrated the usefulness of diversity of thought during difficult discussions.