The Freshman Seminar Program (FRS) has been a distinctive part of Princeton's undergraduate curriculum since 1986. Hundreds of faculty have participated as instructors. Many of them have found it to be among the most rewarding pedagogical experiences of their careers.
What are the hallmarks of a Freshman Seminar?
- SMALL SETTING: FRS are typically capped at 12-15 students, ensuring active and immersive teaching and learning experiences; students and instructors invariably come to know each other well.
- DISCUSSION-BASED: Instruction takes place through guided conversations in which ideas are exchanged and tested, assumptions are articulated and pressed upon, and in which questions are as important as answers.
- DISCIPLINARY THINKING: While each course dives into a unique problem or issue, FRS also often serve to introduce first-year students to liberal arts learning writ large--to the life of the mind as it is lived across the various disciplines within which the faculty work. They often purposefully set forth for students the methodologies, assumptions, and practices that will shape the seminar experience.
- CURRICULAR SPRINGBOARDS: Ideally, this experience at once equips students to understand what constitutes university-level study and gives them experience in discipline-specific skills for critical engagement. In short, in addition to gaining specific knowledge, the FRS experience provides students with perspective onto the variety of ways in which knowledge itself is produced, thereby helping them choose what sorts of courses they'll take next.