Teach a University Seminar

First Year Programs would like to encourage staff or graduate students to consider teaching a University Seminar. 

UW professional staff and graduate students are eligible to teach a Freshman Seminar during the Autumn, Winter and/or Spring Quarters. University seminars are 1-credit courses (GEN ST 297) and are graded credit/no-credit.

UW Faculty are encouraged to teach a Freshman Collegium Seminar. Visit the program website for more information.  

Proposal Submission Form

  • University Seminar Program Information

    University Seminars are discussion-based courses that maximize student interactions with staff and/or departments. Seminars are offered Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters. These seminars allow staff, graduate students, and department to explore and introduce new academic material to entering students or to examine a discipline or current event from creative or interdisciplinary perspectives. University seminars provide an important forum to introduce content in an intimate setting to students who are contemplating what their majors will be.

     Learning Goals

    • Help students gain confidence in their ability to be successful students at the UW ;
    • Help students develop, explore and clarify their educational plans;  
    • Build a sense of community and belonging around shared intellectual interests;
    • Provide close access to a faculty or staff member during a student’s first year at the UW;
    • Help students further explore an academic major or specific area of study
  • Who Can Teach a University Seminar?

    Instruction is open to UW staff, faculty, and advanced graduate students. Seminars can be topic driven taught by several faculty either within a department or across disciplines. Format options include:

    • Department/Interdisciplinary Seminars: Seminars are topic driven and facilitated by staff and/or faculty. The goal will be to help students develop critical thinking skills and the capacity to analyze an issue from a variety of perspectives. Instruction will be provided by a rotating schedule of faculty. This model will increase faculty participation by lessening the time commitment required. Students will have the benefit of interacting with a variety of faculty members.
    • Graduate Seminars: Seminar topics determined by graduate students who will be responsible for 10 weeks of instruction. This will provide graduate students with an opportunity to teach and interact with students. Freshman will gain early insight into the interests of graduate students and nature of graduate level work.
  • Next Steps

    Please complete the submission form, contact seminars@uw.edu, or call  LeAnne Wiles 206-543-4905 for additional information. 

    Proposal Submission Form

  • Teaching Information



    Course Requirements

    • C/NC:  Seminars are graded credit no credit. Students need 80% to receive credit. Please make sure that the points possible and grading guidelines are fully outlined on the syllabus.
    • Course Format: Seminars are generally 1 or 2 credits and should involve elements of discussion and reflection. Please use the following policy as a guideline when assigning work outside of the classroom:
      • 1 credit per hour of weekly instruction and 2 hours of outside contact with the material. The 2:1 ratio of in-class hours to outside contact hours, however, is merely a guideline and may be altered as needed, according to the dictates of the course. The total number of hours per week that the student has in contact with the class material should not vary widely from 3 hours per credit.
    • Department Statement: Please post this statement on your syllabus “This course is part of First Year Programs, University Seminar program. For more information about University Seminars or to contact the department please email LeAnne Wiles at seminars@uw.edu.“
    • Evaluations: We will order online evaluations for your class. If you would like supplemental questions added please let us know.
    • Grades and Canvas: It is important to let students know how they are progressing in the class. We encourage you to set up a Canvas gradebook and update it frequently. If you have a canvas or catalyst website please share it with ljwiles@uw.edu.
    • Participation points: Participation cannot be more than 30% of the course grade.
    • Final Exam: We do not request a location for a final exam. If you would like to proctor a final exam please let us know.