First Year Seminar | FYS

Welcome to Pacific’s First-Year Seminar, a course that introduces incoming students to college academic life and the skills needed for success in that life.

We keep First-Year Seminar, as or it is more commonly known, FYS classes small, capped at 21, which allows our faculty to design a unique experience with new students in mind. FYS courses are topically diverse, ranging from discussions on animal rights to prison reform, but they all work to develop a foundation of learning that will prepare you for your four years at Pacific. First Year Seminar (HUM 100) also fulfills part of the undergraduate core requirements.

We seek to cultivate writing, reading and critical engagement at the college level, providing approaches on how to think more than what to think, which will empower you well beyond FYS. Our Student Learning Outcomes that address these approaches are listed below.

FYS is also unique in that you have a say in your FYS topic, indicating your top six preferences if completed by June 1.  Please note: once assigned a FYS topic you cannot switch unless there was an institutional error.  Due to the summer assignment deadline, any switch based on institutional error must be requested by August 13.

Also distinct to FYS are co-curricular events in Portland—attending plays, art exhibits, and other cultural riches distinct to a thriving urban center less than an hour away. These, along with our summer reading program and FYS Final Showcase, provide a common learning experience for each incoming class.

Finally, each FYS section includes a First-Year Mentor, generally an upper-class student who acts as a liaison to campus services and as an advocate for first-year student success. They, along with our faculty and staff, provide a wonderful support network for you, our newest Boxers.

FYS Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this requirement students will be able to:

  • effectively defend and/or challenge their preconceived notions.
  • construct and define coherent arguments.
  • use writing as a tool for learning and effective communication.
  • describe the importance of active participation in the classroom.
  • identify and articulate their expectations for their college experience and develop a personalized plan for being successful at Pacific.


Contact Us

Brent Johnson | Director of First-Year Experience