What is a First-Year Seminar?

First-Year Seminars (FYS) are engaging and unique discussion-oriented and project-based classes designed specifically for students with fewer than 30 credits.

The courses are ideal for students to connect with one another and build their academic skills with the support of a faculty member who is passionate about the topic. These three-credit electives can be used to meet Cap Core requirements.

Classes are capped at 25 students, making our already small class sizes even smaller. This enables additional robust conversations, deeper learning and opportunities to practice concepts in the classroom.

Fall 2019 Course Offerings

As we re-engineer nature and humanity through technological development, what questions should we be asking – and how can we address them? 

Join us in examining key political, ethical, cultural and environmental challenges of a technological society through an in-depth discussion of Netflix's Black Mirror. 

Do you have questions about the meaning of life in a world dominated by technology? Enroll now! 

How do your eating habits affect the world we live in?

Students from all dietary walks of life are welcome! This course explores veganism as an urgent response to growing epidemics, environmental catastrophes and a global shift in ethical values. 

You will create a collaborative mini-documentary on sustainable, plant-based approaches to health, ethics and the environment. 

Your mini-documentaries will be submitted to the Ottawa International Vegan Film Festival. 

Is veganism and sustainability your passion? Enroll now! 

Do you want to live as meaningful and fulfilling a life as you possibly can? Do you want to make a real difference in the world?

This course uses “design thinking" tools to help you recognize and craft multiple potential life pathways, and make informed choices about your future.

As the poet Mary Oliver wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Enroll now!

Ever wonder why we are drawn to stories?

Let's explore why stories have been with us since the dawn of humanity. 

You will look at how stories connect with us psychologically and how they are powerful expressions of culture. 

We will also look at how stories have evolved over the centuries, from oral traditions into written forms, into drama, movies, comics and more. 

All fans of stories are welcome to join us in this exploration of the Story-Verse. 

Learn how you connect with storytelling and stories. Enroll now! 

Program restrictions may apply. Check myCapU schedule and talk to an advisor (BR230) for more details.

Courses cannot be credited towards graduation in Associate programs and some diploma programs. Other programs may qualify. Please connect with an academic advisor to confirm if your program qualifies. 

Students may register for these courses starting on Monday, July 8, 2019. For additional information, view our course posters

Setting you up for success

Studies have proven FYS are beneficial in your overall academic career as they help build academic confidence early, enable you to meet students in other programs, create a social and support network and connect you with passionate faculty instructors who are experts in the topic.

FYS will help you build foundations in:

Academic writing

  • opportunities to write and rewrite
  • using referencing to support writing

Critical thinking

  • discussions to objectively analyze content
  • presentations to effectively communicate your analysis and evaluation

Information literacy

  • how to locate, evaluate and use information
  • apply information to best support your academic work

Collaborative learning

  • learn to work and solve problems together
  • create an assignment, product or project in a group