Student-Initiated Seminars

A group of students may propose a seminar of special interest to them that is not a regular part of the curriculum. With the cooperation of a faculty member who has agreed to teach the course, students develop a reading list and syllabus with information such as the meeting times, assignments and due dates, and grading.

A student-initiated seminar counts as a regular course and may count as a departmental, but cannot fulfill distribution requirements.

At least twelve students must enroll in the seminar, and at the time the proposal is submitted the student initiators will need to provide the names of the students who agree to enroll. The proposal must also include: a brief description of and rationale for the seminar; a tentative syllabus for the course, including meeting times, reading list and course requirements; a signed statement from the faculty member who agrees to conduct the course; a statement from the chair of the appropriate department endorsing the seminar and certifying the faculty member's availability to teach the course; and any additional information you wish to submit.

Recent student-initiated seminars have included Computer Graphics and Rendering, The History of Welfare, Contemporary American Indians, Transition in the Caribbean, and Concept Design.

After some preliminary discussion with both the faculty member and other students interested in taking the seminar, you should make an appointment to see Dean Elizabeth Colagiuri. She will discuss both the content of the proposed course and the process for approval. Please feel free to contact the dean’s assistant to schedule this meeting. Staff at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning are also available to consult with students about course design and the development of syllabi for their proposed seminars. 

Proposals must be submitted no later than December 1 for the spring semester and by April 10 for the fall semester.

The seminar will be recorded on your transcript with the departmental code, a special ST-level course number and a transcript title.