University Seminar

<p>I was going through the course selection guide and was wondering if anyone had thoughts on which seminar to take. Maybe philosphy? btw i am an engineering intended major.</p>

<p>No two seminars are alike so the content and difficulty of each seminar depends upon the instructor who teaches it. The best way to gauge what will be taught is to check NDToday or personally contact the profs individually. Seminars are generally discussion driven so I suggest choosing a subject that you would be interested in discussing for the length of a semester.</p>

<p>I wound up taking the LIT seminar "On Interpretation" last semester, and I completely loved it. The teacher (Professor Louis Mackenzie) is very charismatic, hilarious, and just an all-around great person (many reviews on NDtoday should also give strength to this assertion). The course is all about interpreting various works. We touched on lyrics, analyzing the meaning behind songs written by some well-known artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and others. Then we ended the year watching French films and interpreting opera. Because the course is also heavily based on writing (you'll have to write about three 3-4 page papers throughout the semester), the class has no final, no midterm, and no textbooks. As long as you participate a decent amount every class, you'll end up with at least A-. More importantly, your argumentative writing truly does improve. This is one of those amazing teachers/amazing topics/amazing everything courses, at least from my perspective! Definitely can't go wrong here. Also, don't worry about taking this course as an engineering major. I'm a math major, and things worked out just fine.</p>

<p>I've also heard terrific things about McKenna's Anthropology Seminar; apparently it's another can't-go-wrong seminar. From what I hear, Professor McKenna is the man.</p>

<p>Hey, I'm a '14 as well. My advice is to go to, register, and read the teacher evaluations. In a class this small, the teacher will probably make or break the class. None of the topics really stuck out for me, but since I'm an engineering major too, I wanted to get a lit, theo, or phil credit out of the way. So I looked through those courses and chose the ones with the most highly recommended teachers. A good teacher can make any class enjoyable.</p>

<p>Madgamer, I heard the same about McKenna, but for whatever reason he isn't offering one this semester. Maybe second semester?</p>

<p>yes, professors make or break seminars - quick note - on, make sure to look at comments on similar classes - sometimes professors are much easier on freshman who are taking a seminar in a subject they will not major in versus a senior who is majoring in the professor's subject matter - something to think about</p>

<p>Im a '14 as well. Do we get to choose our teachers?</p>

<p>You will be able to choose your profs for sure for any semester with the exception of this upcoming semester. Your advisor will build your schedule for you but you can request specific classes ahead of time.</p>

<p>As far as choosing classes (especially seminars) I would caution against choosing them based on difficulty alone. In the case of seminars, most of them allow you to get acquainted with a topic that you should have at least some interest in before arriving on campus. I used my seminar as a tool to help me decide whether or not I wanted to actually major in a specific subject. That's the cool thing about your first year. Yes, you want to get top grades but you are also on a mission to figure out exactly what you want to study.</p>

<p>For seminars you will be able to choose your professors (seeing as though each professor only teaches one specific seminar - or at least most do)</p>

<p>Hawk, which seminars did you take and how were they?</p>

<p>I took a seminar about American Saints with Professor Kathleen Cummings. She is not teaching next year (she is taking a year off to research so she can write another book). I actually was very hesitant about the class initially, but after going through it, I really enjoyed the class. There was a lot of writing and reading, but I made it out alive, so it wasn't bad. Initially, for my first semester, here were a number that sounded interesting (one about WWII i think), but I also looked at a theology and philosophy seminar. I just went through the list, selected the ones that sounded interesting, went to and crossed off the teachers i did not like and then went from there.</p>

<p>Can you take more than one seminar?</p>

<p>I do not believe so except if you are an honors student.</p>

<p>As far as I know you can take one seminar to fulfill the seminar requirement and one university requirement but I do not believe that a second seminar can be used to fulfill a second requirement. But you could probably take it for fun if you wanted.</p>

<p>^The only problem with that is that you probably would be kicked out in case someone needed that class for requirement. I know this year that some friends had bad times to register for classes for the second semester and that seminars were at a premium, so ND may prevent you from registering for two for that reason.</p>

<p>wow, a lot of information. Thank you for the insight. Also, maybe an economics seminar would be so bad? I am kinda leaning toward that but who knows</p>

<p>Also, this may be a stupid question but here goes: all of this writing is done on a computer and not handwritten, right?</p>

<p>yup - that way they can gauge how much you actually write - but yes pretty much everything at ND is on computers</p>

<p>I can't remember for certain but I think my seminar had a couple in class blue book exams. Blue books are test booklets with ten pages or so of blank paper. We did all our assignments on computer but these exams were all handwritten.</p>

<p>^yes, exams are always handwritten, though in my seminar we never had any - but like it has been stated, every seminar is different.</p>

<p>My advice to you would be this: of all the seminars available, narrow it down to a top 8 or so based on content that truly interests you. From that, choose the four that you'd really like to take based on teacher reviews on NDtoday, and put those on your course selection application; I'm saying four because I think that ND had us put our top 4 seminars when I applied for classes last summer. If ND chooses to give you the FYC course first semester, then when you apply for your second semester classes in the middle of the school year, you'll have more say in the EXACT seminar that you receive (as opposed to putting down a top 4 and receiving whichever one they give you). But if you do it this way and you happen to get assigned a seminar first semester, you're very likely to get a seminar that has a great teacher and is also very interesting. Good luck everyone!</p>