SAGES: Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship for Transfer Students

SAGES pyramid; first seminar, university seminars, department seminar, senior capstone

Detailed explanations of the SAGES general education requirements can be found in the General Bulletin and on the SAGES website.

First Seminar: All First Seminars are interdisciplinary courses characterized by intense yet open-ended intellectual inquiry, guided by reading from primary as well as secondary sources, and include practice in written and oral communication in small groups. The goals of First Seminar are to enhance basic intellectual skills of academic inquiry, such as critical reading, thoughtful analysis, and written and oral communication; to introduce basic information literacy skills; to provide a foundation for ethical decision-making; to encourage a global and multidisciplinary perspective on the learning process; to facilitate faculty-student interactions; and, in the most general sense, to provide a supportive common intellectual experience. There are four types of First Seminar: Life of the Mind, Natural World, Social World, and Symbolic World. Transfer students with credit for First Seminar will be required to complete FSTS 100, the one-hour transfer supplement.

University Seminars: These seminars are interdisciplinary in nature and build on the experience and skills developed in First Seminar. Students must complete two University Seminars from two different topical areas (Natural World, Social World, Symbolic World).

Writing portfolio: After the completion of the student’s last University Seminar, the student will compile a final writing portfolio and submit it to the SAGES office (110 Crawford Hall). The portfolio is due the semester following the student’s final University Seminar. The writing portfolio documents a student’s progress as a writer over the first three SAGES seminars and provides the university with programmatic feedback that will be used to enhance future seminars.

Department Seminar: Students enroll in the Department Seminar after completion of University Seminars and the Writing Portfolio. Students ordinarily take this discipline-specific seminar in their third year and often within their major field.

Senior Capstone: As seniors, students participate in a one- or two-semester capstone project, culminating in a final written report and a public presentation of their work, often at the university-wide celebration of scholarship. Students usually complete their capstone project within their major field.

Breadth requirements: All students take additional discipline-specific courses, typically outside their majors, to ensure broad exposure to liberal learning. These courses may be taken throughout a student's undergraduate career. Some degree programs and majors specify that certain courses be taken to fulfill breadth requirements.