Make the Most of Your First Year

Wichita State's First-Year Seminar offers students unique, small classes taught by fantastic faculty and instructors from across the university.

A First-Year Seminar lets you take a class in a specialized topic, taught by an expert in the field, while also learning about campus resources to help you have a more successful experience at WSU. 

All new-to-university students are required to take an FYS class.*  But no worries, we have something to fit your interest!


Recently in FYS...

students sitting with seniors

Jacie Green and students at Larksfield Place

In Connecting Generations FYS class, students work with senior citizens to create printed biographies of their lives. 
WWII class meet vet

World War II veteran Richard Martin visits Sam Corcoran's FYS on technologies created during the 1930s and 40s.

Class outside

Socially Distanced FYS

Dr. Carolyn Shaw's students (Me and My Place in the World) safely meet outside on the campus lawn!
 First-Year Seminar Learning Objectives: 
General Education Outcomes
  • Have acquired knowledge in the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences
  • Think critically and independently
  • Write and speak effectively
  • Employ analytical reasoning and problem solving techniques
Student Success Outcomes
  • Understand the expectations of higher education and how they differ from secondary education
  • Develop skills and habits that promote deep learning and long-term retention of knowledge
  • Develop life and study skills in areas including time management, note taking, test taking, and personal finance
  • Capitalize on university resources and extracurricular experiences designed to promote your success
FYS Classes for Fall 2023:
FYML 102E: World Cultures in Popular Media, Jennifer Musaji (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • We will look at ways cultures are depicted in popular media and how stereotypes may contrast with reality. 
FYML 102N: World Food and Foodways, Sirana Jamkartanian (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • We will analyze food and how food plays a role in different cultures.  This class also looks at food in literature, film, and art.
FYWS 102AA: Fundamentals of Diversity, Chinyere Okafor (Women's Studies)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • Designed to facilitate students’ success particularly in understanding the basics of diversity – its construction, perception and possibilities. Students learn the meaning of diversity in terms of being different and special according to societal norms. Focuses on gender and race, but issues of class, sexuality and ability are also included in the study. 
FYCJ 102Q: Criminalistic Methods: What Would Sherlock Holmes Do?, Rebecca Martin (Forensic Science, Criminal Justice)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Through the use of the scientific method--which is often used in forensic science and criminal investigations—we will examine how to apply these elements in creative thinking and resourceful problem-solving skills. Students will also get to practice Criminology.
FYCM 102D: Cross Cultural Communications, Eric Wilson (Communications)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • You will gain knowledge and appreciation for the cultural diversity at Wichita State.  You will meet people from other cultures to help understand world perspectives, and you will gain speaking and writing skills to improve your own communication with others.
FYPL 102B: Critical Reasoning about Weird Things, Patrick Bondy (Philosophy)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • The class focuses on critical reasoning, where we will learn and practice tools needed to evaluate weird and extraordinary claims.  We will look at how arguments work and how to reason about everyday arguments and unusual topics, like paranormal, miracle drugs, and conspiracy theories!
FYPL 102A: Law, Jeff Hershfield (Philosophy)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • We will look at cases and current events to raise philosophical issues with constitutional law, tort law, and criminal law.
FYGE 102U: Building a Sustainable Planet, Toni Jackman (Geology)
  • Math and Natural Sciences
  • We'll look at current environmental issues and controversies as well as envisioning what it would take to "build" a sustainable planet.
FYHS 102M: History of Rock and Roll, Jeff Hayton (History)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • This class explores how popular music can be used to investigate historical trends and developments.  Also, how historical developments influenced popular music.  We will look at popular music from the 1800s through today.
FYSW 102T: This is US, Who are You?  Family in Modern America, Amy Kalb (Social Work)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will look at the diversity of families in America. You will be asked to think and talk about how the notion of family has played a role in your own life and formation, as well as reflect upon the literature and research regarding family and current debates and dilemmas.
FYSW 102A: Get Involved: The Power of Collective Behavior, Brien Bolin (Social Work)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • What is collective behavior?  We will look at conformity, crowd/group behavior, rumors, public opinion, propaganda crazes, fads, fashions, mass hysteria, riots, mobs, disaster behavior, social protests, social movements and social advocacy.  
FYMS 102F: Healthcare Detectives, Latisha Spence (Health Professions)
  • Math and Natural Sciences
  • The work of the medical laboratory is often called the "science behind the medicine."  We will look at the role the medical laboratory plays in healthcare, who works in a laboratory, and how to interpret data.
FYED 102A: Superheroes Go to School, Daniel Bergman (Education)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Examinations common superhero attributes and narratives, specifically in school or educational settings. Projects are related to personal development and preparation for ongoing learning and growth.
FYET 102A: Introduction to Technology and Innovation, Nathan Smith, Samantha Corcoran (Engineering Technology)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Learn through hands-on projects about design thinking to learn creative problem-solving skills.  You will be part of a multi-disciplinary team throughout the course and you will have the opportunity to build a working prototype.
FYMU 102A:  Music Really Does Make You Smarter, Jeb Wallace (Music)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • Provides students with an opportunity to form a current music advocacy philosophy while developing leadership skills for a variety of music activities and scenarios.
FYPH 102B: Leadership and Self Discovery, Kennedy Rogers and Randi Courtier (Student Success, Student Involvement, and Public Health)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will explore personal leadership and your role in your community and university. You will learn about your strengths, areas to develop, and work with others in projects to improve your immediate surroundings.
WSUN 102D: Discovering Humanity, Kimberly Engber (English and Honors)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • What makes us human?  This class will look at personal and fictional narratives about justice, anger, and identity.  
WSUN 102E: Me and My Place in the World, Carolyn Shaw (Political Science and Honors)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Explore your own roots and the experiences that have shaped who you are today.  Engage with others who have different stories from your own and will examine how you can collaboratively make a difference locally and globally on issues that are important to you.
WSUN 102F/FYHS 102AE: Facts, Opinions and Why They Both Matter, Keith Pickus (History and Honors)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will examine the factors that influence the formation of one's "opinions" and the ways in which "facts" can be used to support them.  You will strengthen your ability to empathize with people who hold opinions different than your own and engage in substantive, informed and respectful discussions about these differences.
WSUN 102I: Community and Cultural Connections, Kevin Harrison (Honors)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Get to know WSU and Wichita as a city and community. The goal of this course is to help students see the connections between an urban university and the city in which it resides.  You are both students and citizens of a community!

*As a member of Kansas Public Institutions of Higher Learning, Wichita State University is dedicated to helping students graduate within four years while still maintaining rigorous career preparation and academic standards.  Therefore, students who have earned an Associate Degree or 30 credit hours prior to high school graduation and before starting classes at WSU as a degree-bound student, may be exempt from taking a First-Year Seminar course.