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!


Currently in FYS...

Dr. Provines visiting Dan Close's class

Mental Health and Serious Swag

Dr. Jessica Provines visits Dan Close's FYS to give advice to new students and give out t-shirts, magnets, and face masks.
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!
zoom class

FYS on Zoom

Dr. Allen (FYS Elections) visits Dr. Rife's FYS class (Race and Ethnicity) on November 2 to answer questions about the 2020 election.
 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 2022:
FYPS 102AD: Plugging Into Politics, Alexandra Middlewood (Political Science)

FYPS 102AD: Plugging Into Politics, Alexandra Middlewood (Political Science)

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will look at the American political system, how we act in it, with explorations of the ideas of trust, voluntarism, and democracy as how people think about their government. 
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.
FYML 102G: Latinos in the US and the Midwest
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • We will examine the different Latino subgroups and the experience of the Latinx community in the United States, with particular attention to the Midwest.
FYWS 102AA: Intersectional Inequality and Critical Engagement, Chinyere Okafor (Women's Studies)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • This class focuses on the basics of gender intersection with inequality from the standpoint of poverty.  We will discuss the connection of gender with poverty, and with race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability, privilege and power.
FYEN 102P: Imagining Climate Change, Mary Waters (English)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • We will consider how imaginative literature might help inform us about a scientific and social topic like climate change, engaging us in debate about it and promoting an ethic of climate change awareness based on critical reflection and shared responsibility.
FYCJ 102Q: Criminalistic Methods: What Would Sherlock Holmes Do?, David Klamm (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 102R: Exploring WSU in Your Photos and Words, Dan Close (Communications)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • You will explore much of what WSU has to offer and document your experiences using photographs and words.  You will tell about your personal story, while learning about the helpful people, places, and policies for thriving in college.
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 102V: Creation, the Earth, and the Future, Rannfrid Thelle (History and Religious Studies)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • This class explores the “big questions” of creation, which we will look at through sacred stories, myths, and cultural traditions. The class explores human interaction with nature, and we will explore questions on life, death, nature, fears, and hopes.
FYSW 102T: This is US, Who are You?  Family in Modern America, BreAnn Gilkey (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.  
FYPS 102AD: Plugging Into Politics, Alexandra Middlewood (Political Science)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will look at the American political system, how we act in it, with explorations of the ideas of trust, voluntarism, and democracy as how people think about their government.  
FYMS 102F: Healthcare Detectives, Laurie Alloway (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.
FYPF 102A: Express Yourself! The Exploration of Physical Communication: Mime/Physical Theatre, Nick Johnson (Performing Arts)
  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • Want to learn nonverbal theatre?  We will create conceptual statements, short plays and abstract movement art.  The class will focus on gesture, isolations, flexibility, strength, emotional expression, authentic acting and fundamental mime skills.
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.
FYED 102B: Race and Ethnicity in American Society, Aaron Rife  (Education)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • What is race or ethnicity—what do those things even mean? Why does it matter today, and why do people get so upset?  We will engage with scholarship and popular debates on race, ethnicity, racism, and ethnocentrism, all in our modern lives.  And we’ll do it with a certain amount of joy and fun, promise.
FYED 102C: Creativity and Problem Solving, Jim Granada (Education)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Enroll in this FYS course to expand your use of creative thinking to solve problems and to nurture the creative being inside you. Have fun tapping your creative potential.
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 Beggs (Student Success, Housing, 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, Academic Affairs)
  • 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 102AZ: 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 102G:  Food, Culture and Privilege, Amy Drassen Ham (Health Professions and Honors)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Where does food come from, how is it produced and by whom, and what does food mean to consumers?  We will look at industrialization of food, its distribution, and how privilege affects consumption.  We will look at research and popular culture.
WSUH 102E:  Infections, Emerging Superbugs, Biowarfare and Outbreaks, Evan Ohlman (Physician Assistant)
  • Math and Natural Sciences
  • This class examines unique and peculiar infections, as well as how they impact society.  We will look at examples from history as well as current epidemics.
WSUA 102AG: Data, Information, Knowledge & Wisdom: The Evolving Nature of Society and Technology, Nicholas Wyant (WSU Libraries)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • We will look at how to find and interpret information, as well as how technology plays a part in how we create, share, and obtain information.

*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.