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First Year Seminar

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Welcome to First Year Seminar!

This course is required for all first-year students and encourages a welcoming, inclusive, and comfortable environment. Students have the opportunity to choose their own class theme from the many options we offer. Faculty mentors, who teach these courses, have created unique themes for their individual courses. These themes reflect their passion and expertise, while catering to the needs of new Roberts students.

Each class has an upperclassman student leader, who stays actively engaged by attending classes, participating in discussions, promoting campus engagement, and serving as a peer mentor.

First-year seminar develops community relationships as well as the strong faculty/peer mentoring relationships. These relationships will serve the incoming students throughout their Roberts experience.

In the Honors First-Year Seminar, participants in the Global Honors Program explore the meaning of freedom in our local community, our country, and the world. For more information, click here.

This program focuses on three key and integrated areas, Learning, Living, and Faith. This focus provides a holistic foundation for students to build upon throughout their educational and lifelong journey.


As an orientation course, students are encouraged through tools, workshops, and lessons to develop the best academic skills and habits.  


This course involves active learning via discussions, co-curricular activities, reflection of personal goals, shared readings, course activities, and service projects.


Roberts provides a place where students can safely share their unique perspectives no matter where they are on their spiritual journey.

Previous First Year Seminar Themes

  • Creating Your Personal Success Plan (or Your Bespoke Success Plan)
  • Be the Change by Being You
  • ”Clink! Sip! Ah,” Coffee and Our American Culture
  • Global Poverty and Sustainable Innovation: The Power of Hope
  • Uncommon Courage
  • Surviving a First-Year Collegiate Apocalypse
  • Freedom in Rochester and the World
  • Search for Meaning with a Heart for Truth: Taking Your Faith to College
  • The Creative Life-Mapping the Heart and Mind
  • Refugees: Ministering across Cultural, Linguistic, and Religious Lines
  • Understanding Current Events through the Eyes of Faith
  • Academic Explorers: How to be a Friend
  • Meaning in a Meaningless World
  • Passport to the World: Discovering the Value of a Global Perspective
  • Servanthood: Practicing Service in a Needy World
  • Setting Captives Free: Abolition in the 21st Century
  • Permission to Speak Freely: The Questions Matter – Opinions are Required
  • Graphic Novels: Beyond Kryptonite and Batmobile
  • The Bee’s Life: How Honeybees Can Help Us Understand Living in Community and Being Human
  • Inside Out: Getting Through the First Semester of College
  • The Hidden Meanings, Themes, and Thoughts in Fairy Tales
  • Unplugged: Understanding the Spiritual Disciplines as a Means to Connect with What Lasts (the Eternal?)
  • Silence of the Lambs: Understanding the Sociopath and the Devil You Know
  • Aristotle and Popular Music
  • Narnia: Topical Themes and Cultural Means
  • TED goes to college: Understanding Education the Eyes of TED Talks
  • Where Am I Going? How Do I Get There? Leading Lives That Matter
  • Cultures of the World: Truth & Fiction
  • The Stories We Write and the Stories That Write Us: The Power of Narrative in Life, Culture, and Faith
  • Love Does: Ordinary People, Incredible God...Epic Journey
  • Active Imaginations: Igniting Creativity for Social Change
  • Mythbusters: Who Do You Listen To?
  • Star Wars Legacy: From Hope to Awakening

Student Testimonials

"The teacher was amazing and made it very clear on how to navigate our way through Roberts."

"My professor made it very easy for me to fall in love with Roberts and navigate my way."

"Out of all the classes I had this semester, this class was my favorite. The professor is too funny and made the class so much fun."

"The professor and student mentor was always willing to help students. They were willing to be involved in a students life if the student wanted that. They were also very caring to all students while trying to have fun."


Campus Wellness Week | October 4 - 9, 2021

September 28, 2021

On behalf of the Counseling Center, Student Life, and First Year Seminar, we would like to invite ...(Read More)
The Inaugural First-Year Seminar All Virtual Class Is a Success!

January 29, 2021

We made history! The leadership team made up of Sandra (Sam) Brzoza, and student mentors Michael U...(Read More)