Freshmen form bonds in seminars

Princeton’s first-year students are learning about relationships and building their own through the Freshman Seminar Program.

Among the topics they are covering this fall are the links between the body and the brain, the influence of a global upbringing on issues of identity, the negotiation of differences within political movements and the ties between universities and the common good. They also are forging bonds with their classmates in an academic experience that students typically consider one of their best at Princeton.

Freshman seminars stress close interaction with faculty members in small-group settings, with an emphasis on inquiry that will set the course for the students’ years at Princeton. Some 450 students are enrolled in 36 seminars this fall; another 41 seminars will be offered in the spring.

Each seminar is hosted by a residential college. Class discussions often continue in informal settings both on and off campus, through meals, guest lectures, field trips and other activities.

This issue of the Princeton Weekly Bulletin includes stories on four of this fall’s freshman seminars.

• Pondering the differences between minds and machines
• Finding a world of connections
• Exploring conflict and consensus in political life
• Weighing universities’ role in the ‘common good’