Freshman Humanities Seminar

Welcome to the Freshman Humanities Seminar Program! This is a body of courses designed to give first-year CMC students an introduction to some of the questions fundamental to individuals in their relationship to society. Each section of FHS is unique, exploring topics and texts within a CMC professor's areas of expertise and interest, and each section has its own flavor and style. Despite the thematic differences between sections, all FHS courses aim to provide students with the analytical skills necessary to engage critically with issues, texts, and arguments and to express their ideas clearly, both orally and in writing. As such, these classes will be participatory and writing-intensive. They are meant to allow for a variety of opinions based on reasoned argumentation and grounded in the reading and interpretation of texts. All courses offer students a chance to work closely with outstanding teacher-scholars on significant problems in the humanities.

While there is no expectation of shared readings across sections, all FHS courses will examine some of the works that have been significant in shaping human perceptions of the world. Each section engages one or more critical themes such as the notion of the self, the community, individual and communal values, modes of understanding, and creative expression.

Although these courses are not intended to be introductions to any particular discipline in the humanities, different FHS sections might nonetheless tend more toward the philosophical, the political, the historical, or some other approach reflecting the professor's expertise. The course materials typically include a diversity of media, among which are written texts, music, film, and the visual arts.

Courses will appear on students' transcripts and in the Schedule of Classes under their individualized titles (e.g., FHS 10: Myth, Modernity, and Beyond or FHS 10: War and Society).

Incoming students are asked to familiarize themselves with all FHS sections and to identify those that most appeal to them by using the survey tool found on the New Student Portal.  Based on student surveys, we will seek to place all students in one of their preferred sections either in the fall or the spring. Because the entire incoming class will be distributed in equal numbers across all the scheduled sections, students should submit their surveys by August 1 to improve their chances of getting their highest ranked classes. Every first-year CMC student is required to take one FHS course either in the spring or fall.


Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Claremont McKenna College
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8117
Fax: (909) 607-1212

Campus Location

Bauer Center, Second Floor
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711