First Year Seminar (FYS)

Below are the guidelines and learning outcomes for FYS courses at UD. A list of courses approved to meet the FYS requirement can be found in the academic catalog. For additional information, consult University Studies FYS & FYE FAQs on the FYS home page.

FYS Guidelines and Learning Outcomes

February 18, 2016

The faculty senate has recognized the FYS as an important experience for students with clearly articulated content aligned with best practices in helping students through the transition from high school to college. Since it serves as the first introduction to the University of Delaware, a committed portion of the FYS course time should be allotted to common content that furthers the aims of General Education at the University of Delaware and/or provides a foundation for student success.  As such, in May 2015, the faculty senate approved the topics listed below for mandatory inclusion in all FYS courses.

It is important to note that as an introductory course, the FYS will introduce many of these topics to students, but it is understood that subsequent additional learning opportunities will occur through other general education requirements, courses student must take as a requirement of their college and/or major, and out of the classroom learning experiences.

Ethics/Academic Honesty:

UD graduates should be able to explain the reasons behind the positions they hold on key ethical questions and to articulate the values that underlie their decisions.

Students who complete the FYS course will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between values, morals, and ethics and laws.
  2. Define elements of academic dishonesty including plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, and academic misconduct as defined by UD’s Code of Conduct.
  3. Articulate the possible consequences for academic dishonesty at UD.

Responsible use of Internet/Social Media:

Understanding how to responsibly use social media, other technologies, and develop a positive digital identity is crucial for today’s successful student.

Students who complete the FYS course will be able to:

  1. Describe principles and specific examples of ways the Internet and social media can be used to both help and harm others
  2. Demonstrate effective ways to responsibly use social media to positively engage with others and portray oneself with authenticity

Academic Policies and Procedures:

Early in their academic careers at UD, students should be aware of the important policies and practices that will guide their progress and be familiar with those resources that will support their academic success.

Students who complete the FYS course will be able to:

  1. Find the name of their academic advisor on UDSIS and know how to contact this individual.
  2. Identify important dates on the University of Delaware Academic Calendar, including those for registration and course drop and add.
  3. Understand the difference between a semester GPA and a cumulative GPA and how to calculate both.
  4. Identify where to access UD academic policies.
  5. Be able to explain what academic probation means including the criteria for being placed on probation and at least three campus resources to support students facing academic challenges.
  6. Know how to access the academic support resources available to them at UD.


The development of skills to work independently and collaboratively across a variety of cultural contexts and a spectrum of differences ensures that students will understand the limitations of a single perspective and the value of diverse perspectives and cultures in creative problem solving of major challenges and discussion in debates, and establishment of an engaged society.

 Students who complete the FYS course will be able to:

  1. Define diversity as it is described in UD’s “Diversity Statement.”
  2. Provide three examples of how individual students at UD can contribute to making UD a respectful, equitable, and inclusive academic community.
  3. Identify three sites on campus where students can become better informed about diversity (academic departments, SROs, or offices).
  4. Describe the process for reporting an incident of discrimination/misconduct based on race, gender, sexuality, religion, or other diversity category.

Safety and Wellness:

Three sessions of the FYS course must be designated to student wellness and safety with a defined significant emphasis on alcohol and other substance education as well as sexual misconduct/violence prevention education, accomplished through the teaching of bystander intervention theory and practice* which must be taught by qualified, trained personnel or prevention staff.

Students complete all three of these FYS course classes will be able to:

  1. Define bystander intervention and explain why bystander intervention is needed on our campus.
  2. Identify potential risks and dangers to safety or wellness on a college campus.
  3. Identify situations where bystander action might be appropriate.
  4. Identify the range of potential active bystander behaviors/options/skills.
  5. Express motivation and commitment to be an active bystander.
  6. Think critically about choices related to safety and wellness.
  7. Understand the association between health/wellness and academic success.

*The teaching of bystander intervention theory and practice within the proposed FYS course structure comprises one essential piece of the Institution’s over-arching student learning plan regarding the prevention of sexual misconduct.

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