The transition to college is an exciting time, filled with opportunity. It can also have its challenges—both personally and academically. As you begin your undergraduate journey, we offer a comprehensive Orientation program to welcome you to the intellectual community at HWS and help turn all those new faces into new friends.

Students here take four courses per semester. Prior to arriving in the fall, you'll have selected your courses for the first semester, and one of those courses will be a First-Year Seminar.

These small classes have been developed as a way for you to meet others with similar academic interests and to adjust to college-level work. The seminar topics vary each year, as do the professors who teach them, so the classroom discussions are always fresh and interesting.

Click here to learn more about First-Year Seminars.



First Person Singular
Coming to America
Violence in the Sea of Faith
Genocide and the Modern Age
Monkeys, Morality and the Mind
The Avian Persuasion
Fields of Play: Improv in Life and Art
Face to Face Interrogating Race 
Fiction, Autobiography, Ethnography: How We Write Ourselves 
Sustainable Living & Learning
The Reality Effect (Not a Dark and Stormy Night)
Golf Course Architecture: Literature, History, and Theory
The Mughals
Education, Justice & Happiness
Music and Ethics
Creating: Myth & Mind
Ancient Warfare: How Homer's Iliad Changed the World
The Accidental Scientist: Mysteries of Experience
Hidden Country
Wilderness and the Wild
In Search of an Inca
Einstein, Relativity and Time
Africa: Myths and Realities
Am I crazy?  Madness in History, Culture, and Science
Encountering Difference
Climate Change: Science & Politics
The Blue Planet
You are Where You Eat
Design in American Culture
99% Invisible: Designed Places & Objects
Borders and Boundaries


Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.