Orientation/New Student Advising
2009–10 University Seminars
As an admitted student, you received information about SPU's Orientation/New Student Advising
event. During this event, you'll
meet with an academic advisor and register for Autumn Quarter classes.
You can register for your Autumn Quarter University Seminar (USEM) course even sooner, though, after completing your required online tutorial
. Here's how:
- Before you do the tutorial, read the University Seminar descriptions (available after April 1st.)
- Choose four or five open seminars you find interesting.
- Toward the end of your tutorial, you will be asked to list your USEM choices in order of preference.
- We will then register you for your top available University Seminar choice. (USEMs fill up quickly, so don't delay completing your tutorial.)
For a list of open University Seminar courses after April 1, visit the USEM listing in the Online Time Schedule
If you were invited to join the University Scholars
honors program and you accept, you will register for University Scholars Seminar instead of registering for a USEM.
Interested and well-qualified students, if not invited
at admission, are encouraged to apply to University Scholars.
What Is University
University Seminar (USEM) is a required five-credit class you will
take during the Autumn Quarter of your freshman year.
What Is USEM's
- The University Seminar is the first course you'll take in SPU's Common
Curriculum, part of the liberal arts requirements all students
must take before graduating.
- Each Seminar is designed and
taught by a full-time faculty member, and is a class of no more than 20 students.
- Seminars introduce students to the rigors of a university education in a writing-intensive
course in which teaching and learning is infused with a Christian
The University Seminar's primary purpose is to help you make
the transition between high school studies and the academic culture
of a university. Although specific topics for each seminar are different,
the required learning activities in University Seminar include common
requirements of university courses, which you'll be expected to master
in order to succeed in your major. These include the following:
- Write university-level
- Prepare for midterm
and final examinations.
- Listen to and
take notes from lectures.
- Make oral presentations
- Use print and
electronic resources in the SPU Library for research.
- Study a topic
In Winter and Spring quarters, you will take two other courses
in the Common Curriculum each quarter — one each quarter with students who were also in your University
Seminar. The course, UCOR 1000 Arts
and the Christian Community, is an arts and humanities course; UFDN
1000 Christian Formation, is a faith exploration course.
This diagram illustrates the sequence of Common Curriculum classes
during your first year. You'll take them in addition to courses in
the Exploratory Curriculum each quarter:
Core 1000: Arts and the Christian Community (UCOR)
course considers the question "Who am I, and for what have
I been created?" Through examining literary and artistic works
that have shaped cultures past and present, this course explores how
we are created to be unique persons and to be in community with others.
Key themes are artistic ways of knowing, individualism and conformity,
and faith as a formative virtue.
Foundations 1000: Christian Formation (UFDN)
This course explores the lived experience of faith by considering
the role of Scripture, tradition, human reason, and human experience
in Christian formation. Significant classic and contemporary works
regarding the Christian life serve as the basis for encountering the
claims of Christian faith.
Another part of SPU's liberal arts requirement is the "Exploratory
Curriculum." It allows you to choose courses in the arts and humanities,
social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics to explore your
interests and help you choose a major. Many of these courses are prerequisites
to particular majors. You'll take courses to meet these requirements
each quarter, along with your USEM, UCOR, and UFDN courses. Your University
Seminar professor, who serves as your academic advisor during your
first year, will help you select courses related to your interests
and goals, and will inform you about campus resources for achieving