CALS First-Year Seminar Requirement

UW-Madison departments may apply for a course to fulfill the CALS First-Year Seminar requirement. Applications are reviewed each winter by the committee for effective dates of the following fall.

For courses to fulfill the CALS requirement, the must meet the criteria published in Guide. Courses must have their own permanent course number and cannot be offered under a Topics course. As part of the review of applications, the department owner(s) of the course will be contacted to confirm a commitment to meeting the CALS First-Year Seminar requirement.

Applications are due by the end of December each year for inclusion the following fall and must be submitted through the online application. Applications require course information, a sample syllabus, and explanation of how the course meets the criteria of the CALS First-Year Seminar requirement.

It is strongly recommended that applications be discussed with your department/unit curriculum committee(s) before submission to ensure understanding of the criteria. The application process includes follow-up with department chairs to confirm a continuing commitment to maintain required elements even with any changes in instructor(s).

Courses approved for the CALS First-Year Seminar requirement will be periodically re-evaluated for continued approval.

Course Application Form

Contact Megan Ackerman-Yost at or the CALS Academic Affairs general mailbox at