L&S Curricular Connections

Celebrating 30 Years of Freshman and Sophomore Seminars at Berkeley

Three people smiling

“The Freshman Seminars owe their existence to the combination of a good idea and a bad budgetary situation. In 1992 the University suffered deep cuts in its state budget and threats of further curtailments. The legislature resounded with the old complaints that the faculty did not teach enough. To demonstrate that we could do more […]

Cal Advantages: Freshman Seminars

I have had many incoming students on my tours as me for advice for UC Berkeley freshman. This is a hard question to answer – being a large research university, opportunities at UC Berkeley are nearly endless. No two paths are identical, and it is impossible to generalize life at Cal. This being said, I […]

College of Letters & Science First Lecture Series

In August 2017 the College of Letters & Science, UC Berkeley, organized a First Lecture series for its incoming freshmen and transfer students. This series was L&S’s academic contribution to the new student orientation, Golden Bear Orientation. Imagining a New World: Arts and Humanities. Presented by Professor Kathleen Donegan on August 16, 2017 Thinking Critically: […]

Reinventing the First Year Experience

The first year experience is ripe for reinvention. Since a freshman experience consisting of a smorgasbord of disconnected general educational classes does little to engage or motivate new college students, a growing number of institutions have responded by instituting “signature” first year experiences. …

History 24 Course Visits Getty in L.A.

On May 7, 2016, Professor Thomas Laqueur with the help of graduate assistant Olivia Benowitz took his History 24 freshman seminar, which has been studying the museums of Berkeley—BAM, the Magnes, the Bancroft, the Jepson Herbarium, the Hearst Anthropology Museum, the Essig Museum of Entomology, among others—on a field trip for the day to the […]

Merging Meditation with the Marketplace

At the University of California at Berkeley, beginning economics students were frustrated with some of the basic assumptions behind Econ 1: more is always better, an extra dollar of income is the same whether you make $10,000 or $1 million, transactions don’t have external consequences. One professor decided it was time for a change. In […]

What’s in a name? Reading Berkeley’s bilingual signs

What’s in a name? Reading Berkeley’s bilingual signs

By David Malinowski and the students of UC Berkeley’s freshman/sophomore seminar East Asian Languages 39A. Perhaps nothing visible in the streets of Berkeley seems more straightforward than the signs that name its businesses. …