Freshman Seminar Module

The Faculty has been offering Freshman Seminar since August 2006. Freshman Seminars provide an unparalleled opportunity for freshmen and faculty to explore a scholarly topic of mutual interest in small group settings of 15 students.


Designed with the freshmen in mind, Freshman Seminars are excellent platforms for students to engage in in-depth discussions of an intellectual topic and to present their ideas without the pressure of examinations. Through the process, students will sharpen their inquiry and critical reasoning skills. Intellectual curiosities will be sparked and students will be orientated into the academic environment of NUS. The wide selection of topics available is a reflection of the faculty members' diverse research or intellectual interests.Students can enroll in a Freshman Seminar topic to deepen their understanding of a topic or simply to explore an unfamiliar topic which they would otherwise have no opportunities to do so within their majors.


The conducive environment of a Freshman Seminar promotes the forging of rapport between students and faculty, creating mentorship opportunities that will extend to the later undergraduate years. With the combination of exciting topics, dedicated faculty and small-group settings, the Freshman Seminar will definitely be the highlight of a student's first year in NUS.


The Freshman Seminar seeks to:

  1. help new students orientate themselves to the academic environment of NUS, realign their thinking and learning processes, and integrate into the student life here;

  2. facilitate exploration of a scholarly topic of mutual interest by students and faculty members together;

  3. provide a platform for students to engage in in-depth discussion on a specific issue and to present their ideas clearly in oral and written form;

  4. offer students a wide diversity of topics to choose from, exposing them to areas that they may otherwise not have the chance to experience;

  5. establish a rapport between professors and students, creating opportunities for mentorship in the students' later undergraduate years and even beyond;

  6. enable small group teaching, characteristic of liberal arts colleges (LACs), through which certain pedagogical outcomes of LACs can be achieved.

Module Structure

The Freshman Seminar module is of 4 modular credits and may be used to satisfy faculty requirements i.e. it will be considered to be outside the group(s) under which the major falls because of its multi-disciplinarity.

This module is open to freshmen of the Faculty of Science in their first two semesters at NUS.

Senior students who have missed taking the Freshman Seminar are welcome to apply, subject to availability. Priority would however be given to freshmen.


Students who have read a Freshman Seminar before will be precluded from reading a second Freshman Seminar.

Students staying in Residential Colleges in UTown who will be reading or have read the Junior Seminars will be precluded from reading Freshman Seminar in the Faculty.


This module is 100% continuous assessment. To encourage the relaxed exchange of ideas and information, this module will be graded 'Completed Satisfactory/Completed Unsatisfactory' (CS/CU) which will not shave off from the S/U entitlement.

Class Size

To promote interaction, the maximum class size is 15. The minimum class size for the specific seminar to be offered is 8.


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