Enrollment and Application
The IntroSems priority enrollment process communicates your interest in the seminar topic and allows the faculty member to begin to get to know you. One of the purposes of an IntroSem is to promote formulation of mentoring relationships between faculty and students around common intellectual interests. Many faculty use students' statements of interest to customize their IntroSem for the students they select during the priority enrollment process.
To apply for priority enrollment in IntroSems, frosh, sophomores, and new transfers may rank up to three seminars each quarter and then submit a short statement of interest for at least their first choice in the sign-up system, the IntroSems' VCA. IntroSems instructors assemble their classes from these sign-ups and selected students are priority enrolled before Axess opens for course registration (Autumn Quarter an exception; admitted students enrolled by Sept. 20). Following priority enrollment, IntroSems that still have Space Available open to student self-enrollment in Axess. For more details, review Dates and Deadlines.
Step 2 Go to the IntroSems' VCA to sign up for priority enrollment. In a brief paragraph or two, respond to the following prompt for your first choice. Written comments are required for your first choice IntroSem each quarter. Statements of interest for your second and third choices are optional. The prompt: Pick something in the seminar description and explain why it grabs your attention. Perhaps it reminds you of a prior experience, inspires you to tell a story about yourself, or unearths a curiosity you didn’t know you have. Don’t worry if the story doesn’t seem relevant to the IntroSem. The purpose is for the professor to learn more about you as they assemble the class.
Students who sign up for and are admitted into an IntroSem will be automatically enrolled. Units are pre-loaded on students' study lists before Axess opens for general course registration each quarter (Autumn Quarter an exception; admitted students enrolled by Sept. 20). Faculty may create waitlists for oversubscribed seminars. It is possible for students to be placed into more than one IntroSem or no IntroSems each quarter depending on the overall popularity of your selections.
When Axess opens, you may drop a pre-enrolled seminar yourself should your schedule change or you change your mind. In other words, you are not obligated to stay in your IntroSem enrollment(s). No need to email the program– you can make this change yourself once you can enroll in your other classes. (Sophomore IntroSems that fulfill Writing 2 are an exception; they require an email to the program to drop because you can't drop yourself.)
IntroSems that still have space available after the application and priority enrollment process will open for student self-enrollment in Axess. Visit the Space Available page for the latest updates.
Are IntroSems required?
Although enrollment in an IntroSem is not required, many IntroSems satisfy university breadth requirements (Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing) and in some departments, an IntroSem can fulfill a major requirement. All IntroSems count toward the 180 units required for an undergraduate degree.
Why do IntroSems have a special application process different from other departmental classes in Axess?
The informal application process communicates your interest in the seminar topic and allows the faculty member to begin to get to know you–they may even use the statements to try and tailor their course to the student interests that year. One of the purposes of an IntroSem is to promote formation of relationships between faculty and students around common intellectual interests.
Can Frosh sign up for Sophomore IntroSems? (or vice versa)
Faculty will typically prioritize sophomores and new transfer students over frosh for Sophomore IntroSems, while frosh receive first preference for Frosh Seminars. Nevertheless, if a topic really interests you, do apply as faculty are often open to enrolling either frosh, sophs, or new transfers in their classes. And in general, faculty give priority to frosh, sophs, and new transfers in all IntroSems over juniors and seniors. Tip: Frosh-preference IntroSems catalog numbers end in ‘N’ (e.g., BIO 12N). Sophomore-preference IntroSems catalog numbers end in ‘Q’ (e.g., COMPLIT 11Q).
Heads-up, Frosh!—Please don't waste one of your three quarterly selections by applying for a Sophomore WRITE 2 in the IntroSem's VCA. Wait until you are a sophomore when you will be eligible to receive priority enrollment. Check out this year's Sophomore WRITE 2 IntroSems here.