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Fall 2023 First-Year Seminar Proposals

Fall 2023 First-Year Seminar Proposals were due January 31, 2023.
The Fall 2024 proposal process will open in November/December 2023.
Contact angela-lamb@uiowa.edu with questions.

Even if you have taught your proposed seminar in the past, you must submit a proposal in order to be considered for the Fall 2023 semester.

Submitting A First-Year Seminar Proposal 

  1. Step 1- Review all information on this page (scroll down to read the "Important Notes" section), the Course Policies and Procedures page, the Collegiate Compensation Policies page, and the Attributes of a First-Year Seminar page. In addition, some instructors may want to consider requesting their seminar be offered as an Honors and/or Research-Focused First-Year Seminar. This request is indicated in the proposal form.
  2. Step 2- Collect relevant information:
    • Verbal prior approval from your DEO or direct supervisor to submit a FYS proposal (they will also sign off on your proposal in workflow).
    • A copy of your syllabus (see the syllabus section of the FYS policies page); a draft version is acceptable
    • Decide the day/time your seminar will meet (review the Standardized Time-Block Model), if your proposal is accepted.
    • Know which of the 4 Pillars of a First-Year Seminar your seminar is tied to, have your MyUI course description written and ready to include on the submission form, and be prepared to provide a short justification for your course and what makes it appropriate for a First-Year Seminar.
  3. Step 3- Complete the proposal form in workflow, found at

    link tbd and hit "Submit to Workflow." 

  4. Step 4- Let your DEO or direct supervisor know they will need to approve the form in workflow by 11:59pm on date tbd, 2024. This includes the co-instructor, if there is one, as well.
  5. Step 5- You may also want to let your HR representative, departmental administrator, and person who schedules your courses (if in an academic department) know that you have submitted a proposal. Some of these people will also automatically have "view only" access to your proposal as an FYI. Please remind them: DO NOT schedule your course until you have received communication on proposal decisions in late February.

Important Notes

  • The First-Year Seminar proposal form is submitted via workflow. The primary instructor's (and co-instructor, if applicable) DEO or direct supervisor is required to approve the form in workflow by the proposal due date. Instructors (both primary and co-instructors) are encouraged to notify their DEO or direct supervisor upon submission of their form so they know to be watching for it. In addition, please budget your time accordingly to allow time for the form to get through workflow by the due date. Key departmental staff will automatically be added to the workflow as "view only" as an fyi for them (department administrator, HR unit rep, and course schedulers ). They do not need to do anything further with the form and should NOT schedule your seminar yet. You may add additional workflow stops as needed. 
  • Unless other arrangements have been made directly with a specific academic unit, instructors who cannot offer their course through their home academic unit (instructional staff, adjunct faculty, departments that do not offer undergraduate courses, etc.) will have their course scheduled in University College.
  • Important Honors & Research-Focused Compensation Policy Information
    Seminars selected to be offered as an Honors Seminar will be scheduled by and offered through the instructor's home department; instructors will be compensated via their home college compensation policy. If the seminar will also be offered as a research-focused seminar, see below.

    Seminars selected as research-focused (both Honors AND non-Honors), will be scheduled in University College in Undergraduate Research Studies (URES). As such, all URES instructors will be compensated by University College directly and per the University College compensation policy; compensation is via a teaching stipend ($2,500 minus tax/fringe).
  • Merit and SEIU staff, undergraduate/grad TA's, grad/professional students, and non UI-employed or affiliated community members are NOT eligible to teach a FYS. Appropriate credentials and prior relevant collegiate teaching experience is expected.
  • Proposal decisions will be communicated to instructors by late February or early March.

  • Effective Fall 2020, all First-Year Seminar instructors are expected to attend an information session during each spring semester (after proposals have been approved) as well as an enrichment session at the start of each fall semester. These sessions create opportunities to share relevant information with and among all instructors and contribute to a more meaningful and consistent First-Year Seminar experience. Instructors who are unable to attend any of the scheduled spring sessions will be asked to meet with Academic Support and Retention staff individually. 
  • Instructors may ask to be considered for both an Honors Seminar as well as a Research-Focused Seminar. Decisions on these designations are made separately and acceptance of one request for consideration does not guarantee the other. 



First-Year Seminars are funded by and administered through the University College, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and Academic Support and Retention. Questions about First-Year Seminars can be directed to Angie Lamb, Associate Director in Academic Support and Retention.