Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Take a chance on a dean’s seminar

Talia Balakirsky, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

There’s no reason your freshman schedule has to be boring. Sure, you could fill it up with liberal arts requirements, but there are also more interesting options.

As a freshman, one of the best academic decisions I made was to take a dean’s seminar – a small class exclusively for freshmen taught by high-level and sought-after professors on a wide variety of subjects. For example, this coming fall, the available dean’s seminars range from “Political Manipulation” to “Coming of Age in Fantasy.”

In just a few short weeks, incoming freshmen will register for their first classes as students at GW, and will compete with hundreds of others to get the classes they want.

If you’re an incoming freshman preparing for registration in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, you should strongly consider signing up for a dean’s seminar. Not only will it make for an exciting academic addition to your semester, but will help you build relationships, too.

Because these small classes are only open to freshmen, I was able to make new friends in my dean’s seminar and felt comfortable participating in class discussions. The professors teaching these classes are the best of the best, and it shows in their knowledge and accomplishments.

I built a valuable connection with my professor, and that relationship will continue to benefit me. The biggest thing I learned from my professor is that you can’t always expect to succeed if you don’t have the drive to put in the time. That lesson will stay with me.

Plus, these seminars often take students outside of the classroom and into the city, which is a fun way to change up the usual day-to-day schedule. My dean’s seminar, “The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln,” really utilized everything D.C. has to offer. During the semester, my class visited Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln Memorial as a way of bringing us closer to the history that we were learning in class.

Unfortunately, these classes are only available to CCAS students. And even students in CCAS are hesitant to take dean’s seminars because they want to pack their schedules with required courses. But if you’re interested in a seminar that doesn’t fill a requirement, and some of them do, take the course anyway. Since they are only open to freshmen, you won’t get many chances.

Taking a seminar opened my eyes to the amazing things GW students have access to in D.C. So take a chance on a dean’s seminar, and you will likely find that it makes your first year at GW even more rewarding and memorable.

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