Liberal Studies Program

The First-Year Program

The First-Year Program is a component of the Liberal Studies Program. The FYP facilitates courses taken during a student’s freshman year at DePaul. During the autumn quarter, new students participate in a Chicago Quarter class, either Discover Chicago or Explore Chicago. During Winter or Spring Quarter, students complete a Focal Point Seminar.

Chicago Quarter courses acquaint first-year students at DePaul with the metropolitan community, its neighborhoods, cultures, people, institutions, organizations, and issues. Students also learn about university life, resources, and how to be a successful student. Learning is accomplished through a variety of means, but particularly through first-hand observation, participation, personal discovery, and reflection. Discover Chicago begins with Immersion Week one week prior to the official start of the autumn quarter and classes continue to meet throughout the quarter. Explore Chicago students meet during the traditional autumn quarter. Students select a particular Chicago Quarter course focusing on a Chicago-related topic.

Focal Point Seminars focus on a person, place, event or text. The course is taught with a multi-disciplinary approach to broaden and problematize assumptions about the topic. Focal Point courses are conducted in a seminar format, where student discussion is emphasized. Class is driven by ideas gleaned from readings, including primary sources and a reasonable amount of secondary literature as well.  Nearly 100 topics are offered each year. Focal Point Seminars are offered in Winter and Spring Quarters of a student’s first year.

Also part of a student’s first-year experience are courses in First-Year Writing and Quantitative Reasoning and Technological Literacy (QRTL). There are also special requirements for first-year students in The Honors Program.