First-Year and Second-Year Courses

First-year students are required to complete an Earlham Seminar I and II. In addition, all students must complete a designated Writing Intensive course prior to the completion of their second year.

Earlham Seminar (ES) courses teach first-year students general methods of interpretation in reading, writing and classroom discussion that provide a basis for skills they will continue to develop throughout their college career at Earlham and throughout their lives. The Earlham Seminar will also engage first-year students in exploring a topic of interest in an intimate, challenging and collaborative learning environment. These seminars introduce students to successful participation in a learning community and encourage new ways to engage and understand the world. Earlham Seminars share many of these distinctive characteristics:

  • Investigation of a topic and a set of related questions, using multiple ways of knowing, in order to exam intentionally how knowledge is constructed.
  • Grounding in an academic discipline while examining issues with an interdisciplinary scope.
  • Readings that engage a range of perspectives, discourses and values.
  • Emphasis on reading, reflection, writing and oral communication skills, and providing opportunities for students to critique and analyze information, construct arguments, listen interpretively and demonstrate and understand of various perspectives.
  • Encouragement of personal creativity and confidence in ideas and the development of cooperative learning and research skills.
  • Sharpen interpretive reading skills for analyzing and interpreting different kinds of texts.
  • Strengthen general skills required for coherence and clarity in written expression.
  • Communicate intelligently and effectively both in writing and through participation in group discussion.
  • Become better, more constructive and more open-minded listeners.
  • Develop skills that support and enhance life-long learning and engaged, committed citizenship.

Writing Intensive (WI) courses may be disciplinary or interdisciplinary. They examine a diverse range of texts arranged around a particular question, theme or historical period. Texts may include films, musical scores or works of art. The purpose is to foreground texts for the study of a subject and to compare texts while approaching them from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and in several contexts. These courses:

  • Provide a writing- and reading-intensive experience that develops further the skills acquired in Earlham Seminar courses.
  • Study an array of challenging texts arranged around a particular question, theme or historical period.
  • Investigate primary and secondary texts in studying an issue or era.
  • Compare texts in several contexts — historical, social, political — and put them in dialog with one another.

Earlham Scholars is an enhanced academic program for first-year students ready to dive deep into a field of study. This unique experience can give you a head start on your college career. Confirmed students may sign-up for Earlham Scholars through June 30. Choose among these extraordinary experiences:

  • Super Languages (Spanish)
  • East Asia and the Pacific Northwest: Managing the Risk of Earthquakes and Tsunami
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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
47374-4095
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions