Expanding your understanding of the business world and preparing you to influence it.
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First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminars are designed to help new Penn State students learn about the University community. These required classes are designed to offer first-year students the following:

  • a small class size (approximately 20 students)
  • opportunities for group work and class discussions
  • opportunity to work closely with a faculty member early in the student's academic career
  • network with students sharing similar interests
  • a review of majors in the college of business
  • opportunity to engage in a real-life case study or simulation
  • an introduction to the university academic and student life services, such as how to use the library and other university resources

In the Smeal College of Business, the First Year Seminar, or PSU 006, is offered every semester.

Course Details

PSU 006 is a one-credit course, meeting in 50-minute class periods once per week (summer hours vary). Each class enrolls 25 students interested in majoring in business at Smeal. A diverse faculty consists of experienced business teachers, corporate professionals, and higher education practitioners.

PSU 006 is designed to be an interactive learning experience by engaging the students with each other and the instructor. Accordingly, the course requires cooperation, participation, and interaction among all class participants. The topics presented and the skills learned are applicable to college as well as the corporate environment. The course uses textbook reading, class discussions, in-class presentations, and experiential exercises throughout the semester.

Academic Content

Academic content in PSU 006 is arranged in the following modules:

  1. Business and Society
  2. Leadership
  3. Ethics in Business
  4. Diversity in the Workplace
  5. Community Service and Corporate Citizenship

One of the main components of PSU 006 is a review of majors in the College and the careers those majors traditionally lead to after graduation. Students work in teams to conduct research and deliver a presentation to their classmates on a specific area of business. Other seminar topics include:

  • Time Management & Goal Setting
  • University Resources, including Schreyer Business Library and the Career Services Center
  • Study Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Community Service and Corporate Citizenship
  • Diversity and Workplace Diversity
  • Business Simulation Case Study

To supplement classroom learning, PSU 006 provides several out-of-class opportunities to enhance and reinforce the material.

Frequently Asked Questions

How am I graded in the First-Year Seminar?

Grading in the First-Year Seminar is determined by successful completion of assignments, projects, papers, and participation. There are no exams in PSU 006. Students are expected to participate and contribute in each class discussion and to complete the assignments for each class prior to the class meeting. Assignments are graded and letter grades are assigned based on semester performance.

If I decide that I don't want a business major and switch into another College, will I have to take another First-Year Seminar?

No, you only need to take one First-Year Seminar course at Penn State

Can I take the First-Year Seminar in the fall or spring?

Yes, the First-Year Seminar is offered both in the fall and spring semesters

Can I take the Smeal First-Year Seminar if I am enrolled in another academic college (e.g., DUS, Engineering, Liberal Arts)?

Only students enrolled in the Smeal College of Business or the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) may take PSU 006, the Smeal First-Year Seminar.

Whom may I contact if I have additional questions?

For answers to specific questions regarding PSU 006, the First-Year Seminar in Business, please contact Undergraduate Education by phone at 814-863-1947.