UMD Seminar

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Small-Group Discussions

An integral part of the UMD Seminar experience, these activities give students a chance to get to know one another better, and to use the diverse perspectives of their peers to expand their own their own social, cultural, and intellectual horizons.

Small Group Discussion

What is UMD Seminar?

UMD Seminar is a series of 1-2cr courses that are designed to assist students in making a successful transition to UMD. There are a number of different versions of UMD Seminar, but each student will only need to take one course from our offerings in order to fulfill their major requirements.


UMD Seminar is an introduction to the academic, social, and personal opportunities that UMD has to offer. UMD Seminar requires both practical and reflective learning, where students are encouraged to both participate actively in diverse communities while also delving deeper into their own experience through self-reflection.

Who takes UMD Seminar?

UMD Seminar is a requirement for students in the following UMD colleges:

  • Labovitz School of Business and Economics
  • College of Education and Human Service Professionals
  • School of Fine Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts

At your Advisement & Registration session you'll receive more information about all of the different UMD Seminar options. Your faculty advisor and student advisor will help you to evaluate those options, and will help you register.

What are the options for taking UMD Seminar?

Students admitted for the spring term will sign up for a general one-credit UMD Seminar section during their first (spring) semester. Students admitted for the fall term have a number of options for UMD Seminar. Talk with your advisors at Advisement & Registration (or click here: seminaroptions18.pdf) to find out more. Possibilities include one- and two-credit sections tailored to specific topics or special populations of students, such as students in certain undergraduate colleges or majors or students participating in learning communities. While the content is generally the same in all sections, the examples and information of each individual section is tailored to the unique topic or needs of the population of students enrolled in the course.

UMD Seminar Goals

  1. Build our students' competence and confidence in the use of self-reflection as a tool for growth in their personal and educational lives.
  2. Teach students specific techniques for voicing their own ideas in diverse contexts, and teach them how to identify and navigate their way through environments that feature a variety of different forms of diversity.
  3. Help students to develop a productive sense of belonging at UMD which serves to support their academic goals.
  4. Prepare students to be successful in their classes by familiarizing them with the structure, culture, and resources of UMD.

UMD Seminar Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to use self-reflection techniques to develop positions that are informed and insightful. 
  2. Students will be able to participate responsibly in small-group and/or seminar-style classroom discussions with people holding different perspectives. 
  3. Students will be able to identify students, staff, and faculty members that they feel comfortable approaching for help with problems or issues.

How Would I Become a Teaching Assistant?

Are you interested in becoming an UMD Seminar Teaching Assistant? The hiring process for UMD Seminar teaching assistants occurs in February or March of all academic years after students complete the TA training course during early spring semester. If you are interested in being an UMD Seminar TA, contact the Office for Students in Transition front desk (, 42 Solon Campus Center, 218-726-6393.

UMD Seminar Advisory Group Report

In February 2015, the Advisory Group provided a full report (accessible here)  complete with recommendations for moving forward with UMD Seminar, to the Campus Curriculum Subcommittee (CCS). After reviewing the report, the CCS put forward recommendations to the UMD Faculty Council.