Move In Day

Core Curriculum
Contact Information

Please contact us at

Elizabeth Nutt Williams, Ph.D.
Dean of the Core Curriculum and First Year Experience
St. Mary's College of Maryland
18952 E. Fisher Rd.
St. Mary's City, MD 20686

Phone: (240) 895-4467

Ruth Feingold, Ph.D
Assistant Dean of the Core Curriculum and Advising Program
(contact for Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World)

Phone: (240) 895-4388

Administrative Assistant:
Diane Wimberly
Phone: (240) 895-2185

Fax: (240) 895-2234


The First Year Seminars (CORE101) are an integral part of the Core Curriculum at St. Marys College of Maryland. First-year students are required to take one Seminar in their first Fall semester on campus. The Seminars are small, discussion-focused classes taught by professors from every discipline at the College. (Check out the Seminar titles for Fall 2013!)

One goal of the Seminar is to help students participate in academic discourse as active members of the college community. In addition, while focusing on a particular topic, students will also be introduced to the four fundamental liberal arts skills (critical thinking, information literacy, written expression and oral expression). Thus, students will learn to use a variety of critical thinking methods; access information effectively and efficiently while evaluating sources critically; write with proficiency for a variety of audiences; and use effective oral expression strategies and model civility of discourse.

In the fall, students will meet their peer mentors (advanced undergraduate students) who help facilitate discussion and coordinate the 5th Hour experiences for the students; there is one peer mentor for every Seminar. The Seminars provide a great opportunity for first-year students to get to know each other, the peer mentor, and their professor while learning about engaging and challenging topics.

What students have to say about the First Year Seminars:

  • "I think it gave college a more personal feel that allowed me to be more comfortable."
  • "I found that classes can be fun and engaging and that college is not impossible after all!"
  • "I have become more confident in my discussion and presentation skills. And I became close friends with many members of the class."
  • "The Seminar, by assigning oral presentations and giving a substantial reading list, has helped enrich my introduction to college."

Registering for the First Year Seminars

Registration for the Fall 2013 First Year Seminars will open online through the Portal at noon on June 3. You will need to log in to your Portal account to register. You may select a seat in any of the open First Year Seminars. You will register for the rest of your Fall courses during online registration in August.  If you have questions about the Seminars or about registration, please contact Dr. Libby Nutt Williams, Dean of the Core Curriculum and First Year Experience at or at (240) 895-2185.