AUR’s First Year Seminar is a signature, two-semester sequence required of all first year students, irrespective of their choice of major. Communal learning—where all first-years students encounter the same questions, experiences, and texts—and the critical discussions that emerge from small seminars, make AUR’s first year seminar distinctive.

FYS 101 introduces first time in college students to the culture of being in an American university in the heart of Europe.
FYS 102, Explorations in the Liberal Arts: The Meanings of Empire, is intellectually stimulating and personally transformative for students. Team-taught by four of AUR’s distinguished full-time faculty from a variety of disciplines, the course challenges students to engage with the historical and theoretical meanings of imperial power, from the ancient world to the British Empire to the technological imperialism of mainstream and social media. The course features lively lectures from global experts, thought-provoking group experiences, and on-site visits ranging from the Roman forums to Cinecitta studios, prompting students to examine how human experience is expressed, how meaning is made, by what rules we should be governed. The interdisciplinary approach fosters a habit of mind that students will employ throughout their studies at AUR and into life beyond the classroom.

Completion of the General Education program is a requirement for all bachelor’s degrees, and makes use of courses throughout the AUR curriculum. Consistent with the mission of the University, the program develops important practical skills, addresses social issues of diversity, multiculturalism and ethics and draws on the rich resources of the city of Rome as a learning tool. Reflecting the mission of the institution, it strives to ensure that all students, regardless of major, will share a common dialogue which will prepare them to live and work across cultures.
The goals of The American University of Rome’s General Education program are:

  1. to develop and strengthen basic skills which will prepare students upon graduation for a modern working environment and which will be adaptable to a rapidly evolving economy.
  2. to cultivate an awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural diversity and its importance in personal and professional decision making.
  3. to achieve a broad knowledge base, drawn from multiple disciplines, typical of an American Liberal Arts Education.
  4. to use Rome as a classroom and as an invaluable learning resource.
  5. to encourage active and responsible citizenship through knowledge of the forces shaping the actions of individuals and societies and through the development of critical thinking.

The General Education program requirements are shared by all majors, though each major may also require particular General Education courses to satisfy major requirements.

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