Request for Proposals

The Dean and Vice Provost for the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs invites members of the UMBC community to submit proposals to teach a First-Year Seminar (FYS). This opportunity is extended to tenure and tenure-track faculty, full-time lecturers, adjunct faculty, and full-time staff with affiliate faculty status. Graduate students and staff seeking teaching experience are welcome to submit proposals with a faculty member to support them. FYS faculty are supported by Academic Engagement and Transition Programs (AETP) and the Faculty Development Center (FDC) and will be asked to attend meetings and workshops on behalf of the program.

Important Deadlines:

  • Fall 2025: Friday, December 20, 2024
  • Spring 2025: Friday, August 2, 2024

Pursuant to the recommendations of the Honors Task Force Report, FYS courses are intended to provide new UMBC students with the opportunity to participate in a small class of twenty students in an active learning environment. A secondary but important purpose of the FYS courses are to provide faculty with an opportunity to expand the range of subject matter and teaching techniques they bring to the classroom, and thereby to facilitate more enjoyable and productive classroom relationships in first-year classes and beyond. While FYS courses are likely to encourage students to explore the methods and materials of a discipline by focusing on a topic of particular interest to the faculty member, the courses are intended to be centered on a topic, issue or question which may extend beyond the vocabulary and methodology of the instructor’s discipline. The small size and collaborative seminar structure make them ideal for encouraging critical thinking, serious intellectual inquiry, and the development of communications skills, both verbal and written.

Seminar topics should grow out of the faculty members’ interests, but should be conceived and defined broadly enough to appeal to the novice student. Courses should be described in sufficient detail so that the first-year student will have enough information on which to base a choice of seminar. Where appropriate, the description of the seminar should make connections with contemporary issues, problems, concerns, and questions. The descriptions should include an account of the materials to be read or otherwise used in the class and a characterization of the teaching/learning formats and techniques likely to be used. Whenever possible, the seminars should engage students through such elements as case-studies, field work, original research, group projects, performances, and simulations. Modest budgets will be made available to support costs associated with special or unconventional course elements, (for example, bus-trips, guest participants, production materials, etc.)

All first-year students (freshmen and transfer students) may enroll in a FYS course in either their first or second semester at UMBC. Seminars will carry three academic credits, will be conventionally graded (no p/f), and will be scheduled according to instructor preference modified by the needs of the program, available space, and careful consideration of potential conflicts. FYS courses will be University courses and can carry GEP credit if recommended by the instructor and the FYS Program Faculty Review Committee and approved by the Undergraduate Council.

Check out the courses we offer this semester

Submission: Course proposals will be submitted through Curriculog. Directions to access Curriculog can be found below. Please follow these directions step by step. The FYS Faculty Review Committee will only review proposals through Curriculog and will be in touch with any concerns or questions upon reviewing each submission.

Curriculog Directions:

  1. Access Curriculog HERE (link to
  2. Log-In with your UMBC credentials
  3. Once logged in, click “+ New Proposal” on the main website
  4. Navigate to the second page of options and look for “FYS Course Faculty Review”
  5. Click HERE or click the box with an arrow to Preview the Form
  6. Compile necessary materials (all materials included in the form) and remind Chair and/or Faculty Mentor of pending submission (as they must approve your submission before it will move to review)
  7. When all materials are complete for the proposal, click the checkmark to “Start Proposal” and submit your materials for review

Syllabus Tips for Proposal: provide a detailed syllabus that is as complete as possible. At a minimum it should include the following:

  1. the course description
  2. instructor contact information
  3. GEP designation and functional competencies that the course meets
  4. the major topics/themes/components covered in the course
  5. an indication of approximately how much time is devoted to each part of the course
  6. general course expectations
  7. a list of texts, media, articles, etc. that will be used in teaching the course
  8. a description of your assessment plan that will be used to determine how successful students were in meeting the course learning outcomes and functional competencies selected (this should help students understand what they will get out of the course)
  9. if referencing a rubric in the syllabus, please attach a sample of the rubric in Curriculog

Questions about the proposal process or need a proposal review before submission:

Email Dr. Laila M. Shishineh at

Documents for Reference Only:

General Education Program (GEP) Website

General Education Program (GEP) Distribution Requirements

General Education Program (GEP) Functional Competencies

Previous Application Form
(Word Document)
GEP Form
(Word Document)