The First Year Experience

Key to Integratus is learning in community — sharing your journey of discovery with those on a similar path. For that reason, all first year students at Saint Mary’s take part in the same core experiences.

Your anchor course will allow you to investigate an interesting topic outside of your major while developing the skills you need to pursue college-level work. Sample courses include:

  • Justice in America: Traditional and Alternative Forms of Justice
  • Communication in American Political Elections
  • Heroes and Heroines
  • How Youth Succeed
  • Sports in America
  • Science in the Media
  • Music that Changed the World
  • Language and Popular Culture
  • Good People, Bad Actors, and the Quest to Live Well
  • Philosophical Perspectives on Our World
  • What Is Your Story?
  • Foundations (Honors curriculum)

First Year Writing will introduce you to the stages of writing, from generating ideas to revising and editing. You will practice careful reading, conduct ethical research, and write thesis-driven academic essays, with an opportunity to reflect on your own reading, research, and writing. (Students in the Honors curriculum are not required to enroll in First Year Writing.)

Quantitative Reasoning will provide you with opportunities to make decisions, reason from evidence, and communicate results, which will help you become more quantitatively literate.

Thinking Theologically will introduce you to the methods and practices of thinking theologically through an examination of some of the major questions people have asked and found answers to within religious contexts, especially the Judeo-Christian narrative. We will pay particular attention to the human experience of suffering, and how different experiences shape our theological questions, both past and present. The course also embeds how theology is examined at a university defined by multidisciplinary approaches to truth and knowledge.