The John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines offers First-Year Writing Seminars (FWS) in one of the oldest and most interdisciplinary undergraduate writing programs in the world: each year, more than 450 different courses are taught in more than 30 departments and programs located in the humanities, social sciences, expressive arts, and sciences. More than 3,000 students from across the university enroll each year in courses that promote interdisciplinarity and inclusivity in small discussion- and workshop-based classes with no more than 17 or 18 students from all eight of Cornell's colleges.
Students should aim to satisfy their First-Year Writing Seminar requirement during their first year. Balloting for FWSs is open only to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students; juniors and seniors are not eligible to enroll in First-Year Writing Seminars, neither by ballot nor through electronic add/drop.
A list of First-Year Writing Seminar courses for Spring 2021 can be viewed here. Please check Student Center for the most updated roster.
Transfer students: English 2880-2890, a cluster of writing courses for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, may fulfill a First-Year Writing Seminar requirement for those who need it. Students enroll for these sections through Student Center.
Upcoming Important Dates
- Electronic Add/Drop will begin on February 5, 2021*.
- *This date applies to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students.
- Writing seminars begin Monday, February 8, 2021.
- The last day to add an FWS is February 22, 2021.
Electronic Add/Drop for First-Year Writing Seminars
FWS Add/Drop enrollment must be done electronically through Student Center. Neither instructors nor registrars can approve additional enrollment into any First-Year Writing Seminar. Caps on enrollment cannot be lifted. There are no wait-lists or forms to sign; do not ask an instructor about adding a seminar. Instructors will not allow any student not on the roster to sit in on a First-Year Writing Seminar.
To find open First-Year Writing Seminars during the Add/Drop period:
- Go to Student Center.
- At the search screen, click on “Additional Search Criteria.”
- Choose “FWS Session” from the “Session” field. This will show you all open FWS classes.
A First-Year Writing Seminar is open ONLY if it appears in this list. Check frequently, because the list can change.
Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions about your writing or FWS enrollment, Tracy Hamler Carrick, Writing Workshop Director: