Freshman Seminars 2023 Fall

WebReg registration begins each quarter on Monday of the 8th week of instruction. Windows open from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.


University Studies

Enrollment in Uni Stu 3 will be restricted to freshmen until the day the 18-unit enrollment limit is lifted. After this date, enrollment in Uni Stu 3 will be open to all lower-division undergraduates.

For more information on the Freshman Seminars, please visit Freshman Seminar website or call the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Office at 949-824-6987. Students may enroll in a maximum of three freshman seminars during their entire time at UCI.

Course NameDepartmentTimeLocationInstructorTitleEmail
Introduction to Free Speech & Academic FreedomDivision of Undergraduate EducationOnlineAsynchronous, OnlineChancellor Howard
Into the WildDepartment of Earth System Science (ESS) & Anteater Recreation Center (ARC)4 times T 2pm-5pmTBAClaudia
Learning Economics Through SportsEconomics, School of Social SciencesF 9:00 - 9:50 AM
DBH 1420Fabio MilaniFull
A Mind for MoleculesChemistryF 11:00 - 11:50 location TBAVy DongFull
Sleep SuccessPsych Science - Social EcologyM 1 - 1:50pm
SSL 105Angela LukowskiAssociate Professor of Psychological
Controlling the World with Your Mind: Brain-Computer Interfaces for Communication and ControlBiomedical Engineering Department, School of EngineeringM 3:00 - 3:50p
ALP 1110Christine KingAssistant Professor of
DrugsDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical SciencesM 12 - 12:50 PM
BS3 2130Sam SchrinerAssociate Professor of Teaching, Vice Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Gentle Introduction to Robot Motion PlanningMechanical and Aerospace Dept., School of EngineeringM 12:00 - 12:50p
location TBASolmaz KiaAssociate Professor
Why Evolution is TrueEcology & Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological SciencesMon 3 PM SH 267Jose RanzAssociate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
School of Biological Sciences
Mental & Physical Well-being in CollegePsych Science - Social EcologyMon 9 AM
SST 122DeWayne WilliamsAssistant Professor of Psychological Science
School of Social
Pathophysiology of Human VisionSchool of MedicineWed 11:00 - 11:50SSL 140Don Minckler MD, MSDirector Ophthalmic Pathology, Ophthalmology
School of Medicine
Recall Clinical Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Director of Ophthalmic Pathology, Ophthalmology, School of Medicine
BUBBLESCivil and Environmental Engineering - HSSOETh 3:00 - 3:50p
DBH 1425diego
Latinx, Multilingualism, Social JusticeSpanish and Portuguese and HumanitiesTh 11:00 - 11:50
HH342Julio TorresAssociate Professor
Algorithms to Live ByComputer Science; Donald Bren School of Information & Computer ScienceTu 1:00 - 1:50p DBH 1425Michael ShindlerAssistant Professor of
Be Divergent: The Practice and Process of CreativityDrama Department - Claire Trevor School of the ArtsTu 1:00 - 1:50p Studio 4 RoomMyrona L. DeLaneyProfessor of
"So, You Want To Be A Star?"Drama Department - Claire Trevor School of the ArtsTu 5:00 - 5:50p CAC 3100BDonald HillProfessor of Teaching Step 5, Chair Dept. of
Humanities Pathways to Success: First Generation Student Community and Belonging in the HumanitiesHistory and Asian American Studies (Wu) and English/Composition (Lerner)Tu 11:00 - 11:50TBAJudy Tzu-Chun WuJudy Tzu-Chun Wu (Professor) and Scott Lerner (Lecturer)


Introduction to Free Speech & Academic Freedom

In partnership with the UC Free Speech Institute, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman is teaching a new course on the principles of Free Speech and Academic Freedom with a focus on the public university context. This is an asynchronous, online course with opportunities to interact with leading experts on free speech and academic freedom. This course is designed to give you an opportunity to engage with challenging questions around free speech and academic freedom that you are likely to face in your classes, generally during your college experience, and after you graduate.

The course will provide a carefully curated journey through materials that include:

  • Videotaped lectures with associated PowerPoints (30 minutes per lesson)
  • Supplementary video and audio resources provided by the UC National Center on Free Speech and Civic Engagement and other national organizations
  • Readings (including caselaw, essays and articles, and relevant university policies)
  • Multiple synchronous online gatherings with for supplemental information, questions-and-answers, and supervised online discussion boards via Canvas for additional opportunities to interact on the assigned topics

Expected total workload obligations per lesson is 2.5-3 hours weekly.



Into the Wild

Discover the Great Outdoors at your doorstep. Put the book (phone) down and climb a rock, take a hike, kayak the Back Bay, and make some friends. While (re-)discovering your love for nature with your fellow anteaters, meet Earth System scientists who study the causes, consequences, and solutions for climate change and how we can live more sustainably on our amazing planet. Insta-worthy pics. No experience required.

This seminar is offered in collaboration by the Department of Earth System Science (ESS) and the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC). 

ESS professor Claudia Czimczik is a biogeochemist who studies how climate change and its mitigation are affecting land ecosystems. Her research relies on field observations and geochemical analyses and frequently takes her into the wilderness. 

ARC’s Doug Tully has served as the Director of Outdoor Adventures at UCI since 2008. He is skilled in rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and camping. As a passionate outdoorsman, he strives to demonstrate joy and respect for the outdoors to all participants in the program. 


Controlling the World with Your Mind: Brain-Computer Interfaces for Communication and Control

Neuroscience research has rapidly evolved through the development of brain-computer interface systems. Through the use of noninvasive brain measurements, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), patients are now able to communicate, regain motor function, and control their world around them. This series will provide insight into the neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and computer science concepts behind brain-computer interfaces and their appations.



Why Evolution is True

The course explores in a congenial setting the key aspects of the evolutionary process, including the interpretation of the fossil record, the role of sexual reproduction, and the process of species formation among other aspects. This broad exposure to different topics will allow the students to become familiar with the tenets of theory of evolution by natural selection proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. This will be done while simultaneously examining in detail the missing or inaccurate aspects of their theory based on recent advances in life sciences and other scientific disciplines. The course will also highlight the link between the evolutionary process and infectious diseases relevant for humans.




The majority of individuals in modern society will use drugs at some point in their lives. Most drugs will be taken for legitimate medical purposes, while some are used recreationally. In a very basic manner, this course will introduce students to human physiology, how drugs work and where they come from, some common health issues and the drugs used to treat them, and some well-known recreational drugs.



Mental & Physical Well-being in College

Life in college can both be exciting and overwhelming, which can stressful. This stress, if not regulated properly, can have a negative toll on both your mental and physical health and well-being. The reverse is also true, such that your health and well-being might influence your college experience. Therefore, this seminar draws from research in the domain of Psychophysiology, or the study of the manner in which the mind and body interact, to provide you with scientific evidence linking the college experience with well-being, and vice versa. In turn, I hope that you will gain an deeper and better understanding of your own self-regulation practices and tendencies and how this can be optimized in a college setting, with subsequent benefits for psychophysiological well-being.



Sleep Success

Sleep is necessary for life. But what happens when we sleep? And how can sleep contribute to your success as an undergraduate student? We will review and discuss research examining how sleep is related to undergraduate student functioning when considering mental and physical health, responses to stressful situations, specific cognitive assessments, and academic achievement more broadly. You will also learn more about your own sleep habits as we discuss possible ways to improve undergraduate student sleep. Come learn more about how to sleep for undergraduate student success!



Gentle Introduction to Robot Motion Planning

The objective of this seminar series is to introduce UCI freshman students to the world of robot motion planning. A robot’s ability to plan its movement without explicit human guidance is a basic prerequisite for robotic autonomy. The objective of motion planning algorithms is to enable an autonomous mobile robot to determine its movements in a cluttered environment to achieve various goals while avoiding collisions. This seminar series cover deterministic classical motion planning algorithms, including sensor-based planning, decomposition and search-based planning. The course intends to expose undergraduate students (Engineering and Computer Science) to solution approaches to problems that they may encounter in emerging technologies and disciplines such as autonomous driving and transportation, smart manufacturing, and general mechanical and aerospace robotic applications.



Algorithms to Live By

This seminar is about using discoveries from the field of computer science in our daily lives. We discuss how to deal with large numbers of choices, strategies to organize material and chores, and when to avoid over-thinking and over-planning. This seminar is aimed at students who have no background in Computer Science. Of course, a lack of background is not a prerequisite, but students do not need to know even the name of a programming language, much less how to use one, to benefit from this seminar.




Learn all about bubbles and how they are used to clean water. The class will walk you through the basics of water pollution, how bubbles are released in water, and how the oxygen inside them can clean the water once dissolved.

Diego Rosso is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Chemical Engineering and Material Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also Director of the Water-Energy Nexus Center. Since 2000, he has been investigating aeration systems and the water-energy-carbon nexus of water reclamation and reuse processes.



Latinx, Multilingualism, Social Justice

This seminar aims to examine how the linguistic experiences of the Latinx population has contributed to the sociopolitical and cultural fabric of the United States with an emphasis on California. To accomplish this goal, students will engage with the following themes: (a) the debate on the use of Latinx/Latine vis-à-vis Latino/a; (b) equitable multilingualism (i.e., the integration of multilingualism and social justice); (c) a historical overview of Californian Spanish and bilingual California; and (d) the association between equitable multilingualism and government and educational institutions as well as political activism in California. Assignments include reading scholarly and journalistic articles, examining social media posts as well as the listening and viewing of relevant podcasts and videos. Spanish knowledge is not required.



A Mind for Molecules

Professor Dong will guide a small group of freshman on developing the the mindset, perspective, and problem solving skills needed to understand the world of molecules. A “Mind for Molecules” draws from the popular book on learning how to learn called “A Mind for Numbers” by applying Barbara Oakley’s concepts to the field of chemistry. We will practice valuable concepts including the diffuse versus focused mode of learning, the Pomodoro technique, and the pause and recall method. Chemical concepts include Lewis-dot structures and acid/base chemistry, which provide a simple and powerful model for understanding molecules and their behavior.



Learning Economics Through Sports

This seminar will introduce students to a selection of research topics in economics using sports as a laboratory and as sources of amazingly-detailed data. Economists are interested in and routinely study how individuals make decisions under uncertainty, the functioning of labor markets, and how psychological (e.g., cognitive biases) or social (e.g., peer effects) elements affect decisions and outcomes. Sports provide a variety of situations and data that can be exploited to test existing economic theories, identify reasons for their eventual failures, and possibly uncover novel relations.

The course is not a course on the subfield of sport economics per se (microeconomic aspects of the sports business and related markets), or on analytic approaches applied to sports (sabermetrics, etc.).

Ideal students for the course should have an interest in economics, business, or other social sciences, besides being passionate about sports (most of the examples will focus on basketball, soccer, some on football, but students may contribute ideas and propose topics related to other disciplines).



Be Divergent: The Practice & Process of Creativity

The creative thinking skills necessary in today’s fast-paced workplace require deeper exploration in the 21st century academy. This interactive curriculum offers a rich, inventive, stimulating environment to explore divergent idea generation and reflective response to problem solving. We will engage in creative exercises and games during class, opening each student to their own creative instincts.



“So, You Want To Be A Star?”

Identify what success means to you and develop your critical thinking skills. Create strategies and action plans to achieve your goals and examine what stops you. Explore a research process on how to find a mentor. Learn the art of how to become unstoppable in going for what you really want in life. Develop greater self-esteem by getting in touch with your personal power and achieve a higher level of self-love and acceptance.



Humanities Pathways to Success: First Generation Student Community and Belonging in the Humanities

What does it mean to identify as a first-generation student? To pursue a degree in the Humanities? Over the course of fall quarter, we will attempt to answer these questions through interactive class meetings and visits with Humanities faculty. By engaging with campus resources and exploring first-gen identities, our course assignments aim to help students build meaningful connections on campus, develop sustainable habits, and articulate what they want to contribute to/expect from the university. Our goal is to help students transition successfully and confidently to college and continue on a path of success as scholars and people.



Pathophysiology of Human Vision

Serial discussion of Human vision evolution, anatomy, physiology and major diseases. A great class for pre-med students and those interested in human biology.



DROP: The deadline to drop courses is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Drops can be made in WebReg.
CHANGE: The deadline to change grade option or variable units is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Changes can be made in WebReg.
ADD: The deadline to add courses is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Adds can be made in WebReg.