Welcome Week Micro-Seminars

Since 2006, the Micro-Seminars Program has provided a forum to enhance interactions between USC faculty and new undergraduates.  Occurring over two sessions during Fall Welcome Week, the micro-seminars give incoming freshmen an opportunity to become familiar with college-level discussions in a relatively low-stakes environment (without grading) before starting their first semester. Faculty introduce students to college life or a field of study, explore specialized topics, or discuss recent developments in research or society.

All full-time and part-time faculty are invited to participate, including those who teach undergraduate, graduate or professional programs across all schools on the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. Each micro-seminar takes place in two 90-minute sessions over two days on the University Park Campus with about 20 students. 


Before submitting your proposal, be sure that your schedule can accommodate the following dates and times:

  • Part 1: Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Part 2: Friday, August 23, 2019 from 10:00-11:30 am
    • Note: Part 2 is a continuation of Part 1 focused on the same topic with the same student cohort.

Micro-Seminar Topics

Seminar topics vary widely but generally fall into a few major categories:

  • Overview of advanced or cutting-edge research (e.g. “Stem Cell Therapy – Hope or Hype?”or “21st Century Media: An Evolving Global Digital Landscape”)
  • Advanced and specific topics of interest in a given field of study (e.g.“Female Directors in Early Hollywood”, “Concussion in Sports”, or “Cyber-security and Privacy”)
  • Current affairs discussion from the perspective of a given discipline (e.g. “Irreverence: American Political Humor and the 2016 Presidential Election”, or “Gender Roles and Global Violence Against Women”)
  • Overview of what it means to study in a particular field (e.g. “Accounting – the Real Deal”, “Studying Engineering”, or “Is Entrepreneurship for You?”)
  • Introduction to aspects of USC, Los Angeles, or college life (e.g. “The Culture of Food in Los Angeles” or “Losing the Stress Habit: Managing Stress in Daily Life”)

View examples of past micro-seminar topics. Proposals intended solely for promotion of an individual course or major/minor program are not typically accepted.

Teach a Micro-Seminar

Use the link below to submit a micro-seminar proposal. Applications must be received by Friday, May 31. 2019.


 For more information, visit the main Micro-Seminars page.