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Humanities First - For Students



Requirements & Registration

All entering freshmen are eligible for the Humanities First program. Priority registration will be offered to admitted applicants if you have indicated interest in the Humanities in your application materials or if you did so when you signed up for your Advising & Orientation day. If you miss the priority registration period, don’t worry: once you have had your Advising & Orientation meeting (which will happen the summer before you arrive on campus), you are welcome to register for Humanities First—come find us in MyPlan!


A Year in Humanities First

  • Autumn Quarter: HUM 101 (3 credits): 50-minute lectures on MW and a 50-minute quiz section on F
  • Winter Quarter: HUM 102 (2 credits): one class meeting per week: six 50-minute seminar discussions and four excursions around the UW Seattle campus
  • Spring Quarter: HUM 103 (2 credits): one class meeting per week: six 50-minute seminar discussions and four day-long excursions around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
    • NOTE: all excursions are on Saturday; transportation, lunch, and entry fees are included. For the 2020-21 academic year, excursions will follow current public health guidelines and UW campus policies.
  • End-of-year celebration for Humanities First students, as well as your instructors, TAs, and invited family and friends

Students who complete the entire series will earn the designation “Humanities First Scholar;” all students will receive training in producing an ePortfolio and will earn experience in professional and public-facing scholastic writing.

For a description of this year’s program, as well as previous years’ programs, please see the Programs Page.



  • Do these courses fulfill any general education requirements?
    • Yes! HUM 101 fulfills three credits of your VLPA (Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts) requirement, and HUM 102 and 103 fulfill two credits each of your I&S (Individuals and Societies) requirement.
  • Do my AP, Running Start, or IB credits affect my ability to register for these courses?
    • No. No matter how many college credits you bring to the UW, you are considered an entering freshman and are welcome to register.
  • Do I need to complete the entire sequence of courses?
    • No, but we hope that you do! Only students who have completed HUM 101, 102, and 103 earn the designation “Humanities First Scholars.”
  • Can I take HUM 102 without having taken HUM 101?
    • Yes, but students who have completed HUM 101 have priority registration for HUM 102 and HUM 103. You can also take HUM 103 without having taken HUM 102. The courses are designed as a series, but they also all work as “stand alone” courses.
  • Can I take this class with a friend?
    • Yes, but if you want the same journey, ask your advisor to make sure you are both enrolled in the same section. HUM 101, 102, and 103 all have multiple sections. Each section covers the same material, but not always in the same order. Different sections might have a hard time comparing notes!
  • I like the sound of Instagram, Flipbook Zines, and Podcasts, but I don’t know the first thing about them!
    • Don’t worry! Humanities First has a dedicated IT Assistant who is there to help you figure out the nuts and bolts, and to troubleshoot any technical problems you encounter!
  • Are the excursions in HUM 102 and 103 mandatory?
    • Yes, these excursions are official class meetings and are considered just as important as “in the classroom” meetings.