Dear Member of Bryn Mawr’s Class of 2023,
As the Director of the Emily Balch Seminar Program, I am delighted that you’ll be joining the Bryn Mawr community. As you probably know, every Bryn Mawr student takes a Balch Seminar (nicknamed “ESem”) in the fall semester of the freshman year. This year, we’re offering 29 sections of the Emily Balch Seminars on 23 different topics. Below you’ll find general information about the ESem Program and directions for indicating your seminar preferences.
All Emily Balch Seminars ...
- are taught by faculty across the academic disciplines;
- consider questions that are significant across the disciplines;
- ask you to read and/or view challenging texts;
- focus on improving your critical writing ability;
- are conducted primarily as discussions with few lectures;
- are small enough so you can get to know your classmates and professor well;
- include five individual writing conferences with your professor during the semester;
- have, roughly, the same amount of work: a similar amount of reading; a similar number of writing assignments.
How Do I Register for ESem?
Click on Course Listings read the descriptions. Registration for the Balch Seminars begins on June 20, 2019, and ends on July 12. During the June 20 to July 12 registration period, go to the Bionic log-in page by clicking this link. Type in your user ID and your college password. This will lead you to the page where you can register by clicking on the section numbers and the titles of your three top choices for your seminar.
Note: Your choices can’t be ranked—that is, you cannot indicate a first, second, and third choice. We want you to choose three seminars, any of which you would be equally happy to take. This will help maximize the possibility of your being placed in a class that interests you. Once we’ve gathered everyone’s choices, we’ll try to place you in one of the three seminars you’ve selected. You’ll find out your seminar assignment in August.
What should I consider when making my three seminar choices?
- Read through the entire list of seminars to familiarize yourself with all the topics before making your selections.
- Make sure you register by July 12. Seminar choices are not first come, first served. As long as you indicate your seminar preferences by July 12, you’ll have an equal chance of getting into one of the seminars you choose. If you don’t meet the July 12 deadline, however, you’ll have to wait until you arrive on campus to choose a seminar from the few that will still have open seats. The ones you’re most interested might be filled at that point. So, for the best choice, make your selections during the registration window.
- Note the times the seminars meet. Most of the seminars meet at the same time: Tuesday and Thursday from 11:25 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. You’ll notice, however, that a few do meet at other times, however. If you want to think about how your seminar will fit with other courses you’re considering taking, please refer to the Tri-Co Course Guide.
- The seminar I’m interested in is offered at two different times. What should I do? This year, five seminars are offered at two different times. They are “Imagining Childhood” (secs. 015 and 016); “Forms of Celebrity” (secs. 019 and 020); and “Poverty, Affluence and American Culture” (secs. 022 and 023); “The Bible on Stage and Screen” (secs 24 and 25); and “Women in Science” (secs. 26 and 27). Choose the time you prefer. Do not select both sections. You must choose three different topics.
Remember: register your three ESem choices by July 12!
Have a terrific summer, and we look forward to seeing you in September.
English Department and Writing Program
Director, The Emily Balch Seminars