Emily Balch Seminars plunge new Bryn Mawr students into the heart of a liberal arts education.

The Balch Seminars introduce all first-year students at Bryn Mawr to a critical, probing, thoughtful approach to the world and our roles in it.

These challenging seminars are taught by scholar/teachers of distinction within their fields and across academic disciplines. They facilitate the seminars as active discussions among students, not lectures. Through intensive reading and writing, the thought-provoking Balch Seminars challenge students to think about complex, wide-ranging issues from a variety of perspectives.

Each year, the Emily Balch Speaker Series invites a critically acclaimed author to spend an evening with Bryn Mawr's first-year students.

In recent years, the Balch Speaker Series has featured award-winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert; award-winning novelist and essayist Zadie Smith; novelist and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Karen Russell; and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel.