Dear Member of Bryn Mawr’s Class of 2027,
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 first-year student takes a Balch Seminar (nicknamed “ESem”) in the fall. Below you’ll find general information about this fall’s seminars and directions for indicating your preferences.
In your ESem, you will read deeply and critically; you will draft and revise analytic essays; and you will participate in daily discussion of the texts you read. You will also discuss your papers-in-progress in several individual conferences with your professor – one of the best parts of the course!
You can find this year’s seminars here or by clicking on “Course Listings” in the menu. Registration for the Balch Seminars begins at 9:00 a.m. on June 19 and ends at midnight on July 6, during which time you will choose three seminars you would be interested in taking. To register your three choices beginning on June 19, login to Bionic. Click on Resources and Forms. Then, click on Emily Balch Registration, which will take you to the registration form.
Note: Your choices cannot 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 happy to take. This will help maximize the possibility of your being placed in a class that interests you. Enrollment in seminars is strictly limited to fourteen students. We can’t promise that you will be placed in one of the three seminars you’ve selected, but we will make our best effort to do so. You’ll find out your seminar assignment in August.
Here are some tips for choosing your seminars:
- Make sure you register between June 19 and July 6. Seminar choices are not first come, first served. As long as you indicate your seminar preferences by July 6, you will have the same chance as other students of being placed into a seminar you’ve chosen. If you don’t meet the July 6 deadline, however, you will have to register when you arrive on campus in August. At that point, your choices will be limited because most sections will be filled. So, for the best choice, make your selections during the registration window. July 6 is a firm deadline.
- Course times: Many Esems meet at the same hour, TTh 11:25 – 12:45 p.m; but not all of them do. Some meet at other times, so be sure to note the days and times of the ESems you choose. The descriptions will tell you when each seminar meets.
- ESems with Two Sections: Note that several seminars are offered at two different times. If you’re interested in one of these topics, choose the section that meets at the time you prefer. Do not select both sections. If you choose both, the placement software will not place you in a section. You must choose three different topics.
- Writing is an important component of the Emily Balch Seminars. Every section of the course requires you to do a substantial amount of writing and to work at developing your abilities as a writer. The general writing requirements for each section are roughly the same; but check the course description to note the instructors’ thoughts about writing. Beyond the guidance your instructor gives you about your writing, Bryn Mawr has an active Writing Center where students get feedback and support for their writing.
The Emily Balch Seminar faculty looks forward to welcoming you in the fall!
Department of Literatures in English and The Writing Program Director,
The Emily Balch Seminars