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Commons Seminars Introduction

Commons Seminars are optional, one-credit, spring-semester seminars for first-year undergraduates only. They are open to first-year students from all four undergraduate schools and colleges and have no pre-requisites.

Interested in exploring music? Environment? Theatre? Psychology? Mental Illness? Cultural competency? Advocacy?

Whether or not these themes are related to your general area of study—and whether they are offered through your or any other school—these courses bring you together with fourteen other students and a professor or team of instructors, all equally passionate to discuss these issues and questions.

The semester calendar is flexible (weekly, bi-monthly, over several weekends) and courses meet for the equivalent of fifteen contact hours.

Think outside the box. Participate in a course with students and instructors from a different school or college. Indulge an intellectual passion. Enjoy a small learning community. Sign up for a Commons Seminar.

Faculty interested in proposing a Commons Seminar, please click here.

The Medical Center Reporter covers Commons Seminars: Series lets undergrads explore new ideas

Access Commons Seminars via YES

In YES, go to “Search Classes“ and click on “Advanced.” Go to the drop-down menu for “Class Attributes” and choose ”Eligible for Commons Seminar.”

Only enroll in one Commons Seminar!

As first-year students, you are allowed to be registered in one Commons Seminar only.

Commons Seminars for the Class of 2017

AMER 099.01

Identity on Stage

ANTHR 099.01

How to Read Jane Austen Like an Anthropologist

CMST 099.01

Advocacy: The Power to Leverage Change and Build Coalitions

EDUC 1690.01

Dead Poets, Mean Girls, and Freedom Writers: Images of Teaching and Learning in Popular Film

EDUC 1690.02

Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies: Images of "The Other" in Young Adult Literature and Pop Culture

EDUC 1690.03

Making Connections: Leadership & Scholarship, Curriculum & Career

ENVS 099.01

Antarctic Exploration, the Nature of Virtue, and the Search for Heroism in Modern Life

ENVS 099.02

Green Jobs 101

ES 101.01

Energy Choices and Environmental Consequences with a Focus on Nuclear Power

FRE 099.01

Bon appétit! - France and Its Cuisine

HIST 099.01

Re-reading College: What is College?

HOD 1690.01

Why Community Matters

ITA 099.01

Choosing Civility: Life is a Relational Experience

MHS 099.01

The Greatest Debate: DNA vs. Divinity

MHS 099.02

I'm finally on my Own: But What are my Legal Responsibilities?

MUSO 099.01

Music Inside: How to Listen to, Create and Engage in All Music

MUSO 099.02

The Creative Career: University Life and Building Original Professional Pathways

PSCI 099.01

Who Was Nelson Mandela?

PSY 099.01

The Biology of Mental Illness

PSY 099.02

Using Cognitive Psychology to Become a Better Student

PSY 099.03

The Power of Being an Introvert in an Extraverted American Culture

PSY 1690.01

Gender Socialization in Infants and Preschoolers

SOC 099.01

What Is a Hate Crime?

SPED 1690.01

A (New??) Survival Skill: Becoming Culturally Competent in Our Increasingly Diverse Campus and Nation

SPED 1690.02

A Brain Learns to Read: What Everyone Needs to Know about Learning to Read

THTR 099.01

Three Matinees

Commons Seminars for the Class of 2016

Commons Seminars for the Class of 2015

AADS 099.01

Capoeira: The African-Brazilian Dance of Deception

ANTH 099.01

Apocalypse Now? Modern Maya and Ancient Prophecies

ANTH 099.02

Preparing the Class of 2016 for Half the Sky

ASTR 099.01

Extraterrestrial Life and Terrestrial Religions

ES 101.01

Energy Choices and Environmental Consequences with a Focus on Nuclear Power

ES 101.02

Constructing Vanderbilt’s Virtual Eco-Village

FILM 099.01

The Changing Face of Medicine in Film: Marcus Welby to Sicko

HOD 1690.03

I Need to Fix That! Problem Solving and Designing Change (Creative Campus Course)

ITA 099.01

Choosing Civility: Life is a Relational Experience

MHS 099.01

Modern Cities and Disease Epidemics

MHS 099.02

Healthcare in America: Where Have We Come From and Where Are We Going?

MHS 099.03

Tolerating Mental Illness: Understanding Social Stigma and Cultural Insensitivity

MUSO 099.01

Music Making in Music City

PHYS 099.01

How Does Government Investment in Science Pay Dividends?

PHYS 099.02

The Meaning of Time (and the Possibility of Time Travel)

PSCI 099.01

Law & Warfare: Understanding Modern Methods

PSY 099.01

The Biology of Mental Illness

PSY 1690.01

He Said/She Said: Taking Sex Differences Seriously

PSY 1690.02

How Do You Learn a Language?

SOC 099.01

SAY WHAT?!?!?! Provoking Creative Conversations (Creative Campus Course)

SOC 099.02

Power to the People: Community Organizing in Nashville

SPAN 099.01

Eco-Conscious Travel

SPED 1690.01

A (New??) Survival Skill: Becoming Culturally Competent in Our Increasingly Diverse Campus and Nation

THTR 099.01

Three Matinees, Dinners and Conversation

WGS 099.01

Men, Masculinities and American Sports

Commons Seminars for the Class of 2014