Academic Foundations

First-Year Students

SLS 2901 Academic Foundations Seminar

Academic Foundations SLS 2901 is a three-credit, discussion-based introductory seminar designed to facilitate students' successful acclimation to the university and development of academic strategies. The course aims to prepare students for a successful college experience and provides students with the necessary knowledge and experiences to be academically and personally success at USF.
Each class consists of approximately 30 students and is taught by a caring and committed instructor. The course is built around the themes of developing effective academic skills, creating academic, career, and financial plans, and demonstrating knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Academic Foundations is a flipped class. This means students will complete readings, videos, quizzes, and homework BEFORE coming to class. Our time in class will be spent practicing, applying, and using students' knowledge and skills. During class time, students will spent time interacting and working together in small and large groups, helping to build their relationships with other first-year students. 

Course topics:

  • How Learning & Memory Work
  • Approaches to Learning & Study Strategies
  • Mindset & Motivation
  • Degree Planning & Academics at USF
  • Career Planning & Readiness
  • Critical Thinking
  • Argumentation
  • Communication
  • Research Skills
  • Managing Time & Money
  • USF Library & Technology Resources
  • Health & Wellness

We hope Academic Foundations will become a valuable beginning to your college experience at the University of South Florida!

Questions about Academic Foundations?

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IDS2378 Foundations of Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Inquiry

This three credit, freshman-only course provides an overview of five major domains of knowledge and inquiry: (1) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), (2) Social Sciences, (3) Health Professions, (4) Business and Communications, (5) Humanities and Arts. Through applied critical thinking, students in this course will examine social problems through the lenses of these major disciplinary domains, preparing them to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary problem solving.

This course is part of the University of South Florida's General Education Curriculum. It is certified for Creative Thinking.

 Course topics:

  • Critical and creative thinking processes
  • Information literacy
  • Exploring the academic disciplines, including their concepts and methods
  • Integrating diverse knowledge from a variety of academic disciplines
  • Evaluating the role of competing and interdisciplinary variables in understanding complex social issues

  • Collaborative learning and problem solving 

  • Building interdisicplinary competence from your classes and out of class experiences

This course is a unique opportunity to be in class with other first year students in a small-classroom setting and learn about how to maximize your experiences as a student at a research university. Students will prepare for their future career by practicing critical thinking skills – one of the top skills employers are looking for in college graduates. 

Questions about Foundations of Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Inquiry?

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SLS2901 U-Decide - Exploratory Curriculum Majors

"U-Decide" is a special section of the SLS courses  focused on major and career exploration. This course is offered exclusively to first-year students majoring in an Exploratory Curriculum area (ECM).

In the "U-Decide" sections, students can look forward to exploring their interests, skills, values, and personal strengths with the guidance of their academic advisor, who also serves as their instructor for the course.