Spark seminars are taken by students in their first year at UC Merced. The seminars explore the nature of inquiry through multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and experiences. The Spark seminar is particularly important for our student population, as it provides both an intellectual focus and an introduction to the work and resources of a research university. In addition, such intellectually rigorous small classes (24 students), when properly designed and implemented, have been shown to have significant positive impact on student success.
Spark seminars may be taken concurrently with either WRI 001 or WRI 010. Spark seminars may not be used to count toward any other course requirements (e.g., minor, major, concentration). First year students must complete the Spark seminar by the end of their second semester.