How is Arts One Organized?

Theme and Structure

Arts One is team-taught by a group of professors to a small group of approximately 100 first-year students. The theme unifies the texts, films, and other works studied that year. Please see the themes page for information on themes, teaching teams, reading lists, etc. Visit the How to Register page for more information on how you can reserve a seat in Arts One.

Year at a Glance

Arts One is two-term course (September to April) worth 18 credits: 6 each in first-year English, History and Philosophy. (*Note that students may continue on to Major in their chosen field, not necessarily english, history or philosophy). Each week one of the professors on the teaching team gives the lecture on a book, film, or other work that is being studied that week, so students have access to all professors on the teaching team. There are also guest lecturers, for example a specialization faculty member or an author directly related to one of the works.

A Week in Arts One

The majority of students’ time in Arts One is in the smaller groups: students meet in seminar groups of 20 students twice a week, with the same professor all year. They also meet in tutorial groups of four students once a week led by their professor. The tutorials are devoted to peer feedback on writing. Visit A Week In Arts One page for more details.

Writing and Composition

Arts One is an established approach that improves writing and critical thinking skills. Students in the program discuss ideas on a variety of classic and modern themes, write essays every two weeks and get peer feedback on each paper. At the end of the year some student papers are chosen for publication in the online Arts One Student Journal.

See also:

Arts One Essays and Grading


Kevin McNeilly on YouTubeWant to experience an Arts One lecture?

Check out the many videos available on Arts One Open, on topics from Shakespeare to Watchmen. Everything is also available on our Arts One YouTube channel.


“I loved Arts One! The learning through conversation style is genius. I will highly recommend it to others.”

Joseph M., Arts One 2012W, ‘Explorations and Encounters’