University Advising Center

Critical Analysis Courses for students entering with 0-29 credits

To ensure that first-year students are introduced to UMass Boston's General Education Capabilities at a level appropriate to their experience, students who begin their UMass Boston career with 0-29 credits can complete their First-Year Critical Analysis coursework in two ways: They can complete a First-Year Seminar, or a Critical Reading and Writing class and then a First-Year Seminar.

Critical Reading and Writing 111: Critical Thinking I

CRW 111 students gain practice in applying effective strategies for understanding college material by relating generalization to supporting ideas and identifying the patterns into which ideas are structured. Students use computers to develop analytical capabilities in the course's computer lab component. CRW 111 carries 3 credits and meets 3 hours per week.

Students who would benefit from taking CRW 111 tend to describe themselves as

  • having some confidence about being able to summarize assigned readings
  • needing practice in generating ideas to include in college-level papers
  • feeling uncertain and/or stressed about completing academic writing assignments fully and on time

Regularly offered sections of CRW 111 include Oral Traditions and Storytelling and Foreign Policy: Ideology and Intervention. Ask your academic advisor for a list of section descriptions for the current semester. (This course should be followed by First-Year Seminar G114.)

Critical Reading and Writing 112: Critical Thinking II

In order to recognize implications and to question authors' purposes, CRW 112 students gain experience in analyzing and interpreting readings from across the university curriculum. Students use computers to develop analytical capabilities in the course's computer lab component. CRW 112 carries 3 credits and meets 3 hours per week.

Students who are prepared for CRW 112 tend to describe themselves as

  • having some confidence about being able to identify relevant connections to assigned readings
  • needing practice in analyzing and evaluating course materials and in using evidence from readings when writing college-level papers
  • being able to recognize the expectations of complex academic writing assignments, but also as being unsure about how to meet those expectations effectively

Regularly offered CRW 112 sections include Arguments and Court Cases, The Role of Language, and Exploring Identity. Ask your academic advisor for a list of section descriptions the current semester. (This course should be followed by a First-Year Seminar.)

First-Year Seminars (FYS)

In First-Year Seminars, students learn about the procedures of critical analysis and logical thought, with emphasis on disciplined inquiry. These courses are offered by various departments. First-Year Seminars carry 4 credits and meet 4 hours per week.

Students who are prepared for a FYS tend to describe themselves as

  • being consistent about differentiating their own thinking from that of others while writing from multiple non-fiction sources
  • needing some practice in constructing meaning out of seemingly contradictory experiences and facts
  • feeling confident about deliberately using a multi-step writing process to generate complex academic papers

First-Year Seminar course descriptions are available on WISER. Ask your academic advisor how to access the descriptions for the current semester.

For more assistance with this decision, use the Self Reflection Exercise for First-Year Students and/or talk with your academic advisor.