Byrne Seminars

About Byrne First-Year Seminars

In 2007, Rutgers College Class of 1954 alum John J. “Jack” Byrne and his wife Dorothy, gave $2 million to create one of the most exciting academic innovations in Rutgers history—the Byrne Family First-Year Seminars. Byrne Seminars are small, one-credit courses that match first-year students with world-renowned faculty from departments and professional schools across the university. Over the course of 10 weeks, students embark on a journey to explore exciting, original research in an interactive classroom environment. Many seminars take field trips or conduct hands-on research and all are graded on a Pass/No Credit basis with no formal exams.

Quick Links

Students: Browse the full list of upcoming Byrne Seminars or download a catalog [pdf].

Faculty: Learn how to create your own Byrne Seminar.


How to Register

Fall Semester

You can choose to register for a Byrne Seminar when you select your other classes. Typically, this happens at an advising day over the summer. You will indicate your top four seminar preferences to your advisor and they will aim to fit one of those choices into your schedule. Final confirmation of your fall semester schedule will be sent to you in late August.

If you choose to wait until you arrive on campus in the fall, you may register directly, during the Add/Drop week only, through WebReg in any Byrne Seminar that still has openings.

Spring Semester

You can register for a Byrne Seminar through WebReg. You may find the Online Schedule of Classes useful in determining which courses are open and will fit best into your schedule. Enter the subject code “090” and the course number “101” to get a list of Byrne Seminars for the semester.

*Note that SEBS sections begin with “11” rather than “01” and will be found at the bottom of the page.


Featured Courses

To further enhance learning opportunities for students, the Byrne First-Year Seminars program offers a series of featured courses in collaboration with local businesses and other units across the university. Browse available courses.

Aresty-Byrne Seminars

Byrne Seminars are joining forces with the Aresty Research Center to offer the Aresty-Byrne Seminars. Offered during both the fall and spring semesters, these courses are designed to give students an introduction to fundamental, hands-on research skills and methods as they start their journey at Rutgers. There are no prerequisites, final exams, or research papers, but students should expect to participate in group discussions and projects, complete short writing assignments, or spend time in a lab.

In April, students can apply for a coveted spot in the Aresty Research Assistant Program where they will further test their theoretical knowledge through hands-on laboratory or fieldwork.

Honors College Seminars

In partnership with the Honors College, the Byrne First-Year Seminars program is pleased to offer seminars specifically designed for incoming Honors College scholars. Honors College Byrne Seminars are intended to introduce students to the kind of interdisciplinary study that is a cornerstone of the Honors College’s mission through small courses that build on faculty members’ research interests. In addition to these select Honors College designated seminars, Honors College scholars have the opportunity to enroll in any traditional Byrne Seminar to fulfill their first-year Byrne requirement.

Johnson & Johnson Seminars

This suite of seminars, co-taught by Rutgers faculty and Johnson & Johnson professionals, equips students with unique perspectives of academic research and its application in a professional industry. Students will be exposed to multi-disciplinary areas of study including global public health, health and wellness, ethics, community, and leadership. In addition to exposing first-year students to an array of career and educational opportunities, these seminars enable students to develop invaluable mentoring relationships with both a Rutgers scholar and a Johnson & Johnson corporate leader.

RU1st Seminars

The RU1st Initiative supports first-generation students at Rutgers University–New Brunswick by providing opportunities and resources for students to have a successful personal, professional, academic, and social college career. 

As part of the initiative, the RU1st Byrne Seminars aim to ease the transition to college for incoming first-generation students by increasing awareness of critical and wide-ranging local, state, and national challenges confronting higher education.

Transfer Seminars

Each semester, the Byrne program offers seminars specifically designed to introduce first-semester transfer students of all ages to the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus and its resources.


Contact Us

Do you have questions about the Byrne Seminars program or a specific seminar?

Email byrneseminars@rutgers.edu or call 848-932-6971