November 2, 2023

This message is distributed to Senate Faculty and Unit 18 Faculty.  (Click here to view description of distribution groups.)  

The following is being sent on behalf of Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Madeleine Sorapure

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

We’re writing with the call for Spring 2024 Discovery Seminar proposals. Please submit proposals by Friday, January 19th.

Discovery Seminars are one- or two-unit, P/NP, small group courses that facilitate student-faculty contact, promote valuable intellectual discourse in a seminar setting, introduce students to subjects that UCSB faculty care about, and explore how faculty study these subjects.

Senate faculty, Unit 18 faculty (Pre-sixth, Continuing, and Senior Continuing Lecturers) are eligible to teach Discovery Seminars. They are taught above the faculty’s regular workload and compensated with research funds, as described below.

We encourage proposals that:

  • introduce students to current areas of faculty interest and research
  • enable students to learn about strategies for navigating UCSB disciplines and courses
  • provide opportunities for students to become oriented to and study the physical surroundings of the campus
  • include intentional strategies for students to get to know other students to build networks.

Starting Fall 2023 our First-Year Discovery & Discovery+ Seminars have new course numbers. In your proposal, you’ll select one of three Discovery Seminar types:

  • Discovery Seminars for First-Year Students: INT 86AA-ZZ (previously INT 94)
    • These one-unit lower-division seminars meet for one hour each week. The seminars are limited to 20 students, or 11 students if a field trip is involved.
  • Discovery Seminars for Transfer Students: INT 186AA-ZZ
    • These one-unit upper-division seminars meet for one hour each week and are designed for transfer students who have established an interest in certain disciplines and subjects. The seminars are limited to 20 students, or 11 students if a field trip is involved.
  • Discovery+ Seminars: INT 87AA-ZZ or 187AA-ZZ (previously INT 89)
    • These two-unit seminars meet for two hours each week; they are lower-division courses for first-year students and upper-division courses for transfer students. Discovery+ Seminars are taught by two faculty members in the same discipline or in different disciplines, and they explore a theme or a subject from multiple perspectives. The seminars typically enroll 40 students, although some may have lower enrollments. (Instructors co-teaching should have an active academic appointment in the quarter the proposed INT seminar is being offered.)

Faculty will receive research/professional development funding for teaching Discovery Seminars:

  • $1500 for one-unit Discovery Seminars for First-Year and Transfer Students
  • $2000 for two-unit Discovery+ Seminars with 30 students
  • $3000 for two-unit Discovery+ Seminars with 40 students

In addition, faculty will receive $300 in course support funds to pay for expenses associated with the course, including copies, handouts, videos for class, transportation on a field trip, museum admission, etc. Any funds not spent on the course can be used as research funds.

To propose a Discovery Seminar, go to:

You can find more information about the seminars here:

If you have questions or would like to brainstorm possibilities for seminars, I’d be happy to talk with you!



Madeleine Sorapure

Teaching Professor, Writing Program
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education
UC Santa Barbara
pronouns: she/her/hers

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land upon which the University of California, Santa Barbara is located and pay my respect to the Chumash Elders past, present and future.