What is the WCI seminar?
The Writing and Critical Inquiry (WCI) seminar plays a key role in UAlbany’s commitment to supporting students’ academic, personal and professional success.
The three-credit WCI seminar:
Helps students transition to college-level coursework
Teaches students how to think critically and communicate effectively
Reflects the importance of writing as a vehicle for inquiry, learning and expression
Cultivates a social, collaborative community among new students
WCI seminars are limited to 19 students, allowing you to receive individualized attention from their instructors and make meaningful connections with their peers.
Why is the seminar required?
The WCI seminar (UUNI 110 or TUNI 110) is a General Education requirement for all undergraduate students.
You must pass this course with a C or better to earn your degree. Students who do not earn a grade of a C or higher in the WCI seminar must retake it.
In some cases, college courses taken by transfer students may be substituted for WCI. Speak to your academic advisor about your options.
For more information on undergraduate academic policies and requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Note: AENG 110 and AENG 110Z will also satisfy the General Education requirement for writing and critical inquiry.
What should I expect as a WCI student?
We encourage you to enroll in a WCI seminar within your first two semesters at UAlbany, because it will prepare you for the University’s academic rigors and expectations.
During the seminar, you’ll explore a rich diversity of perspectives, think critically about complex questions and focus on analysis and argument — skills you’ll need in both the UAlbany classroom and life beyond campus.
All WCI seminars include three major writing assignments:
Writing to explore your own experience of a problem, idea, concept, question or issue
Writing to analyze a text, idea, experience, event or phenomenon for an academic audience
Writing to participate in a conversation about a relevant question or problem
Expect to write and revise several drafts of each assignment as you learn about your subject and your own writing style.
The format, length and subject for these assignments will vary based on the seminar theme and instructor.
The course involves a variety of required readings, such as peer-reviewed scholarly articles, essays, fiction, online postings, reports and multimedia texts.
Reading assignments — which are tailored to the seminar theme and vary by instructor — give students the opportunity to analyze a diverse set of writers and rhetorical choices.
You'll engage in academic research by finding, analyzing, evaluating, integrating and citing appropriate source materials using various tools, such as scholarly databases.
You will also participate in various small- and large-group discussions throughout the semester. Oral communication requirements and assignments (such as presentations) vary by seminar theme and instructor.
This collaborative project will encourage you to critically reflect on your experience in the seminar as writers, readers, thinkers and researchers.
The project — which includes a written component and an oral presentation — focuses on what you have learned about writing and critical inquiry, as well as how your learning might apply to your future intellectual work.
Specific assignment details will vary based on seminar theme and instructor.