Seminar - Universities

Universities

In American universities, the term seminar refers to a course of intense study relating to the student's major. Seminars typically have significantly fewer students per professor than normal courses, and are generally more specific in topic of study. Seminars can revolve around term papers, exams, presentations, and several other assignments. Seminars are almost always required for university graduation.

In some European universities, a seminar may be a large lecture course, especially when conducted by a renowned thinker (regardless of the size of the audience or the scope of student participation in discussion). Some non-English speaking countries in Europe use the word seminar (e.g., German Seminar, Slovenian seminar, Polish seminarium, etc.) to refer to a university class that includes a term paper or project, as opposed to a lecture class (i.e., German Vorlesung, Slovenian predavanje, Polish wykład, etc.). This does not correspond to English use of the term. In some academic institutions, the term "preceptorial" is used interchangeably with seminar, although this is typically utilized in the scientific fields.

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