Understanding Self and Others (INT 101)

The Integrated First-Year Student Experience

"To us, Introduction to Self and Others is a class that goes well-beyond just writing and reading.In this class, group discussions force deep thought processes and exploration that lead to a complete understanding of ideas based upon facts rather than just opinions." – Mahrie Bowman, Jim Beatty, Cantrece Huey, Fall 2013

"The professor's teaching is more about making us think.We never had a class where she just stood in front of the class and lectured us.Every day we sit around in a circle discussing questions and seeing the same piece of work from different perspectives…We can learn book knowledge from anywhere, but this class teaches us about the thinking process." – David Xiao, Fall 2012

Mercer students and faculty are passionate about learning.  As the term integrated implies, first-year students do not take individual courses on composition, grammar, and speech, but enroll in an interdisciplinary Understanding Self and Others course.  (Students can also fulfill this course requirement by taking GBK 101 - Understanding Self and Others: Among Gods & Heroes as part of the Great Books Program.)  

INT 101 courses are intentionally small seminar-style classes with the student: faculty ratio limited to 18:1.  Students focus on enhancing critical thinking ability, communication skills (written and oral), critical analysis of arguments, and inquiry.


First-year students are placed in one of over thirty INT 101 sections taught by a diverse array of dedicated, full-time faculty.  The courses explore a variety of topics and subtopics.  Some recent example topics include: 

Human Behavior: the Normal and the "Freak" ● Exploration of Justice from The Hunger Games

Humor & Laughter ● Shaping the Self through Food & Culture ● Free Will in Human Nature

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