Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is participation in Montserrat required for all first-year students?
Montserrat gives every entering student a “jumpstart” on exploring intellectual life at Holy Cross. By participating in small, interdisciplinary seminars at the start of their college careers, students have the chance to interact closely with faculty, staff, and other students to create mentoring relationships that will grow stronger over their four years here. In addition to better integrating academic and social life, Montserrat provides intensive development in critical thinking and communication skills, and ensures that students are engaging with serious intellectual and moral questions early in their time at Holy Cross. These skills and intellectual experiences will enhance every student’s chosen course of study, no matter what their major or career goals.

How do I choose my seminar?
You will begin by reviewing Montserrat clusters and seminars. Please identify several seminars that sound the most interesting to you, regardless of your academic or career plans. Keep in mind that the clusters are interdisciplinary and attract students with different interests, goals, and potential majors. You will select six seminars that are interesting to you and indicate these preferences during registration. Keep in mind that you are not ranking these seminars. You will be enrolled in one of your six preferred seminars in early August.

Is a seminar one yearlong course or two separate, one-semester courses?
Each Montserrat seminar extends over the entire year, but there might be a different emphasis from semester to semester. Some seminars are team taught by professors from different disciplines, alternating semesters and providing contrasting perspectives on a topic. For example, for a seminar in Global Society on environmental sustainability, the fall semester could be devoted to an exploration into energy conservation with a physics professor, while the spring semester, led by a religious studies professor, could focus on issues of ethics and stewardship. Many other seminars are taught as a yearlong sequence by a single professor.

Do Montserrat seminars fulfill common area requirements?
Your Montserrat seminars count as two of the 32 courses required to graduate from Holy Cross and fulfill one Common Area Requirement. In instances where a course might fulfill two different Common Area Requirements, the student will have the option of selecting which Common Requirement the seminar will fulfill (it cannot fulfill both).