SOCL Graduate Proseminar

What is a proseminar?

Proseminar: "A course of study for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in a college or university, conducted in the manner of a seminar."

"Pro-" is a prefix in English and several other European languages with an ancient heritage going deep into our language's Indo-European roots. It carries the meaning of "early" or "before" or "prior to" as well as 'in favor of' and some other meanings.

"Seminar" is a word originally used in German universities from the Latin seminarium, meaning "seed plot" or "seed bed."

So we can see, a proseminar is a preliminary study group taken under the guidance of a teacher before moving on to more advanced studies. It is the seed bed to nurture students and from which it is hoped that ideas and understanding will grow.

Source of definitions:  American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved from

Social Sciences Librarian

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Suzanne Gray
100 F Halle Library