Program Overview

All of the CWRU schools and colleges that grant undergraduate degrees—Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Management—participate in SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship), a program sequence extending through the entire undergraduate curriculum.


Case Western Reserve UniversityDuring their first two years in SAGES, students complete a series of three interdisciplinary seminars. These are followed in the third year by a SAGES departmental seminar, usually in a student's major field; and, in the fourth year, by a capstone project demonstrating the intellectual agility and collaborative spirit that SAGES is designed to foster.

SAGES students develop essential communications skills over the course of several semesters by participating in seminar discussions, giving presentations, and writing intensively. In the SAGES program, writing is not an isolated activity. Instead, it partakes of the intellectual vitality of the seminar (and, ultimately, the capstone) experience.

SAGES Curriculum

The SAGES curriculum, in combination with CWRU's strong and distinctive majors programs, offers our students the best of the small-college experience along with the opportunities of a research university. As a result, these students are better equipped to move into postgraduate training and the job market and to become leaders in their fields.  Click here for more information about the Course Sequence. 

Here are a few of the opportunities available to SAGES students:

  • Under SAGES, every undergraduate has a faculty mentor from the moment he or she arrives on campus. First Seminar faculty leaders double as advisors, introducing students to the culture and resources of the research university and establishing close relationships with students from the very first semester.
  • SAGES students explore the vast cultural and scientific resources of University Circle. They attend special lectures and presentations, and they pursue research opportunities, arranged through SAGES' partnerships with major institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.
  • SAGES First Seminars include a Fourth Hour designed to enhance classroom learning by giving students access to both University Circle and Greater Cleveland. Some Fourth Hours find students touring historic neighborhoods, visiting the Crawford Auto Museum, or hearing the renowned Cleveland Orchestra in one of the world’s finest concert halls. 
  • CWRU faculty members teach virtually all First Seminars and most subsequent seminars. In addition, students have opportunities to learn from guest scholars, and from professionals in diverse fields, who have been drawn to CWRU by the Presidential and SAGES Fellows programs. Learn more.
  • The ultimate goal is for all CWRU students to gain experience in defining a problem and then developing a response to that problem, whether this involves research or artistic creation. SAGES accomplishes this goal by having all undergraduate students complete a capstone project —individually or in small groups— under the guidance of faculty mentors. Read on for details about the Course Sequence.