The department sponsors a seminar (Wednesday, 3:30 pm, ALS4001) every other week of the regular school year. All faculty and all graduate students are expected to attend these seminars even though no credit is given for attendance. First-year students MUST attend as they take the first year seminar class (BB 507/607) for credits.

The seminar speakers are experts in their field, who are invited from other institutions by faculty members or fourth-year graduate students (annual “Tsoo King Lecture”).  The second and third year students select the “Annual Alumni Speaker” from the base of BB undergraduate and graduate alumni. The remaining seminars consist of "third year seminars" that are given by graduate students roughly at the halfway point in their programs.

Graduate students are expected to be able to ask questions at the end of seminars, especially if the speaker works in their area of research. There is also a “reception”, a coffee and cookie social gathering, in the department library (ALS2009A) following each seminar, where students have the opportunity for lengthier and more in-depth discussions with the seminar speaker.