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Senior FAQ


How do I know if I am on track to finish all of my requirements?

Use Albert’s “degree progress report” located through the drop-down menu in your Student Center to determine how close you are to completing your degree requirements. This report will provide you with current information regarding your current registration and requirement completion. Note that Albert includes courses completed (green) and those in progress (yellow) in its tallies.

Your unofficial transcript is also available through the drop-down menu options.

What is COLLQ-UG?

COLLQ-UG is a mandatory 2-unit colloquium preparation with your adviser.

In the semester when students expect to complete their Colloquium, they register for “Colloquium” (COLLQ-UG, 2 units). This is meant to recognize the significant amount of work and time that students and advisers spend preparing for successful colloquia. [Registration for “Colloquium” (COLLQ-UG, 2 units) is recommended but not required for students admitted prior to summer 2015.]  

What are the adviser-approved Rationale submission deadlines?

Students are expected to complete the Colloquium during the penultimate semester before graduation. Adviser-approved Rationales must therefore be submitted to Gallatin for second reader review no later than the deadlines below. Seniors who fail to submit the adviser-approved Rationale to Gallatin by the deadline will have a registration hold placed on their accounts. The hold will remain in place until an adviser-approved Rationale has been submitted to Gallatin.

For students planning to graduate at the end of the fall/winter semester, the adviser-approved Rationale and Booklist must be submitted to Gallatin no later then October 1.

For students planning to graduate at the end of the spring semester, the adviser-approved Rationale and Booklist must be submitted to Gallatin no later then November 1.

For students planning to graduate at the end of the summer terms, the adviser-approved Rationale and Booklist must be submitted to Gallatin no later then April 1.

Are there sample rationales?

Yes - you can find them online here.

Make sure to speak directly with your primary faculty adviser regarding their preferences for style and format.

How do I prepare for my colloquium?

There are many ways that you can prepare for a strong colloquium. Schedule a meeting with your primary faculty adviser to devise a timeline for colloquium preparation. Plan to meet with your adviser frequently during your senior year. Additionally, read through the colloquium sections of our website, which detail every aspect of the colloquium process. You can also attend one of the colloquium workshops scheduled throughout the year and speak to the Senior Class Advisers.

What is the last day to complete my colloquium?

  • For September 2017 BA candidates, the colloquium must be completed by Friday, September 22, 2017.
  • For January 2018 BA candidates, the last day to pass the colloquium is Friday, January 19, 2018. That said, we encourage students to finish all requirements before winter break.
  • For May 2018 BA candidates, the colloquium must be completed by Friday, May 11, 2018.

What is the Senior Project?

The Senior Project is a semester-long, four-unit, intensive independent research and/or creative project that students work on under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Projects often, although not always, take on themes or questions with which students engage in their colloquium or rationale, and they attempt to make a new scholarly or artistic contribution to their fields. Examples of Senior Projects include a paper based on original research, a written assessment of a community-learning initiative, or an artistic project (such as design-based work, art exhibit, or theatrical production) accompanied by an analytic essay (comprising artistic background, aims, and technique). They may also take other forms, depending on the student’s interests and abilities.

Students interested in undertaking a Senior Project should be aware of proposal deadlines and submission criteria, which are detailed online here.

How do I get a letter of recommendation?

Students are often asked to provide formal letters of recommendation to accompany their applications to graduate school programs, for a prestigious fellowship or award, or to a competitive post-graduation opportunity.

If you believe that a faculty adviser, class instructor, or colloquium committee member may be able to accurately represent you and your work, you can ask them for a letter of recommendation. Before you reach out to politely make your request, please keep in mind the following:

  • A well-written and effective letter of recommendation takes time to craft. Ask for a recommendation as far in advance as possible.
  • Explain why you are applying to the program or opportunity, and how a letter from that faculty member will be a valuable part of your application.
  • Provide directions to your writer if you want them to speak about specific strengths and capacities. For example, "Would you please comment on the analytical writing I submitted in our fall class?" or "Could you include your thoughts on my leadership role in the project?"
  • Offer to share links to the program website, drafts of your application essays, and/or CV with your writer. These pieces may assist them in specializing the letter.

If a faculty member agrees to write a letter of recommendation, make sure to thank them for their time and energy.


What is the Dean’s Award for Graduating Seniors?

The Dean’s Award for Graduating Seniors is designed to fund original research or creative projects pursued after graduation that are related to the academic concentrations of Gallatin students. Read details regarding expectations and the application process before speaking with your adviser.

Proposals are due December 1 for January BA candidates and April 1 for May BA candidates. Usually the competition is strong, so work with your advisers to develop a clear and compelling project proposal.


What is the Senior Symposium?

The Senior Symposium highlights the diversity of undergraduate scholarship at Gallatin. The annual event showcases a select group of seniors who present live talks that share ideas at the heart of their academic passions. Developed from individualized majors and colloquium topics, the talks span a range of disciplines and are meant to teach and to inspire the community. Click here to watch previous talks.

Will I earn graduation honors?

Depending on your GPA, you may be eligible for Latin Honors. Read through the honors section of the NYU Registrar website for details.

Gallatin also selects a few students to receive graduation awards. Be on the lookout for information about this process during the spring semester.

What is Phi Beta Kappa?

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society, which celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Invitation to Phi Beta Kappa is a reflection of outstanding academic achievement.  

Gallatin students who are committed to a broad liberal arts education and wish to be considered for Phi Beta Kappa should aspire to meet the criteria for nomination, which include extremely strong academic performance in at least one semester of college math, two semesters of college science (with a lab component), and foreign language proficiency (through the Intermediate II level).

More information, including recent Gallatin inductees is available on the website.

Where can I learn more about post-graduation fellowships?

There are many opportunities for exceptional projects and post-graduation study to be supported.

For information about awards and fellowships facilitated by Gallatin, read through the Awards, Honors + Fellowships website.

To learn more about NYU support for competitive fellowships and scholarships, read through the NYU Global Awards page.


When is graduation?

NYU Commencement at Yankee Stadium is May 16, 2018

Gallatin Graduation at Lincoln Center is May 17, 2018

Detailed information about the graduation ceremonies, including tickets and graduation attire, is available online.

Do I need to apply for graduation?

Yes. You’ll receive emails from the Senior Class Adviser and the NYU Registrar when the graduation application period is open. Students apply for graduation through the Student Center on Albert. Make sure that your “expected date of graduation” is accurate in Albert.

The graduation application period for January 2018 BA candidates is now open - June 19 to October 6.  

If I earn a September or January degree, when do I celebrate?

Everyone earning a degree during the 2017-2018 academic year celebrates together during the May 2018 ceremonies. You will be automatically invited. We also have a Senior Toast in December to celebrate summer and fall graduates, and those on track for May graduation. It’s a great party, you should come.

I will be a few credits short of May graduation – can I still walk?

Under very specific circumstances, students on track for a September BA can participate through a Dean’s Exception. To be eligible, you must finish the colloquium before the end of the spring semester. Please read all of the criteria online, and be in touch with the Senior Class Advisers to determine if this option is applicable to you.

What is the title of my degree and when will it post to my transcript?

You will earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Individualized Major.

The “degree awarded” notation will appear a few weeks after graduation. To request a copy of your official transcript, please read instructions from the NYU Registrar.  

When do I get my actual diploma?

The printing and disseminating of degrees is handled through the NYU Registrar.

Make sure your permanent mailing address is correct on Albert – this is where the university will send your diploma a few months after graduation.


How should I represent my studies on my CV/resume?

As you format your resume/CV, consider the need to accurately reflect the official degree title, to communicate your concentration focus, and to open the door for conversation with admissions committees and potential employers. The Senior Class Advisers suggest formatting your CV/resume similar to:

NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study

BA Individualized Major, [minor if applicable]

Individualized, interdisciplinary major in name of concentration

Can I use Wasserman to prepare for a job or post-graduation opportunity?

Yes – alumni have access to the Wasserman Center for Career Development staff, services and to CareerNet. We encourage you to access Wasserman resources as you prepare for post-graduation work and volunteer opportunities.

How do I stay in touch with Gallatin?

After graduation, you will be an important part of the broad and exciting Gallatin alumni community. Keep an eye on Gallatin events and join us in many ways as alum!