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Preparing for the Colloquium

During the period of remote instruction, information and dates/deadlines listed on this web page will remain in effect. All Colloquia will take place remotely during this time. Specific inquiries can be addressed to


During the second semester of the junior year, students work closely with their advisers to compose the List of Works and write the Rationale. Seniors are expected to complete their Colloquium during the fall (or penultimate) semester of their senior year.

The Role of the Adviser

Conversations that the student has with his or her adviser are an important part of the Gallatin education and an important part of preparing for the Colloquium itself. The adviser must approve the student’s List of Works and Rationale, so he or she will play a key role in helping the student prepare the List of Works and write the Rationale. The adviser can explain the procedures for the Colloquium, help the student focus on unifying themes, make suggestions for the List of Works and offer helpful advice on writing the Rationale. The adviser will also play a significant role in the Colloquium itself as one of the committee members.

Ways to Prepare

COLLQ-UG (2 units)

In the semester when students expect to complete their Colloquium, they register for “Colloquium” (COLLQ-UG, 2 units). Awarding two units for the Colloquium provides the necessary time in a student’s schedule to prepare for the Colloquium.  

Consulting with Instructors

Students should feel free to consult with any member of the Gallatin faculty or any of their NYU professors, who can help by suggesting works, commenting on the Rationale and discussing the ideas the students want to explore in the Colloquium.

Gallatin Interdisciplinary Seminars

All of the Gallatin interdisciplinary courses can help students prepare for the Colloquium by providing works for the List of Works, but if a particular course is relevant to the student's Colloquium topic(s), the student may ask the instructor for permission to incorporate writing the Rationale into the course assignments.

Independent Study

Before senior year, some students choose to design an independent study around their Colloquium topic(s); usually such projects are for two to four units, depending on the number of works and writing assignments. A student may work on such an independent study with his or her adviser or other NYU faculty members, so long as the instructor has sufficient expertise in the themes and the works the student wants to include in the independent study.

Writing the Rationale (IDSEM-UG 1800)

"Writing the Rationale" is a Gallatin class in which students learn how to develop methods of interdisciplinary study and how to apply them to their concentration. In this course students will also be drafting, workshopping, revising, presenting, and completing their Colloquium Rationale and List of Works.

Colloquium Overview Workshops

Sponsored by the Office of Advising, Colloquium overview workshops are held throughout the year. These workshops articulate the timeline and expectations for the colloquium process. All upperclass students are advised to attend a colloquium overview workshop, and read information available online before attending.

Spring 2020 Colloquium Overview Workshops

Rationale Writing Workshops

The Office of Advising is offering workshops designed for juniors preparing to begin the process of drafting their Rationale and List of Works in preparation for the Colloquium. Juniors in their second semester are expected to begin working with their Primary Adviser in this process, and these workshops offer helpful hints, suggestions and exercises that will aid students in the writing of this very important degree requirement. 

Spring 2020 Rationale Writing Workshops

Colloquium Preparation Workshops

The Office of Advising is offering workshops designed for seniors preparing for the Colloquium. We encourage students to join the workshop to gather strategies for approaching the Colloquium conversation, revisiting texts, and responding to committee questions. All workshops are held in the Gallatin Building at 1 Washington Place.

Spring 2020 Colloquium Preparation Workshops

  • Friday, February 7, 2020, 3pm - 4pm, room 601
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 11am - 12pm, room 620
  • Thursday, February 27, 2020, 2pm - 3pm, room 620
  • Friday, March 13, 2020, 2pm - 3pm, room 601


Colloquium Preparation Podcast Series

Away from campus? Studying abroad? Want to review the conversation from the colloquium workshop you attended? Listen in and follow up with any questions you might have!