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First-Year Program


The First-Year Program includes a series of first-year courses and activities designed to enrich your classroom learning and foster connections between your academic and extracurricular worlds. The First-Year Program begins with orientation and a variety of events during Welcome Week. At orientation you will meet faculty who will help you to think about your education as an interdisciplinary and independent venture. To help you settle into NYU and Gallatin, orientation also includes many social activities, informal discussions, and other opportunities to help you make new friends and become familiar with NYU and the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood.

First-year students (as well as transfer students who enter with fewer than 32 credits) take three courses that constitute the First-Year Program: the first-year interdisciplinary seminar, first-year writing seminar and first-year research seminar. The First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar introduces students to the goals, methods, and philosophy of university education and to the interdisciplinary, individualized approach of the Gallatin School. These small classes of about 18 students encourage discussion rather than lecturing and focus on a theme—"The Ancient Hero and the Heroic"; "The Thingliness of Things"; "Capitalism and Democracy"— that incorporates significant world texts representing several disciplines.

The first-year writing seminar and first-year research seminar constitute a two-semester sequence intended to help students develop their writing and research skills and to prepare them for the kinds of writing they will be doing in their other courses. Rather than attribute the success of excellent writing to a writer’s innate gifts or to some mysterious moment of inspiration, these seminars approach writing as a craft that can be learned by acquiring the skills appropriate for each stage in the writing process (free writing, drafting, revising, polishing). Each seminar is organized around a particular theme—"Aesthetics on Trial"; "Wilderness and Civilization"; "Art and the Dream Life"—with related readings that serve both as springboards for discussion and models for students’ own essays. Usually, the writing seminar begins with personal and descriptive essays and proceeds to focus on the critical essay. A significant portion of the research seminar is devoted to working on a long research paper, with attention to formulating key questions, choosing and evaluating sources, developing a thesis, structuring the argument as a whole and revising and polishing the final paper.


Spring 2016 First-Year Program Courses

Course # Title Instructor
FIRST-UG701 First-Year Research Seminar: Aesthetics in Context Christopher Trogan
FIRST-UG709 First-Year Research Seminar: Language and the Political Andrew Libby
FIRST-UG715 First-Year Research Seminar: The Surreal Thing Eugene Vydrin
FIRST-UG717 First-Year Research Seminar: Literature and the Idea of Justice Sara Murphy
FIRST-UG740 First-Year Research Seminar: The Cold War: What Was It and Why Does It Matter? Hannah Gurman
FIRST-UG748 First-Year Research Seminar: Writing Evolution Anne DeWitt
FIRST-UG752 First-Year Research Seminar: The Rise of Graphic Archives Margaret Galvan
FIRST-UG759 First-Year Research Seminar: Apartment Stories: Architecture, Literature and Culture Krystyna Michael
FIRST-UG760 First-Year Research Seminar: Examining the Mundane: Art and Literature of the Everyday Trevor Laurence Jockims
FIRST-UG765 First-Year Research Seminar: Suburban Nation David Parsons
FIRST-UG769 First-Year Research Seminar: Road Trips Amanda Petrusich
FIRST-UG770 First-Year Research Seminar: The Politics of Work Rosanne Kennedy
FIRST-UG771 First-Year Research Seminar: Building Better Humans Jordan Stein
FIRST-UG772 First-Year Research Seminar: A World Lit Only by Chaucer Andrew Romig
FIRST-UG773 First-Year Research Seminar: The World in Pieces: Emergency Literature Anastasiya Osipova
FIRST-UG774 First-Year Research Seminar: Modern Latin America through its Literature Juan Carlos Aguirre
FIRST-UG775 First-Year Research Seminar: Sounding the City Paul Fess
FIRST-UG777 First-Year Research Seminar: Making Public Queer History Stephen Vider
FIRST-UG778 First-Year Research Seminar: Shadow Cities: Literary Alterity and Urban Underworlds Adrian Versteegh
FIRST-UG803 Transfer Student Research Seminar: Working Chinnie Ding