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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 2020 First-Year Program Courses

Course # Title Instructor
FIRST-UG1811 Transfer Student Research Seminar: The Politics of Work Rosanne Kennedy
FIRST-UG709 First-Year Research Seminar: Language and the Political Andrew Libby
FIRST-UG717 First-Year Research Seminar: Literature and the Idea of Justice Sara Murphy
FIRST-UG747 First-Year Research Seminar: Archaeology and Nationalism Hallie Franks
FIRST-UG778 First-Year Research Seminar: Shadow Cities: Literary Alterity and Urban Underworlds Adrian Versteegh
FIRST-UG783 First-Year Research Seminar: Money and the Muse: Culture, Creativity, and Capital Trevor Laurence Jockims
FIRST-UG787 First-Year Research Seminar: The Detective Story: Solving Mysteries from Oedipus to Sherlock Paul Grimstad
FIRST-UG793 First-Year Research Seminar: Politics, Religion, and the State Charles Gelman
FIRST-UG794 First-Year Research Seminar: Utopian Literature from Antiquity to Today Christina M. Squitieri
FIRST-UG795 First-Year Research Seminar: Literatures of Imperialism Michelle Lee
FIRST-UG799 First-Year Research Seminar: Afrolatinidad, NYC Sybil Cooksey
FIRST-UG816 First-Year Research Seminar: Representations of Disability in Contemporary Memoir Jessie Male
FIRST-UG817 First-Year Research Seminar: Immigration, Race, and Citizenship in the United States Jude Webre
FIRST-UG818 First-Year Research Seminar: A Tale of Two Caesars Irene Morrison-Moncure
FIRST-UG819 First-Year Research Seminar: The Sounds Beneath Your Feet: Downtown Music and Downtown Memory Ben Ratliff
FIRST-UG820 First-Year Research Seminar: The Everyday Gothic Erag Ramizi
FIRST-UG821 First-Year Research Seminar: Microhistory and the Uniqueness of the Individual Instance Andrew Romig
FIRST-UG822 First-Year Research Seminar: Time Travel: Science, Fiction, and the Western Imagination Gregory Erickson
Lauren Greenspan
FIRST-UG823 First-Year Research Seminar: Music Journalism Amanda Petrusich
FIRST-UG824 First-Year Research Seminar: Anton Chekhov: Life, Literature, and Medicine Bradley Lewis
FIRST-UG827 First-Year Research Seminar: The Arts and the Sciences: Divides and Intersections Sean O'Neil
FIRST-UG828 First-Year Research Seminar: Black Experiences in Literature, Movies, and Television Shatima Jones