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The Structure of a Four-Year Program

First Year

  • Students take two thematic writing seminars, one each semester (15 students in each class).  Recent writing seminars have included “The Idea of America: What Does it Mean?," “Imagining Cities,” “Food Culture and Food Writing,” and “Myths and Fables in Popular Culture.”
  • Students take one first-year interdisciplinary seminar as an introduction to interdisciplinary study (18 students in each class). Recent first-year interdisciplinary seminars have included “Capitalism and Democracy,” “The Social Construction of Reality,” and “The Thingliness of Things.”
  • First-year students are encouraged to explore their interests by taking courses in departments and schools throughout NYU in the fields of study in which they may choose to concentrate.

 Sophomore Year

  • During the sophomore year, students begin to define their concentration. Sophomores often take at least one Gallatin interdisciplinary seminar, and many select a sophomore-only interdisciplinary seminar. Sophomore-only seminars recently offered include“American Narratives I,” “Literary and Critical Theory,” and “Shakespeare's Mediterranean.”
  • At the end of the sophomore year, each student writes the Intellectual Autobiography and Plan for Concentration, a short essay that is read and approved by his or her faculty adviser.  This plan details the steps the student will take towards defining his or her concentration.
  • Sophomores are encouraged to explore their interests by taking courses in the other schools of NYU, and many also choose to study abroad for a semester.
  • Sophomores often undertake internships related to their fields of study in various businesses, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations throughout New York City.
  • Sophomores may also choose to pursue their work in independent studies, tutorials, and private lessons in the arts.

 Junior Year

  • Juniors often take several Gallatin interdisciplinary seminars.
  • In the junior year, students continue to deepen their knowledge in their chosen fields of study by taking courses widely in other departments and schools at NYU.
  • During the junior year, students begin preparing for their senior colloquium by taking the course, “Third-Year Symposium,” which guides them through the process of writing the rationale, a short essay with booklist that defines the focus of their colloquium. The rationale is read and approved by two faculty members.
  • Juniors often undertake internships related to their fields of study and may do some of their academic work in independent studies, tutorials, and private lessons in the arts.
  • Juniors may also take advantage of study abroad options, perhaps for one semester or even for one year. Particularly popular study abroad options for Gallatin students are NYU in Prague, NYU in Ghana, and Gallatin-specific summer courses in Florence, Berlin, and Buenos Aires.

Senior Year

  • In the fall of their senior year, students participate in the senior colloquium, a two-hour conversation and oral exam involving three faculty members. At the colloquium, students present a variety of texts that have proved important in their concentration. These texts are selected to represent a range of knowledge, touching on topics both ancient and modern.
  • Students continue taking Gallatin interdisciplinary seminars in their senior year and also take advanced courses throughout the University in their fields of focus.
  • In the second semester of the senior year, students have the option to undertake a senior project or senior essay.
  • Seniors undertake internships related to their fields of study and may continue to do some of their academic work in independent studies, tutorials, and private lessons in the arts.
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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 998-7370