Tutorials are small groups of two to five students working closely with an instructor on a common topic, project, or skill. Designing a tutorial is an important part of the project. The students in the group should work together, along with the instructor, to discuss the aims and content of the study and produce the proposal, which consists of: the description; readings; written work to be evaluated; and syllabus. Each student in the tutorial must complete their own Tutorial Proposal form, and receive approval for this study from their adviser, the tutorial instructor, and from the Gallatin Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies. Below are the instructions for completing the proposal form. As students begin to work on the Tutorial Proposal, they should refer to the Student Checklist to ensure that they do not miss any important steps or deadlines.
1. Identify an appropriate instructor: An instructor for a Gallatin Tutorial should be an NYU faculty member.
In rare cases a professor from another university or college might be approved to instruct a Tutorial. There is no guarantee that a non-NYU faculty member will be approved as an instructor of a Gallatin Tutorial. Students seeking to work with non-NYU faculty members must attach the professor’s curriculum vitae (CV) with the proposal form for review by the Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies.
2. Coordinate with at least one other student in the tutorial: Tutorial groups must include at least two students, but no more than a total of five students. At least one member of a tutorial group must be a Gallatin student.
All students enrolled in the same tutorial must register for the same number of units and follow the same syllabus. In addition, students in the same tutorial should coordinate the submission of their proposal forms because the Committee on Individualized Studies cannot begin the review of a tutorial until they receive completed proposal forms from at least two members of the tutorial.
3. Provide a description of the study: Like the course description in a college catalog, this part of the proposal should describe the general theme and scope of the tutorial. (See Gallatin’s course descriptions for examples.) The theme may be stated as a problem to be investigated, an issue to be explored, or an argument to be defended. The description might indicate where the students are starting out and where the students would like to get in terms of answering a question, exploring a phenomenon, understanding a theory, building a skill or other goal. It should articulate the theme and strategy of the study as clearly as possible within 250 words.
4. Determine the number of units*: Generally, tutorials are two, three, or four units. All students enrolled in the same tutorial must register for the same number of units and follow the same syllabus. The number of units determines the number of readings and amount of work assigned – see the sections below (“Readings” and “Written Work”) for details.
Unit Limitations: While students are encouraged to engage in independent work with the University faculty, the Gallatin program is designed for a careful balance between independent and classroom experience. Undergraduate students, therefore, may register for no more than eight (8) units per term in any combination of independent study and/or tutorial.
*units signify credits
5. Articulate the work to be evaluated by the instructor:
A) Readings: The student must provide a reading list with authors and titles, even if tentative, along with the proposal. The list should be comparable to a similar classroom course, which means that a four-unit tutorial requires a minimum of 6-10 books. The list of readings may include substantial articles and other secondary readings. (However, a single article is not equivalent to a book; at least 3 articles are needed to equal a book.) Readings may change during the semester as the study evolves, but the preliminary list should be appropriate for the number of units. Proposals for creative projects should include readings, as well.
Below is the required minimum number of books for tutorials of various unit values:
• 4 units: 6-10 books
• 3 units: 4-7 books
• 2 units: 3-5 books
B) Written Work: The proposal should indicate the kinds of work (response papers, research essays, creative works, etc.), which will be evaluated by the instructor. Assignments should be comparable in extent to a similar classroom course, which means that a four-unit tutorial requires a minimum of 20-25 pages of assigned written work (for creative projects students are required to submit at least 15 pages of academic written work in addition to the creative work for four units). Details should be provided about this work, including the number, length and type of work to be submitted (e.g., two research papers, one 10 pages and the other 15).
For creative projects (e.g., photography, film making, painting, etc.) students are required to submit at least 15 pages of academic writing* in addition to the creative work for four units. For creative projects in writing (e.g., screenplays, novels, essays, blogs, etc.) students are required to submit at least 7-10 pages of academic writing*. Creative project proposals need to include details about the substance and format of the work, whether short stories, chapters of a novel, paintings, etc.
Ultimately, it is up to the student and instructor to determine the specific format of the work to be evaluated by the instructor. The work for the study should be submitted according to the schedule of due dates agreed upon at the outset, and as with a classroom course, late work may be penalized.
Below is the required minimum amount of written work for tutorials of various unit values. (The number of required written pages for creative projects may be less.):
• 4 units: 20-25 pages of written work
• 3 units: 15-20 pages of written work
• 2 units: 10-15 pages of written work
*Academic writing can be, for example, response papers to readings assigned, and/or a critical analytical and/or research essay that discusses one or more of the theoretical concepts of the class.
6. Determine the syllabus: Each student must provide a schedule of the meetings with the instructor, which includes the topics, the readings, and assignments to be covered during each session. Students can revise their syllabus with their instructor once the semester begins. All students enrolled in the same tutorial must follow the same syllabus.
Below is the required minimum number of meetings for tutorials of various unit values:
• 4 units: 7 meetings
• 3 units: 5 meetings
• 2 units: 4 meetings
Notes about student and instructor meetings:
• Students and instructors may establish meeting times and places for the tutorial. While the days and times of the student’s meetings with the instructor are “to be arranged,” instructors and students meet for a minimum number of hours per semester: for a 4-unit tutorial, the minimum number of contact hours is fourteen (14). In arranging contact hours, instructors and students may choose to meet every week for one hour, every other week for two hours, or less frequently, if appropriate, as long as they meet for a minimum of fourteen (14) hours over the course of the semester. Contact hours for a tutorial that is less than 4 units should be prorated accordingly (e.g., a 2-unit tutorial should meet for a minimum of seven (7) hours). As in any other course, the student should come prepared for these meetings by completing readings and written work on time.
• Long distance tutorials (where the students and instructor cannot meet together) are not permitted. (Please be aware: Students interested in conducting a Tutorial who will be studying at one of the thirteen NYU global locations must consult the global site course offerings to see if this option is available at the site. Students studying at NYU global sites may not enroll in the standard Gallatin Tutorial option (INDIV-UG 1925). Please consult the specific site course offerings by linking to the site page from the Studying Abroad website.)
7. Secure written approvals: Both the instructor’s and adviser’s approval of the proposal are required. While the instructor may agree to supervise the student’s work, the student’s adviser determines whether it is appropriate for the student to undertake a tutorial. After submitting the proposal form, the student should follow up with both their adviser and instructor to make sure their approvals have been sent to Gallatin.
Once the tutorial proposal has been submitted to, and reviewed by, the Gallatin Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies, the committee chair indicates final approval. Please note that submitting a proposal does not guarantee approval. Students in the same tutorial should coordinate the submission of their proposal forms because the Committee on Individualized Studies cannot begin the review of a tutorial until they receive completed proposal forms from at least two members of the tutorial.
8. Meet the proposal submission deadlines and requirements: A timeline for planning is available on the Student Checklist. The completed tutorial proposal consists of the following seven (7) components, and all must be submitted by the appropriate semester deadlines:
1. adviser’s approval
2. instructor’s approval
3. completed proposal form
4. description of the study
6. written work to be evaluated
9. Title of the Tutorial: Students in the same tutorial will have the same tutorial title printed on their official transcript. It should be a useful, descriptive title that reflects the unifying theme and content of the study. It should not duplicate an existing NYU course. The words “Tutorial” will appear before the title on the transcript: for example, “Tutorial: Great World Texts.” The title is limited to 26 characters including spaces and punctuation.