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Tutorials are small groups of two to five students working closely with a faculty member on a common topic, project, or skill. Tutorials are student-generated projects, and like independent studies, ideas for tutorials typically follow from questions raised in a particular course. Students may collaborate on creative projects as well. Students work together with the instructor to formulate the structure of the tutorial, the details of which are described in the tutorial proposal and submitted to the Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies for review and approval. The tutorial group meets regularly throughout the semester, and students follow a common syllabus: all participants complete the same readings, write papers on similar topics, etc. At the end of the semester all students are evaluated by the instructor and assigned a letter grade (A through F).

Students in the same tutorial must register for the same number of units. Credit is determined by the amount of work (readings and other types of assignments) entailed in the tutorial and should be comparable to that of a Gallatin classroom course. Tutorials range from 2 to 4 units. Meeting hours correspond to course units; a 4-unit tutorial requires at least 14 contact hours per term between the instructor and students. Students and instructors may establish meeting times and places for the tutorial, however, long distance tutorials (where the students and instructor cannot meet together) are not generally permitted.

While students are encouraged to engage in independent work with 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 8 units per semester in any combination of independent study and/or tutorial.  

Faculty members (both full-time and part-time) are limited to supervising no more than one tutorial per term (Fall, Spring, or Summer).

Below is an outline of the process that students follow to set up a Tutorial. Because the student and the instructor are designing a course, students must begin this process a full semester in advance. Students can refer to the Student Checklist to investigate the planning timeline for these steps:

  • Obtain faculty adviser approval: Students should discuss with their faculty adviser the possibility of conducting a tutorial.
  • Generate a basic idea: At least two students should work together to identify a problem or a question, a time period, a literary genre, a natural phenomenon, a philosophical theme, or a creative skill.
  • Organize the student group: Identify all of the students (no more than five) who will be participating in the tutorial.
  • Identify an appropriate instructor  (one of the student’s academic advisers, a Gallatin or other NYU faculty member, or with special approval, a professor from another university or college) to work with the group.  Contact the prospective instructor to propose the study and to discuss the plans for the work of the group.
  • Complete and submit a Tutorial Proposal form: Each member of the tutorial must submit a proposal form for review and approval by Gallatin's Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies. Please note that submitting a proposal does not guarantee approval.
  • All students should identify an alternate course to take in case the tutorial proposal is not approved

Tutorial Policies

  • Generally, the work for a tutorial should be comparable to a Gallatin classroom course. The specific format of the work will be determined by the students and the instructor who will evaluate it. 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.
  • Tutorials may be taken for two, three or four credits. The number of credits is determined the amount of work to be completed.
  • Instructors and students must meet for a minimum number of hours per semester: for a 4-credit Tutorial, the minimum number of contact hours is fourteen (14). Contact hours for a Tutorial which is less than 4 credits should be prorated accordingly (e.g., a 2-credit tutorial should meet for a minimum of seven (7) hours).
  • All students enrolled in the same tutorial must register for the same number of credits and follow the same syllabus.
  • Tutorial groups must include at least two students, but no more than a total of five students.
  • 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.
  • Tutorials are graded with letter grades (A through F).
  • Undergraduate students may register for no more than 8 credits per semester in any combination of independent study and/or tutorial. 
  • Long distance tutorials (where the students and instructor cannot meet together) are not permitted.
  • Students enrolled in another NYU school might be permitted to join an existing Gallatin Tutorial. In all cases, students enrolled in other NYU schools should contact KatheAnn Joseph for more information.
  • Faculty members (both full-time and part-time) are limited to supervising no more than one tutorial per term (Fall, Spring, or Summer).
  • The completed tutorial proposal consists of:
    • adviser’s approval
    • instructor’s approval
    • completed proposal form
    • description of the study
    • syllabus
    • booklist

Students must submit all of the above components by the appropriate semester deadline.

Students interested in pursuing a Tutorial should review the Tutorial Proposal Guidelines and the Student Checklist.

Instructors for a Gallatin Tutorial should read the Instructor Guidelines

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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