Professor George Shulman advising student Anna Duensing
Academic advising is central to the life of a Gallatin student. Gallatin's unique educational philosophy and structure requires students to develop individualized concentrations under the guidance of Gallatin advisers.
All Gallatin students have at least two assigned advisers: a faculty adviser, who serves as an intellectual mentor to guide students as they navigate disciplines and departments in forging interdisciplinary concentrations; and a class adviser, who provides support to a cohort of students, fostering a sense of community among students as they pursue individualized programs of study. Some students, such as those transferring from other schools, benefit from the guidance of two cohort advisers: the transfer student adviser who guides the student through the transition into Gallatin, as well as a second class adviser who connects the student with others at the same stage in their progress toward the degree.
Students are responsible for cultivating the productive advising relationships necessary for the completion of degree requirements. All Gallatin students reflect on their academic goals and intellectual growth in consultation with their primary faculty advisers by completing the Plan of Study every semester before registration. Undergraduate students are expected to complete the Intellectual Autobiography and Plan for Concentration (IAPC) in the sophomore year after extensive conversations with a primary faculty adviser about integrating fields of interest and academic goals. Then, beginning in the junior year, undergraduate students build on the IAPC to prepare for the senior Colloquium, a capstone requirement completed under the direction of the student’s primary faculty adviser. Gallatin’s graduate students work closely with primary faculty advisers on all aspects of the Master’s Thesis process, from the development of the topic, enrollment in supporting coursework, proposal writing, review and defense.
Primary Faculty Adviser
At the core of Gallatin's advising system is the primary faculty adviser. Each student is assigned to a specific faculty member who supervises the student's individualized program of study. A student's primary faculty adviser helps to ensure that interdisciplinary coursework has depth, breadth, and coherence. Students are expected to meet with their primary faculty advisers 3-4 times each term to discuss courses, their degree progress, goals and registration for the coming term, as well as exciting new ideas that may help to refine the concentration.
Undergraduate students are assigned to a primary faculty adviser based on the Advising Questionnaire that each student completes before matriculation at Gallatin. Because a shift in academic focus sometimes calls for an adviser with a different advising specialty, it is easy to change advisers: students simply submit a Change of Adviser Request. New primary faculty adviser assignments, including changes of adviser for continuing students, are made twice a year, before the fall and spring semesters. Undergraduate students considering a change of adviser should contact Gallatin’s Office of Advising to discuss their options. Gallatin faculty members are among the hundreds of NYU professors who serve as primary faculty advisers.
Gallatin's Office of Academic Advising includes a staff of six full-time class advisers, each of whom works with a cohort of undergraduate students (first-years, sophomores, juniors, seniors and transfer students). Class advisers provide undergraduates with an additional layer of academic support, meeting with students by appointment and on a walk-in basis. Class advisers share key information about Gallatin policies and procedures with students and faculty alike, which can be especially helpful when a primary faculty adviser’s main affiliation is with another division of the University.
Class advisers build a sense of community among students who are at similar stages in the development of their concentrations and their progress toward the BA degree. Class advisers host events such as scholarship workshops, law school information sessions, workshops designed to help students complete requirements such as the IAPC and Colloquium, as well as themed events to build affinity groups among students who share interests. Because class advisers are also members of the Gallatin faculty, each class adviser brings specialized academic expertise, including knowledge of different disciplines and departments at the University.
MA Program Advising
The Administrative Director and faculty co-directors of the MA program serve as general program advisers to all Gallatin graduate students. The MA program advisers are available to provide practical advice on degree requirements or sequencing, and to address any academic concerns that arise at any time during a student’s graduate studies. In addition, each student’s primary faculty adviser ensures that a student’s plan of study has depth, breadth and coherence, and directs the thesis process. For more information, visit the Graduate Advising page.