Welcome to your first year at Gallatin! We are so glad you are here.
Perhaps you have questions: What exactly constitutes interdisciplinary study? How do I bring my interests together and articulate a concentration? How will I know which class to take? How do I navigate Gallatin's requirements while forging ahead with my individualized study?
Your Class Adviser is here to help you figure all this—and more!—out.
In the meantime, a few words about the first-year program. As a first-year student, you will be taking writing classes and interdisciplinary seminars especially designed to prepare you for university-level writing and to introduce the concept of interdisciplinary study and the Gallatin philosophy. These small classes also give Gallatin students a chance to begin building a community of intellectual peers with shared academic interests and creative pursuits.
Your first year at college can be exhilerating, exciting, and, at times, challenging. Gallatin's faculty and advisers are here to help make this time more exhilerating and exciting and less challenging.
As you begin the four-year process of developing and defining and re-defining your individualized concentration, your primary faculty adviser and your class adviser are happy to help. Your primary academic adviser, a faculty member at Gallatin or the wider NYU community, will work with you as you build your Plan of Study, both semester-to-semester and encompassing your interdisciplinary education, as you expand and explore various fields of academic inquiry, and as you take advantage of the many opportunities open to you at Gallatin, through the other schools at NYU, and in New York City.
At the same time, your First-Year Class Adviser, Yevgeniya Traps, can provide support and offer advice on academic, curricular, and school policy. Yevgeniya's (virtual) drop-in hours for Fall 2020 are:
You may also make an appointment at other times. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with questions and concerns, or just to say hi!
Here are a few bits of advice and recollection from Gallatin students about their first year.
The thing I can recommend most for new students is: never take for granted the importance of the adviser-advisee relationship to your education in Gallatin. More than an academic supervisor, my adviser has been my greatest source of support and a real advocate at Gallatin, and our relationship has been one of the most critical parts of my education here. It's a relationship that shouldn't be passed up!
Take advantage of the extracurricular events that Gallatin has to offer. I feel fortunate to go to a school where guest speakers range from the rapper Black Thought of The Roots to Alison Bechdel, the graphic novelist who produced the powerful memoir Fun Home. During my first year at NYU I was overwhelmed and intimidated by the club fair, and felt too shy to involve myself deeply in any kind of organized extracurricular activity. Attending Gallatin round-table discussions and lectures allowed me to feel involved in the Gallatin community without having to put myself out there in a way that I was not yet comfortable with. Gallatin provides a space for us as students to intellectualize and investigate the things in our world that might not be deemed "academic" to a society at large. It is through some of these conversations with artists, musicians, urban planners, and writers that I was able to develop my concentration, and slowly begin to participate more actively in the NYU community at-large.
Gallatin allows the least relevant class titles to your interests to become your most important classes, so don't be afraid to try new things.
Experience everything and don't blink!
My advice would be to take that random class that looks cool to you (besides: in Gallatin, nothing is that random).
All Gallatin students will work closely with faculty and advisers as they explore their academic interests and develop an interdisciplinary, individualized concentration. It is helpful to keep in mind the following expectations to keep you on track during your time here:
As a Gallatin student, your goal is to develop your interests and build a concentration while simultaneously fulfilling Gallatin’s degree requirements. It is your responsibility to keep track of your degree progress and to discuss it with your advisers, particularly if you have any questions or concerns. Make sure too to be aware of policies and deadlines: these are posted on the Gallatin website, and you will receive regular updates from your class adviser and from Student Services, but you must ultimately stay on top of the academic calendar.
It is your responsibility to email your faculty adviser to schedule advising meetings well in advance of important deadlines, particularly registration. On occasion, your adviser might reach out to you: try to respond to such communications in a timely fashion. It bears repeating: working and meeting with your primary faculty adviser should be a priority. Plan ahead for meetings with your adviser: gather your thoughts, questions, relevant course information, and other materials related to the subjects you intend to take up. It might be especially helpful to write down your questions or topics for discussion in order to maximize the time you have to speak.
On the first day of class, you will receive a syllabus for the course. Consider this document a kind of contract: it will set out the course goals and expectations, including grading criteria, and provide a schedule of readings and assignments. It is your responsibility to be aware of all due dates and your responsibility to communicate with your instructor—or
your class adviser, who can, in turn, help you communicate with faculty—if you encounter difficulties meeting the class expectations.
As a Gallatin student, you join a community of scholars. It is your responsibility to be a good member of this community. In part, this means coming to class on time and prepared to engage in a productive discussion of challenging material. It also means being respectful of others, of your classmates’ beliefs and opinions.
It is your responsibility to regularly check you NYU email account: this is where your faculty adviser and your class adviser, as well as your instructors, will direct important communication. Please make sure to respond to emails from your advisers in a timely manner: your advisers are here to support and help you, but they can only do so when you communicate with them.