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Degree Requirements for Students Who Started in Spring 2013 and Earlier

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS ABOUT THE REVISED DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:  If you entered the M.A. program in Spring 2013 or earlier, please consult with a program director about how the revised requirements and curriculum may affect you.

Students are bound by the degree requirements in effect during the first semester in which they matriculate at Gallatin, but please note that all of the classes listed below were phased out by Spring 2015.

A more extensive explanation of each degree requirement can be found below the chart, or by clicking on each topic.

Total Required Units40 units*†

Graduate Core (through Spring 2014)

Distributed as follows:


Review of the Literature

Master’s Thesis Seminar

Master’s Thesis and Defense

14 units


4 units

3 units

4 units

3 units


Courses offered by Gallatin or other NYU schools,

or Gallatin individualized projects (see limitations below)

26 units

Master’s Thesis

Completion of a research, artistic, or project thesis


Academic Good Standing

A final minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0


Residency Requirement

Must be earned at NYU while enrolled in Gallatin

28 units

Classroom Unit Requirement


14 units minimum

(excluding graduate core)


Individualized Projects:

Independent Studies, Tutorials, Internships, and Private Lessons (maximum of 6 units in Private Lessons)

12 units

Maximum permitted

(not required)

Transfer Credit/Course Equivalency Credits                                          


12 units

Maximum accepted

(not required)

Time Limit for Completion of the Master’s Degree
6 years

*Students may not exceed the required number of units for the degree.

†No undergraduate courses will be counted for credit toward the master’s degree.

Understanding the Degree Requirements for Students Who Started in Spring 2013 and Earlier

Total Required Units

To be eligible for the Master of Arts degree, students must complete 40 units within six years of matriculating in Gallatin. Students may not exceed the required number of units for the degree, and all courses must be taken at the graduate level.

Graduate Core

All students wo started in Spring 2013 and earlier were required to take four Gallatin courses: one of the proseminars; Review of the Literature; Master’s Thesis Seminar; and Master’s Thesis and Defense.  New classes have replaced these, so individuals with outstanding core requirements should consult with the program directors for guidance on how to fulfill the core requirements.


Students complete 26 units in elective courses offered by Gallatin or other NYU schools, or Gallatin individualized projects. Gallatin students may take courses throughout the graduate degree-granting programs of NYU. It should be noted that some courses have prerequisites, and others may be limited to students in their respective departments. Graduate students will not receive credit for undergraduate course work, with the exception of certain courses in the department of Undergraduate Film and Television (for more information, please see the Cross-School Study Guide).

Other Requirements

Master’s Thesis

The culmination of the student’s work at Gallatin is the master's thesis.

Academic Good Standing

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) to remain in academic good standing, and a final minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Please note: Academic good standing is not the same as satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress refers to the number of units a student must complete in a given time period to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of 28 units must be earned at NYU while the student is enrolled in the Gallatin School.

Classroom Unit Requirement

Classroom learning is an essential component of the program, giving graduate students the opportunity for intellectual exchange with their peers. All Gallatin graduate students are required to earn a minimum of 14 units in classroom courses. Transfer credit and a portion of course equivalency credit generally count toward this requirement, but the graduate core courses (the proseminar and thesis-related courses), independent studies, tutorials, internships and private lessons do not.

Options and Limitations

Individualized Projects

At Gallatin, students have the option to pursue individualized projects, which are learning experiences that are not available in the traditional classroom. The types of individualized projects include independent studies, tutorials, internships and private lessons. A maximum of 12 units may be earned in individualized projects. The Review of the Literature, a required independent study, is not counted toward these 12 units. Students are permitted to earn a maximum of 6 units in private lessons.

Transfer and Course Equivalency Credits

To recognize prior professional or academic accomplishments, Gallatin may grant up to a combined total of 12 transfer and course equivalency units. These units must be related to the student’s area of concentration. To request transfer credits, students should complete the form Request for Transfer Credit for Graduate Students.

Graduate students may earn course equivalency credit for professional experiences they have had before matriculating in Gallatin. Students may apply for a maximum of 12 course equivalency units (in combination with transfer units). Students must submit an extensive portfolio soon after they have completed 12 units in the M.A. program and before they have completed 20 units. Course equivalency units are applied half to the classroom requirement and half to the individualized projects option. The process of receiving credit begins with the compilation of an extensive portfolio documenting the student’s learning experiences prior to matriculation at Gallatin and ends with a rigorous evaluation process by NYU faculty. Students must demonstrate through the portfolio that they have mastered the material they would have learned in comparable NYU courses. To begin the process of applying for course equivalency units, students should consult the director of external programs about the rules and regulations governing the course equivalency process.

Time Limit

The master’s degree must be completed within six years. If there are unusual circumstances warranting a formal extension, the student may request one from the Gallatin Faculty Committee on Advisement and Policies. Degree requirements may be completed in no fewer than three semesters.

Additional M.A. Program Information

Changes in Degree Requirements

Degree requirements in the Gallatin School are subject to change. Students should bear in mind that they are bound by the degree requirements in effect during the first semester in which they matriculate at Gallatin. Degree requirements for students transferring from a school or college within the University are those that are in effect when they first matriculate at Gallatin. Students who are readmitted must fulfill the degree requirements that are in effect when they are readmitted.  


Gallatin students are required to meet the prerequisites for any courses they take in other schools of the University. These units may not necessarily be accepted as contributing to the 40-unit graduation requirement.


The Gallatin School will accept the lowest passing grade determined by each NYU graduate school. Students must abide by the policies of each school for the completion of course work.

Thesis Advisement

Students who do not complete the thesis and defend it successfully during the semester in which they register for Master’s Thesis and Defense are required to register for Thesis Advisement each fall and spring until the thesis has been completed and defended. Students who plan to graduate in September must also register for Thesis Advisement during the summer prior to their graduation. Units earned through Thesis Advisement are not included in the 40-unit requirement for the master’s degree.