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The Colloquium

To qualify for graduation, each student in the Gallatin undergraduate program must successfully complete a final oral examination called the Colloquium, to occur preferably during the penultimate semester of the senior year. The Colloquium is an intellectual conversation between the student, the student’s primary faculty adviser, and one other member of the faculty about a selection of works representing several academic disciplines and historical periods. Under certain circumstances, a third committee member (an additional faculty member) can be included. Students should discuss the committee with their adviser as they plan their Colloquium.

The Colloquium provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their Gallatin concentrations and to synthesize various learning experiences into an integrated discussion focused on works and themes that have been central to their undergraduate education. In preparing for the Colloquium, the student will work with the primary faculty adviser to create a list of 20 to 25 works, called the List of Works. The student is also required to write a brief paper, called the Rationale, which explains connections between the works and describes the themes the student plans to discuss in the Colloquium.

Students register for “Colloquium” (COLLQ-UG, 2 units) in the semester when they expect to complete their Colloquium. For incoming first-year students and transfer students admitted summer 2015 and later, the Colloquium credit is required. 

Students may opt to have the Colloquium topic printed on their official NYU transcript. The title should accurately reflect the theme of the Colloquium and must be approved by the student's adviser.

Students must be registered for courses or must register to maintain matriculation during the semester in which they take the Colloquium. Please note the following exceptions: Students who have completed all of their degree requirements in the spring or summer may take the Colloquium before the September graduation deadline without registering for the fall semester. Similarly, students who have completed all of their degree requirements in the fall semester may take the Colloquium before the January graduation deadline without registering for the spring semester.

To assist students with planning, the Office of Advising leads Colloquium workshops, which are held throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. Gallatin encourages students to be in touch with their advisers and to prepare in advance.