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Tutorials, Undergraduate

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).


Below is an outline of the process each student in the tutorial should follow to set up a tutorial. Because the students and the instructor are designing a course, students must begin this process a full semester in advance. Students should:

  • Obtain faculty adviser approval: Students should discuss with their faculty adviser the possibility of conducting a tutorial.
  • Carefully read the Tutorial Proposal Guidelines to learn about requirements and how to develop a proposal.
  • Refer to the Student Checklist to investigate the planning timeline for these steps.
  • Organize the student group: Identify all of the students (at least two, but no more than five, and at least one must be a Gallatin student) who will be participating in the 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.
  • Identify an appropriate instructor (a student's faculty adviser or Gallatin class adviser; a member of the Gallatin faculty or other NYU faculty), and contact the prospective instructor to propose the study and discuss the plans for the work.
  • Complete and submit a Tutorial Proposal form: Each member of the tutorial group must submit a proposal form for review and approval by each student's adviser, the tutorial instructor, and Gallatin's Faculty Committee on Individualized Studies. Please note that submitting a proposal does not guarantee approval.
  • Identify an alternate course to take in case the proposal is not approved.

Tutorial Policies

  • Generally, the work for a tutorial should be comparable to a Gallatin classroom course. See the Tutorial Proposal Guidelines for specific instructions regarding requirements. The specific format of the work will be determined by the students and the instructor who will evaluate it. They may choose several short papers, or a longer paper written in sections as the work progresses and depending on the nature of the study, video productions, paintings or music productions may be appropriate. 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.
  • Tutorial groups must include at least two students, but no more than a total of five students.  At least one member of a Tutorial group must be a Gallatin student.
  • 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 may be taken for two, three or four units. The number of units determines the number of readings and amount of work assigned. See the Tutorial Proposal Guidelines for specific requirements.
  • All students enrolled in the same tutorial must register for the same number of units and follow the same syllabus.
  • Tutorials are graded with letter grades (A through F).
  • 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 credits per semester in any combination of independent study and/or tutorial. 
  • Students interested in conducting a Tutorial who will be studying at one of the thirteen NYU global locations must consult the global site course offerings to see if this option is available at the site. Students studying at NYU global sites may not enroll in the standard Gallatin Tutorial option (INDIV-UG 1925). Please consult the specific site course offerings by linking to the site page from the Studying Abroad website.)
  • 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 Kathe Ann 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).
  • Students are expected to adhere to the proposal submission deadline. The completed tutorial proposal consists of:
    • Advisor's Approval
    • Instructor's Approval
    • Completed Proposal Form
    • Description of the Study
    • Readings
    • Written Work to Be Evaluated
    • Syllabus
  • Please note that tutorials do not fulfill any area of the liberal arts requirement or the historical and cultural requirement.

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