The Core Program introduces you to the global liberal arts and sciences, providing context for your future learning and fostering your ability to think analytically, read critically, and write effectively. These are the skills that all students need to excel at NYU and beyond.
The Core Program curriculum spans the development of civilization from ancient times to the present. Your studies will concentrate on one historical period at a time, with interrelated courses that consider the most important questions of society through materials from across the humanities. You will read original texts, visit historic sites, and experience firsthand art from around the world and throughout history, rather than reading about these great works in textbooks.
Courses are tailored to specific themes based on the instructor's area of expertise, so students have a wide range of choices within the sequences listed below.
During your first year, you will take classes primarily in Liberal Studies, to establish a foundation in the liberal arts while fulfilling degree requirements for most NYU programs.
Writing I and II: This two-semester Writing sequence focuses on expository writing, the presentation of argument, and the elements of research to equip you with communication skills essential to every field.
Cultural Foundations I & II and Social Foundations I & II: Based on the study of great works from antiquity to the Enlightenment, these complementary, two-semester sequences comprise a large-scale cultural history. In Cultural Foundations, you study literature, art history, and music, while in Social Foundations you focus on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. The sequences also provide an introduction to skills in critical analysis and synthetic thinking that are essential to successful study in all academic disciplines.
Natural sciences: In addition, first-year students typically take a course in the natural sciences at Liberal Studies.
In your sophomore year, you finish Core Program coursework while completing electives chosen from across NYU's diverse programs.
Cultural Foundations III and Social Foundations III: Complete the Core Program curriculum with a third semester in the Foundations sequence. Building on the genres and great works covered in your first year, these courses introduce modern mass forms like film, radio, television, and the Internet.
Natural Sciences: Students who will transition to the College of Arts and Science typically take a second natural science course as well.
Electives: This year, your advisor will guide you in choosing elective courses from NYU’s extensive offerings. These electives are designed to help you select a major or begin work in a particular field.