The Core Program is a liberal education curriculum that is based on the reading of great works and includes courses drawn from NYU’s other undergraduate schools and colleges, allowing students to begin their major during their first two years. All courses in the program take an interdisciplinary and global approach to the study of primary works from around the world. Students may begin their studies in New York, or at NYU in Florence, London, Paris, or Washington, DC. All classes emphasize discussion in small groups. Writing classes are capped at fifteen students, all other classes are capped at twenty-five. At each site, the cultural resources and contemporary life of the city are an important part of coursework. Students extend their education outside the classroom by exploring different ethnographic spaces, attending musical and theatrical presentations, visiting museums, and sites of historical and contemporary social interest.
Curriculum Overview and Requirements
The Core Program offers a comprehensive liberal arts background that serves as a strong foundation for further study. At the end of two years* students in the Core Program who successfully complete program requirements will enroll as juniors in one of NYU’s liberal arts bachelor’s degree programs in the College of Arts and Science (CAS); the Gallatin School of Individualized Study; the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism; Liberal Studies; the Rory Meyers College of Nursing; the Schack Institute of Real Estate; the Silver School of Social Work; the Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business; as well as select majors at the School of Professional Studies; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; and the Tandon School of Engineering. In order to transition, students must meet specific program requirements and be in good academic standing at the end of their sophomore year at NYU. Good academic standing is defined as 2.0 semester and cumulative grade point averages and making good academic progress.
*The Core Program is a four-semester program.
Freshman Curriculum Requirements
All freshmen are required to complete a two-semester freshman writing sequence focusing on writing effectively in a variety of non-fiction genres, the presentation of argument, and the elements of research. The freshman core courses Cultural Foundations I and II and Social Foundations I and II are based on the study of great works from antiquity to the beginning of the modern era. In the Cultural Foundations sequence, students study literature, the visual and performing arts, and music. In the Social Foundations sequence, students focus on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. Taken together, the two sequences can be seen as a global cultural history. The sequences also provide an introduction to skills in critical analysis and synthetic thinking that students need for successful study in all academic disciplines. Depending on the requirements of their intended baccalaureate program, students may also take a course in the natural sciences and mathematics.
Sophomore Curriculum Requirements
During the sophomore year, students are required to complete Cultural Foundations III and Social Foundations III, which bring the sequences begun in the first year up to the present day. In the sophomore year, students also complete a second science (if required by the school to which they will transition), explore possible majors, and begin the coursework toward those majors in the appropriate academic departments. Core Program students are expected to schedule meetings with their advisor during which they receive advice about choosing additional courses from NYU’s extensive offerings. By the end of the sophomore year, a student should be able to declare a major.
Writing Proficiency Requirement
Writing proficiency is required for the NYU bachelor’s degree. The writing proficiency requirement is fulfilled by completing the Writing II course with a minimum grade of C.
Quantitative Reasoning (Mathematics) Requirement
Students in the Core Program must fulfill the mathematics and/or science requirements for the bachelor’s degree to be conferred by an undergraduate school or college of NYU. The Core Program requires only one mathematics or one science course prior to transition; however, it is recommended that students transitioning to CAS take both science courses required by CAS while in Liberal Studies (LS). The choice of major often determines which mathematics class is required. LS does not offer mathematics courses; students take the appropriate courses offered at CAS. Students should consult the LS Advising Center staff and refer to the specific departmental Web sites and bulletins for information about the mathematics requirements for their bachelor’s degree program.
Core Program Electives
While enrolled in the Core Program, students take courses at the NYU school or college where they will earn their bachelor’s degree. While these courses are considered electives in the Core Program, they should be selected so that they fulfill either school, major, or minor requirements in the school to which students intend to transfer. Core Program students may also take electives offered in LS; among these are Creative Writing, Economics, and multiple Global Cultures courses. Students in the Core Program may also take any of the electives open to Global Liberal Studies students, as well as Advanced Writing Studio, Global Topics, and Approaches courses—space permitting. Core Program students may not register for the Junior Independent Research Seminar, Experiential Learning I and II, or the Senior Colloquium/Thesis. They may petition to take a Senior Seminar.
Courses and Course Numbers
|Freshman Core Courses||LS Course Number
| Writing I
|| WRI-UF 0101
| Writing II
| Cultural Foundations I
|| CFI-UF 0101
| Cultural Foundations II
| Social Foundations I
| Social Foundations II
| Sophomore Core Courses
| Cultural Foundations III
|| CFIII-UF 0103
| Social Foundations III
|| SFIII-UF 0103
|(Science courses offered by Liberal Studies are: Environmental Studies, Life Science, History of the Universe, Science of Technology)
|LS Elective Courses
|(Includes Mathematics** courses, courses taken in other NYU schools, or elective courses offered by Liberal Studies. Electives offered by Liberal Studies are: African Cultures, Caribbean Cultures, East Asian Cultures, Introduction to Global Studies, Latin American Cultures, Middle Eastern Cultures, South Asian Cultures,Topics in the Humanities, Creative Writing: Places, Creative Writing: Global Voices, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Internship)
*LS students studying in Florence, London, Paris, and Washington, DC take equivalent LS and NYU courses and credit hours. For more information, go to: www.nyu.edu/global/global-academic-centers/freshmen-abroad-programs.html.
†Students pursuing a prehealth track do not take LS science courses but will be advised to take appropriate required courses at the College of Arts and Science. The LS curriculum guidelines for students transitioning to the College of Arts and Science for prehealth are posted at www.liberalstudies.nyu.edu.
†**Some students take these courses during the sophomore year.
**See “Quantitative Reasoning (Mathematics) Requirement,” above, for more information.
See Course Descriptions for detailed course descriptions.
The Global Liberal Studies (GLS) Bachelor of Arts is an interdisciplinary program that examines the causes, consequences, and nature of globalization from its beginnings in the ancient world to the present. GLS is distinguished by its humanistic emphasis; it focuses on understanding the political, social, and cultural ramifications of living in a world of intersecting local, national, and global forces. GLS students are trained in strategic thinking by engaging in interdisciplinary study of the entire world as an interconnected system, and they get practical experience living and working across cultures through a required junior year at an NYU global site. GLS students focus their work in a particular area of expertise during the junior and senior year, preparing them for more advanced studies or work in such fields as international finance, global media, and human rights.
Curriculum Overview and Requirements
GLS is an integrated, four-year curriculum. All students must complete a core curriculum, a concentration selected from among departmental offerings, at least one year at an NYU global site, a senior thesis, and additional requirements outlined below. All GLS classes are small, discussion-based, and writing-intensive. Students and their instructors chart their progress through use of an ePortfolio, building their portfolios and making new connections with other students and faculty members throughout all four years, and gathering resources to draw upon in composing their senior theses. Students have sufficient elective credits o complete a minor or a second major at NYU. All GLS students are required to spend the sophomore and senior years at the Washington Square campus in New York City.
The Core Curriculum
The basis of the GLS curriculum is an eight-course core that equips students to write in numerous genres and contexts, acquaints them with foundational great works from around the world that remain influential today, introduces fundamental scientific concepts and methods, and involves them in close study of at least one non-Western region. Students read the foundational works of many world cultures in their material and intellectual contexts and independently make critical and imaginative connections across time and space.
Students may begin GLS in New York or at NYU Florence, London, Paris, or Washington, DC. The GLS programs in Florence, London, Paris, and Washington, DC fit in seamlessly with the academic program at Washington Square so that course requirements are met on time for graduation in four years.
The Upper Division Curriculum
The GLS upper division curriculum centers on a student’s concentration, which they declare in the fall of sophomore year. Students may begin taking upper division courses as early as the spring of freshman year and must take a minimum of four courses in their concentration: Approaches, Junior Independent Research Seminar, and the year-long Senior Colloquium/Thesis class; a sequence that provides instruction in the theories and methods of a particular area of the Global Studies field. Students take progressively greater responsibility for directing their own independent projects, culminating in the senior thesis.
In addition to their concentration-specific classes, students take a variety of required seminars and electives on global topics, from economic and political issues to arts and media, from the growth of immense global networks to the nature of ethnicity in everyday local life. These seminars require the completion of a significant research project. Sophomores also normally complete an intensive language course in preparation for the junior year of international study.
The Junior Year Curriculum
All GLS juniors spend a full year studying at an NYU global academic center. The sites available in a given year are carefully selected to ensure that all required courses are available and to optimize access to experiential learning options. Locations for junior year study include NYU global sites in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. (See Global Academic Centers for descriptions of every NYU global site.) Students do not just study at an international site—the site itself becomes an important subject of study. Experiential learning, special topics, and language courses immerse students in the history and contemporary culture of the site and sets it in a global context, while students prepare for their senior theses by developing a substantial research essay in an online course that connects them with classmates in their concentration at other sites to create a global perspective on issues.
The Experiential Learning component comprises two courses that involve students in a cycle of experience, reflection, and the formulation of concepts that, in turn, guide the understanding of place-based experiences. These experiences take the form both of group community excursions and individual community placements (such as internships, volunteer opportunities, and, on occasion, individual research projects). The goal is to involve students with the workplace culture and social practices of the site city so that they may reflect on and formulate concepts about the creation of the city’s cultural and social milieu and its relation to global frameworks in a way that is informed by their concentration.
The principal aim of Experiential Learning I is immersion in the current and historical character of the site. Classroom instruction provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the local, regional, national, and global forces that have shaped the character of life in the site city. Group community excursions, readings, and classroom instruction are interwoven to develop a broad understanding of the interchange of global and local. Experiential Learning II focuses on the student’s community placement; with the guidance of the instructor, students independently reflect on and formulate concepts relating directly to their community placement. The community placement (such as internships, volunteer opportunities, and, on occasion, individual research projects), which the student actively participates in securing with guidance from relevant personnel, falls within the area defined by the student’s GLS concentration and, as much as possible, relates to individual academic interests. The goal is to involve students with the workplace culture and social practices of the site city so that they may reflect on and formulate concepts about the creation of the city’s cultural and social milieu and its relation to global frameworks in a way that is informed by their concentration.
The Senior Year Curriculum
During senior year, students return to New York for a year of coursework and guided research that integrates their junior year of international study with the liberal arts foundation established in freshman and sophomore year. Two required Senior Seminars challenge students to engage at an equal level with the major scholarship and most advanced practices concerning any of an array of global issues and themes. Guided electives allow students to extend their studies on topics of personal interest or to complete a minor or second major.
The full-year Senior Colloquium/Thesis course completes the student’s progress toward full intellectual independence while allowing him or her to investigate in a global framework the particular experiences of the junior year site. Drawing on the insights from across their four years in the program, students master the precise aspect of global interchange on which they choose to focus, ensuring they graduate with genuine expertise on a topic important to them, potential future employers, and graduate or professional schools. Each section of the course unites students in the same concentration who have spent their junior year at various locations; thus helping students gain a global perspective on their topics. The Colloquium/Thesis course offers grounding in the theoretical texts relevant to advanced work in the concentration, close guidance in the composition of the thesis, and practice in the oral presentation of complex ideas. In addition to subject expertise, the skills the Colloquium/Thesis course teaches—defining a major project’s parameters, testing concepts against actual experience, interpreting evidence and integrating the interpretations of prior thinkers, and writing an extended argument—are all germane to almost any future career.
Writing Proficiency Requirement
Writing proficiency is required for the NYU bachelor’s degree. The writing proficiency requirement is fulfilled by completing the Global Writing Seminar (or, for students who begin in Florence, London, Paris, or Washington, DC, where Global Writing Seminar is not available, by completing Writing II) with a minimum grade of C.
Intensive Language Study Requirement
Language study is a keystone of GLS, as one cannot understand global history and issues without extended study of a language besides English. All GLS students engage in advanced foreign language study, regardless of their initial level of proficiency. GLS has a language study requirement as well as a language proficiency requirement. Students must both attain proficiency through at least the intermediate level and study in the language of their junior year international site during each semester at the site; in addition, students must have proficiency through the beginning level (normally courses I/II in a sequence, which may be taught in a single intensive semester) before studying at an international site. Thus, a student who does not speak the language of the junior year site host country will be expected to take at least one semester of the appropriate intensive language course before the junior year or one year of the language if it is not offered in intensive format. But regardless of the level of prior fluency, study of the site language must continue in each semester of the junior year. Students who already have some level of proficiency in the language of the junior year site will take a placement test and either continue language study at a higher level (for example, in an advanced grammar class and one conversation class) or take one higher level language instruction class and one class taught in the language of the host country. Students who already have advanced or near-native proficiency will take two classes taught in the language of the host country during the junior year. Fluency is established by testing out of the intermediate level (normally, level IV) in the language department’s placement test.
Students complement their GLS course work with a wide array of electives in GLS and in other NYU schools chosen in careful consultation with their advisor. These may include Theories of Globalization and Global Studies, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Creative Writing: Global Voices, Creative Writing: Places, Internship Seminar, various Topics In Humanities electives, and advanced language instruction in CAS. Students also may pursue a cross-school minor, of which more than 100 are available, including several languages and economics in CAS, business studies in CAS and NYU Stern School of Business, and communication studies in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Students may also take a second major; GLS has agreements with a number of departments to facilitate second majors by allowing up to two courses to count toward degree requirements in both the second major and GLS.
Core Curriculum Required Courses and Course Numbers
|Freshman Year|| LS Course Number
|Global Writing Seminar||GWS-UF 0101||4|
|Cultural Foundations I||CFI-UF 0101||4|
|Cultural Foundations II|| CFII-UF 0102
|Social Foundations I||SFI-UF 0101||4|
| Social Foundations II
|Courses that may be taken any year|
| Global Cultures (Any one of: African Cultures, Caribbean Cultures,
East Asian Cultures, Latin American Cultures, Middle Eastern Cultures,
South Asian Cultures)
| Science I (Physical Science; choose between:
History of the Universe, Science of Technology)
| Science II (Life/Environmental Science;
choose between: Environmental Studies, Life Science)
Upper Division Required Courses and Course Numbers
|Sophomore Seminar: Approaches||APR-UF 0201|| 4
| Sophomore Seminar: Global Topics
| Upper Division GLS Elective
(Any one of: A second Global Topics course,
Advanced Writing Studio, Cultural
Foundations III, Social Foundations III)
| GT-UF 0201
|Advanced Global Topics||AGT-UF 9301||4|
| Experiential Learning I
|Experiential Learning II||EXLII-UF 9302||2|
|Junior Independent Research Seminar||IRS-UF 0301||2|
|Senior Colloquium||SCOI-UF 0401||4|
|Senior Thesis||SRTH-UF 0402||6|
|2 Senior Seminars||SCAI-UF 0401||8|
| Electives (includes language courses,
courses taken in other NYU schools, or
elective courses offered by Liberal Studies)
|Total Credits for B.A. Degree||128|
See Course Descriptions for detailed course descriptions.