Core Program Curriculum

The Core Program builds the best possible foundation in the global liberal arts and sciences, helping you to develop the ability to think analytically, read critically, and write effectively. These are the skills that all students need to complete a bachelor’s degree at NYU and, beyond that, to become successful in their chosen profession or with graduate studies. The Core Program curriculum covers the development of civilization from ancient times to the present. The subject matter is organized to concentrate on one historical period at a time, with interrelated courses that deal with materials from all of the humanities. You will read original historical texts from around the world and throughout history, rather than textbooks.

First Year Curriculum

You will complete a two-semester first-year Writing course focusing on expository writing, the presentation of argument, and the elements of research. The first-year courses Cultural Foundations I and II and Social Foundations I and II are based on the study of great works from antiquity to the Enlightenment. The Cultural Foundations sequence studies literature, art history, and music. The Social Foundations sequence focuses on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. Taken together, the two sequences comprise a large-scale cultural 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. In addition, first-year students typically take a course in the natural sciences.

Sophomore Year Curriculum

During the sophomore year, you will continue the Core Program curriculum with Cultural Foundations III and Social Foundations III. Building upon the genres and media covered in the first year, these courses introduce modern mass forms like film, radio, television, and the Internet. Students who will transition to College of Arts and Science typically take a second natural science course as well.

In the sophomore year, you will also, with the aid of your advisor, choose elective courses from NYU’s extensive offerings. These electives are designed to help you select a major or begin work in a particular field.

Current Course Offerings

Current students can find course descriptions here: Spring 2017 Core Program Course Descriptions