New York University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Jori

My gen ed classes have felt easy, but I purposely took easy classes because I am a film student. The film courses are pretty cool, but it depends a lot on if you choose a good professor or not.

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David

Almost all the professors are top-notch in their field and genuinely give a shit about you and your education. They want you to succeed. I'm in Film & TV Production and am very happy with my professors so far. They are always available to speak outside of class too. My classes are preparing me for the real world. It all comes down to networking!

Catherine

For such a large school, I have been very impressed with class sizes. Besides the giant lectures, most professors know me by name and most of my classes have less than 30 students. Depending on your major, the academic course-load can be rigorous but that's why NYU has such a good reputation!

Eleana

Some classes were small (10 students or less) while others were massive (150+). That said, some professors knew their students well, while others did not. Studying is a must at NYU. Professors make sure that you are on top of your studies with pop quizes, lots of homework and projects. I studied Nutrition in the Steinhardt's school of education and had a great experience. I feel capable of acquiring a good job in the field having graduated from the Nutrition program at NYU. My professors were over qualified and wonderful teachers. Students tend to compete with each other when it comes to completing assignments however this is a good window into how the real world may be, thus preparing you.

Emily

Many of the professors are seriously big name, major players in the field. They are borderline inaccessible, because they are very busy and tend to just speak on an incredibly complex level. A lot of them are very nice. There are definitely students who got away with doing very little, but for those who are willing to put in the work, there is no limit as to how much you can get out of NYU.

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Isabella

Professors will not know your name at NYU unless you want them to. You can remain anonymous in the crowd or go to office hours as much as possible and have them know who you are. Kids are always studying and class participation is usually minimal unless you're in a workshop-type class. Students are definitely competitive, but it's not impossible to succeed at NYU. Basically, the main thing is to be able to help yourself. There are many academic resources at NYU but obviously you will only benefit from them if you seek them out.

Leticia

NYU is a prestigious school academically. The general introductory classes are quite large, but as you start to go into your major they get smaller. Whether the professor knows your name depends on how involved you are in the class and how much you participate. NYU classes are very focused on participation and discussion, which leads to many intellectual conversations, in and out of the classroom. NYU students also know how to have fun, though, and NYC is their, very large, playground. NYU students study a normal amount for the most part, but during finals week, everyone, and I mean everyone, is glued to their textbooks. Some students are competitive, especially in Stern, but not more than the ordinary overachievers. They may be competitive, but they aren't obnoxious for the most part. In Stern, most of the work is focused on excelling in your career, and the Wasserman Center (career center) is extremely helpful. The Wasserman holds many workshops on how to improve your resume and how to excel in job interviews. The professors have office hours every week and are always willing to help out their students.

Minna

The academics are taken very seriously here and the professors have extremely high expectations of their students. I am in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and their structure has allowed me to explore all of my interests and take classes at all of the different undergraduate schools. Students are particularly competitive here, but with their careers and internships moreso than their in-classroom learning. The culture of this college is 100% geared towards getting jobs and kickstarting careers early on, rather than learning for the sake of learning; however, that type of mentality is also fine here and embraced as well.

Varun

The departments and professors are well qualified. There is a wealth of courses to choose from and I felt that I could study whatever I wanted. Some classes are huge (400+) while others are small, like high school classes (15-20). My favorite class by far was Writing the Essay: Science. Taking into account every subject, I definitely learned the most within this class and it helped me grow as a writer. My least favorite class was Organic Chemistry. Not only was it difficult, but it was hard to find individualized attention due to the large class. A lot of students definitely converse about academics and partake in intellectual conversations outside of class. Depending on what school you get into within NYU, you will have to fulfill specific requirements to graduate. This does get to be a hassle as you have to take these courses and therefore, they take up some of your slots. On top of that, some of these required courses are difficult and take up a lot of time with busy work.

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Mollie

The academics are extremely rigorous and you will be well prepared for any real world experience given the work ethic that you develop here. The professors are mostly professionals who work and are adjuncts. Many of the professors are known throughout the country and the world and are the top in their field.There are a lot of of opportunities for academic success here.

Jamie

Hm, well academics are tough to describe, since they differ greatly, depending on what school you're in and which major you are. But I will answer for my experiences: Classes can range from like six kids to over five hundred. I've been in a little classroom, and a giant lecture stage. Professors do however, try to remember your name. They are usually pretty approachable, and give office hours to visit them for questions, comments, or just to talk. Students are pretty competitive. I mean, we help each other out, since we're all in the same boat. But at the end of the day, every man for himself. So you have to take care of yourself. I like to study by myself in different places, but a lot of my friends go to Bobst and study. Study groups are definitely helpful for some classes though. You meet friends through classes a lot of the time. Yeah, I'd say that many students have intellectual conversations outside of class. I mean, not all conversations are intellectually challenging, but certainly everyone is capable of having them. I'm studying English, and honestly I love it. It's really tough to say that last part, sometimes, because right now it's kicking my butt. But I chose it because I like it. I would say almost every major is hard. There is always challenge. There are sleepless nights, days I'm strung out, and constant work flow. NYU also likes everyone to have knowledge on a little bit of everything, so the requirements are extensive. I've been told that like ninety-something percent of students get jobs right out of college. The Wasserman Center is super helpful and does a great deal in assisting with that. All in all, school's tough. But it's worth it.

Sara

The journalism department at NYU is excellent. Every department has it's good and bad professors, but for the most part the professors are interesting and have lengthy resumes and great bylines. There are two tracks: general investigative and media criticism. I chose general investigative for writing, rather than production (video, radio). There are several core classes that you must take, before you can go on to the fun electives. The first, Foundations of Journalism, is difficult. It's one of those weed-out classes to find who really wants to be a journalist, and who should be a communications major (sorry, Steinhardt). After you get through that course, which is composed of a lot of reading and essay writing, you'll need to take a basic reporting class (Journalistic Inquiry), a specialized reporting class and advanced reporting class. Top that of with First Amendment Rights and Ethics, a somewhat boring class taught by a NY Times attorney (who gets credit for bringing in anyone and everyone from the Times as guest speakers), and a few electives of your choosing (I recommend Journalism of Empathy with Ted Conover). Overall, everyone in the department really wants you to succeed and they will help you do so--whether it's getting you an awesome internship, or helping you pump up your resume. Advisors are helpful and know your name, and there are many guest speakers such as Susan Orlean who stop in for discussions. And you can't get a better journalism education outside of New York. Half of what I know now I credit not to the journalism department, but from learning on the ground during newspaper internships.

Nicole

At NYU, I am a psychology major and a Social and Cultural Analysis minor. What I have found, surprisingly, is that the professors at NYU are EXTREMELY accessible, more-so than at the small college campus school that I transferred from. I am constantly making use of professor's office hours, and it has helped me tremendously in establishing strong bonds with professors. There are a handful of professors that I am still in contact with, (going for coffee just to catch up), even though I am no longer a student of theirs. I am a big believer in maintaining these connections, especially because I want to go for my PhD. I know that these connections can not only help me with applying for my doctorate, but also with job connections. Living in New York City, many professors have friends at big law firms, business corporations, etc. throughout the city, and I know many of my friends, including my roommate, have been set up with amazing jobs and internships through their professor's connections. Their internships alone (such as Goldman Sachs, Seventeen Magazine, Chanel) are invaluable experiences that I don't know that you could find anywhere else. While NYU's academics are challenging, i find that if you are able to manage your time, it is very easy to do well. Yes, it's hard work, but the degree that you are striving for is worth it. A decent college education should not come easy, and while there are weeks where I feel as though i live in the library, I'll also have other weeks where I feel as though I am not burdened at all. Your major and the courses you take are clearly going to play into how demanding your academic career will be, and each school within NYU's community has it's own level of competitiveness, but I find that the in the College of Arts and Sciences, as long as you do your work on time and study for your exams, it is not difficult to do well at NYU.

Grace

Yes, you will get a huge lecture class at some point. There will be a lot of teachers that never know your name. But you will get into the smaller classes at some point, and you'll get what you're looking for. Depending on what you study, some things will challenge you more than others. There is totally an air of competition, but not about academics.

Sarah

In introductory courses, it is unlikely that a professor will know your name. As you get into the upper-level courses, they are much more likely to. My favorite courses were small health-policy courses and my psychology honors seminars. Students study an average amount for exams, some classes requiring less and some requiring more. Class participation is ubiquitous. Students can be competitive, but only if you're receptive to it. I was a psychology major and I had a great experience with the department. All questions were answered quickly and fully. The education of NYU overall is geared towards getting a job, but because I was in the College of Arts and Sciences, I believe it was geared more towards learning for its own sake.

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Alex

I am a psych major on a pre-med track, and honestly many of my classes are HUGE. My science classes have all had approximately 600 students in them. Psych classes range from 50-200 students. The core required classes are the opposite though. There are about 10-20 students in each. Foreign language classes are also very small and tight-knit. I still have not been able to decide which I prefer. I enjoy the feeling of being in a giant lecture class but it is always great to receive more attention from your professor. None of my science or psych professors have known my name. This sucks because students definitely need letters of recommendation from their professors. Professors are usually readily available during office hours to answer questions but with science classes there are always hundreds of students visiting during these hours so you are still not getting much one on one time with them. The professors do their best though. They have all been great for the most part. They are all very knowledgeable but most importantly PASSIONATE. I have yet to have a professor that doesn't love the subject he/she is teaching. Classes are pretty challenging so students are very competitive. NYU students study hard. They're beasts. People sleep in the library. Our library is enormous but it is still impossible to find a seat most of the time. We go hard. Freshmen take a while to acquire this drive, but it comes with time. I can definitely say that NYU gets you well prepared for landing an awesome job once you graduate. With all the competitiveness and desire to succeed, it isn't hard to find one.

Jordan

Most students are driven, fun and engaging, which makes for a very demanding academic environment. Teachers challenge their students and are committed to their intellectual growth. While most NYU graduates end up landing good jobs, this is a reflection of the geographic location more then it is the support of their career center. Unless your a Stern student it is impossible to bank on the wasserman center's assistance.

Thomas

Class sizes are all over the place, ranging from fifteen (one of my Journalism classes) to about 400 (many of the MAP classes). The core curriculum is very frustrating, but if you have a lot of AP credits you can get around a lot of it. I'm in Tisch, so I can't really comment on any of the other school's academics besides CAS. That being said, NYU is very separate. If you're in Tisch, please don't come here expecting to be able to take classes in Steinhardt and Stern. That's just not how it works, sadly. Most of the required classes that I've taken here are extremely monotonous, but my CAS journalism classes have been excellent. The teachers are all freelance journalists, and are willing to help you land internships or just help you. Tisch is very different, but the classes are small and your professor's will help you if you ask. Many complain that professors are not accessible, and this is true if you're in a bigger department.

Jim

The academic life, if I were to put it in three words, would be: impersonal, tricky and cold. While I've had classes that have had under 20 people in them, I would say that would only be 20% of the classes I'm in. Unfortunately, being a music major, I have nearly 40 kids in my class because NYU decides to take 1400 kids into their music program every year. Professors are a mixed bag. My Writing The Essay professor was nice and almost motherly in a way...but they are some professors that are solely there for the graduate work. I took an ethics class last year and the professor was teaching us stuff totally different from the textbook. She would constantly forget core terms of the class. It was commonplace for people to correct her while she was talking. And in terms of hanging out or spending time with professors outside of class-don't be surprised if you get rejected. These professors are doing serious work and obviously do not have time for your petty questions. Class participation is a mixed bag. Yet again, it depends on what class you are taking. My music classes have no class participation because I'm sure half the kids skated right into NYU because they are gay or because they are quirky. However, some classes I've taken through CAS are stimulating and are quite enjoyable. It depends on where the quota is going for that semester.

Catherine

Academics aren't anything special. Find a professor and have them take you under their wing. The core curriculum for CAS is stupid. Apply to Gallatin or Tisch.

Mike

Students tend to be competitive. NYU's admission rates are low, so students have to be driven, generally. This follows high-achieving students from high school to college.

Monica

Professors in small classes know my name (3 of my 4 classes). My favorite class right now is "The Meaning of Leadership" where we learned about leadership throughout time and sectors. My least favorite class was human biology because I had to take it and I hate science. Students are always studying. Class participation is mandatory in most classes; no one really participates in lectures. I don't think I have ever heard a conversation by NYU students that wasn't intellectual. Students are not competitive. My most unique class was probably "Homelessness" in the social work department. My school, the School of Social Work, is awesome because it is tiny and very close-knit. My dean and I know each other very well and it is just great. I see my dean outside of class sometimes but not many other professors because they all have other things going on just like I do. NYU's academic requirements are ok besides Writing the Essay. I think the education at NYU is all about learning for its own sake, unless it's in Stern.

Alex

Encouraged to learn just as much outside the classroom as you do inside.

Harper

Students are pretty competitive, classes range from 20-200 people, professors generally love student's input and opinions, and our library is amazing.

Devin

academics here is tough, because we aren't one of the super ivy league schools or liberal arts schools so we don't have much grade inflation and we aren't one of the easy-to-get-into state schools, so classes are still hard.

Elizabeth

Easy, not nearly as hard as I expected. Someone once called nyu a fake school, I agree.

kristen

the academics depend on the professors. smaller classes don't necessarily mean better classes.

Dylan

I've enjoyed the majority of my class. It really all depends on the teacher, as I've had some non-required classes that sounded amazing but ended up sucking, and some requirements that were so much fun. so really research teachers, either with other students or on websites like ratemyprofessors.com so that you know what you're getting into. the class size varies. most are lectures, in this case you won't really know the teacher (and vice versa) unless you seek them out. it's all about your involvement and participation. but the classes can be really amazing.

Max

The lecture classes really vary in size, I've had a lecture with 100 people, and another with over 300 people, and one right now that can't be much over 60 people. The smaller classes the professors are definitely more intimate, but there are still opportunities in lecture to bond with your professor. Out of this past year, my favorite class has been the Brain and Behavior. It's quite interesting to learn all the different functions that go on every time we do any little thing.

MJ

There are your standard 300-person lectures, but only for intro courses that most people get past in their first year anyway. Since sophomore year, I've been in almost all 20-ish (or less) person seminars and classes. Also, the variety of classes is great. I'm in the school of individualized study, and they offer the sort of original "I would love to take that!" sort of classes that you hear stories about. And anyone (not just people in my school) is allowed to take them with us. Getting a job after NYU is probably pretty easy. I'm going to law school, so I don't know much about the process, but just the number of huge companies in NYC, almost all of which recruit from NYU, means that the opportunities must be great.

Emily

Don't freak out if you get an accpetance letter say "unfortunately you have not been accepted to the class of 2015 of the College of Arts and Science. However, I would like to congragulate you on your acceptance to the General Studies Program...". Otherwise know as GSP, the General Studies Program, is NYU's program for kids who aren't "ready" for NYU, but will be in a year or so, after this repeat of high school. Its a decent program, maybe not worth fifty grand a year, but hey you get to graduate from the school you originally applied to in the end, if you maintain a B average. If you are thinking about studying sciences though, this probably isn't the place for you. seriously the GSP science program is pretty much a joke. Who else can say they have science lab in the computer lab of the journalism building every wednesday morning at 8am? I would say deffintly take advantage of the freshman study abroad program and enjoy the fact that Writing I and II don't have "progressions" like Writing the Essay and you might even have a gossip columnist as your proffesor.

Anna

The thing most people kept telling me was that my classes would all be in lecture halls with upwards of 200 students, and that professors didn't have a clue who sat before them. But I've found that, if you choose the right major it is the exact opposite. I'm in nutrition. I went to orientation in June and met six other freshman who have been in all of my nutrition classes since then. My biggest class right now is about 30 kids, and I know everyone. One of my professors last semester is also my advisor. He knows me by name, and we've gone out for breakfast before. The classes, the professors, and the school are really what you make of it.

Andy

Some professors know my name. My classes are getting smaller the more I get into my major. My favorite class is my Swahili class. We've gotten pretty close, and the Professor Alidina is really sweet and very knowledgeable and Swahili and Swahili culture. On the other hand, I hate my Concepts in Social and Cultural Analysis class. It is graded entirely on attendance and participation, and not on performance. There is too much room for subjectivity in that.

Angela

I think in my three years here, three of my professors have known my name. My favorite classes by far have been in the French department, and I've heard from other students as well that it's the language departments that offer the best academic experiences, because the class sizes are smaller and the interaction is of a better quality. Class discussion is not very common because class size is generally not small enough to facilitate it, but presentations and more lecture-like participation is sometimes used.

Olivia

In my smaller Gallatin classes my professors know me, and my TA's do. My favorite class is Writing the American South. My least favorite is Intro to Psychology. I don't think people study that often. Class participation is most common in smaller classes but overall very common. In terms of intellectual conversation outside of class, it depends on who you hang out with, but overall I'd say not very often. Students aren't very outwardly competitive. The most unique class I've taken was Writing in Times of Historical Crisis, which combined history, literature, and writing in a very interesting way. I'm an undecided major in Gallatin, which is the school for individualized study, which I like a lot. I did talk to one of my professors outside of class a few times, but I haven't made any real connections with a professor. I feel really pleased with Gallatin's requirements, but from what I've heard about MAP requirements, they sound ridiculously strict. I feel like education at NYU is often very pre-professional, not always, but I get more of that feel here than at other schools. I would like it to be more intellectual.

Sarah

All of my professors know my name. I can only speak for myself but I study ALL THE TIME-- ten times more than I had to in High School, but it doesn't seem like a ridiculous amount because I'm acutally learning about things I enjoy. Yes, NYU students have intellecutal conversations outside of class-- all the time. I spend time with some of my professors outside of class, but not a lot. Edu. at NYU is geared toward learning for its own sake (the theatre program definitely cannot garuntee that I'll get a job) The most unique class I've taken is either one of my acting classes or African Dance

Parker

Just like at any school, there are large lecture classes and small, more intimate classes. All my teachers are 100% devoted to teaching and to their students and encourage their students to see them outside of class during office hours for extra help, reinforcement of class material, or just to talk and say hello. The pressure that high school teachers seem to put on their students doesn't exist here. At NYU, teachers care more about students developing a new sense of appreciation for the subject matter and challenging themselves intellectually than they do about working just to get the 'A'.

Andy

Some of my professors know my name, but students have to be willing to go to their professors office hours if they really want that personal connection. My favorite class last semester was my Politics class, and this semester, it's a toss up between Black Urban Studies and Natural Science II: Brain and Behavior. My least favorite was Conversations of the West--it is a pretty boring class that I didn't learn much from. Most students study pretty hard here. Everyone I know studies pretty much every night, during the day, and at least 1 day on weekends. We also like to have fun, though. Even people with really rigorous classes like to have a break every once in a while, though. When midterms and finals roll around, we study like crazy. Once my roommate and I had a marathon study weekend where we took 15 minute breaks every 2 hours or so. It was ridiculous, but we work hard. Class participation is more common in the classes that people like the most, which are mostly the non-requirement classes. We always have intellectual conversations. Lots of people are passionate about some social issue or another, whether it be domestic or international. Students are competitive, but it is friendly competition. And it really isn't against one another, but against our grades from the previous semester--we are always trying to do better. Except, the Stern school students are really competitive--the business school is really hard to get into and even harder to get a job from, so the students are kind of cutthroat. The Politics department seems nice, but the Africana Studies department is a little disorganized. That's okay with me, though, because I know it's still a relatively new department. Education at NYU is geared mostly towards getting a job. I think I've learned a lot already, just for it's own sake, but people are aware that it "looks good" to come from a school like NYU, so they want to do all they can to get a good job and pay for all the debt they've generated taking out loans to pay for NYU.

Maggie

The Classics department is tiny, and the specialty classes it offers are no less so. Take Latin or Greek and your instructor will know your name within two classes. Take one of the larger, common-interest classes, like mythology or history and you're in a lecture with a hundred and forty-nine other people, fighting for attention. This is the trend with most majors - the more specialized your class, the smaller. Oh, and the academic requirements are the bane of every student's existence. Especially the much-hated 'Writing the Essay'.

Rachael

Professors in small classes know my name. My favorite class is Intro to Public Service. My least favorite was Calculus II. Students study monday through thursday, and intermittently throughout the weekend. class participation is very common. NYU students occassionally have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students overall are not that competitive. The most unique class i have taken is europe & africa. I am a business major. I do not spend time with professors out of class. I feel that NYU's academic requirements are not anything special, it doesnt set NYU apart as a university. The stern school is geared towards a job

Samantha

Most professors didn't know my name since I hardly attended classes. I couldn't stand most of the stern courses, except for some of the marketing and business development ones. I remember liking the macro and microeconomics courses freshman year. The micro teacher was an italian woman who enjoyed her armpits au naturel. The macro teacher was a young italian man who would fall off of the stage every week, and pop up from the floor with an "oop eeek!" Do NYU students have intellectual conversations outside of class? What kind of a question is that? What's the definition of intellectual here? I'd like to think so, I've had some pretty thoughtful conversations about some pretty silly things. But I'm still taking the time out to think something through. Anyway, yes, students are competitive. Some are a little crazy with it. People spend time with professors outside of class? I definitely don't. the NYU education is fine. Being in a school like Stern was a little rough because it didn't give me the freedom to do everything I wanted. The academic requirements are rigid, so if you're not on the finance business track, it's frustrating. I would have liked to take more music classes, but with only 32 extra credits, most of those designated to CAS, it was basically impossible.

Dylan

Professors definitely know students names. In general, history classes were small and very discussion-based. I still see professors I had freshman year, and I graduated a year ago, who recognize me and say hello on the street. I'm also still in touch with a few professors whose classes I was particularly interested in. Class participation is definitely common, and the only way to propel a class discussion forward is to debate, comment and critique on texts read and commentaries made. NYU students definitely have intellectual discussions outside of class about everything from politics to cinematography. An NYU education is definitely well-rounded, and certain courses of study gear students more toward employment while other are more concept-based academic studies.

Cody

A world-class education undoubtedly is one of the major draws to NYU, but New York City certainly doesn’t hurt. I’m double-majoring in psychology and history, and I’ve found in them two very different experiences. My history classes have tended to be smaller and more intimate with a focus on discussion, while the psych classes have been larger and research driven. I’ve found that I’m loving my history major, but the psychology major has left me feeling a little let down. My advice to prospective students would be to contact the department they’re interested in directly to determine if the structure of the major is what you’re looking for. As a whole though, my academic experience has been very positive, and I’ve built strong relationships with several of my professors. The thing to remember is that it’s the student’s burden to make those connections because a professor simply isn’t going to have time for a student they’ve never seen in class or spoken to before.

Andy

I think most of the classes are generally stimulating to our brains, but that doesn't stop them from boring either. The classes are smaller than normal, probably 13-20 per class. The professors generally know who we are and our names and there are so many intelligent people at school. It's really challenging sometimes.

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