All first-year Gallatin students take a First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar and a First-Year Writing Seminar in the first semester. They may also enroll in available Arts Workshops and Advanced Writing Courses. However, first-year students may not enroll in internships, independent studies, or tutorials in the first semester. (You will have plenty of time for these non-classroom projects, which require significant advance planning and adviser discussion, in your time at Gallatin.) First-year students are also strongly discouraged from registering for Gallatin’s interdisciplinary seminars, or IDSEMs, which are, implicitly, advanced courses, presuming familiarity with materials typically encountered in introductory courses.
The first year is a good time to explore your interests and discover new ones, and most Gallatin students will use their first semester to begin venturing around the university to complement their required First-Year Program courses. Gallatin may students may generally take courses in most of the schools, departments and programs of NYU, including the College of Arts and Science; the College of Global Public Health; the Silver School of Social Work; Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; the Stern School of Business; the Tandon School of Engineering; the Tisch School of the Arts; and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Keep in mind, however, that each department will be governed by its own rules and restrictions, and it’s necessary to be aware of the policies and procedures in place for departments of particular interest to you. You may want to take a look at the overview of NYU Departments and Programs to get the general lay of the land, but make sure to read Albert annotations carefully and take some time to visit the departmental website for any department of particular interest. It may also be helpful to read through the brief overview of academic disciplines, which includes suggestions of departments potentially relevant to various interests.
You’ll notice, as you review policies, that many departments have a clearly articulated structure, requiring you to follow a particular sequence of courses. While you need not, as a Gallatin student, necessarily concern yourself with requirements for majors–you and your adviser will determine what your concentration requires!–you will be expected to satisfy all stated pre-requisites. In many cases, you will need to take introductory courses, and you are advised to do so even when no explicit pre-requisite is stated. Starting with the introductory lectures ensures that you are prepared for the work demanded by smaller, more advanced seminars.
Students may use qualifying advanced standing results, including AP and IB scores, in order to place out of an introductory course. The Equivalencies Chart indicates the exams and results that may be used for placement. (Gallatin students may not post advanced standing credits to their transcripts until the end of sophomore year, but they may be used for placement at any time and independently of posting. Keep in mind that completing the course equivalent means forfeiting credit for the advanced standing results.) Some departments–notably those offering foreign languages and math–allow students to take placement exams to determine the appropriate course level.