Flat-rate tuition covers 12-18 units per semester, and a minimum of 12 units is required to maintain full-time student status. (NOTE: students who live in NYU Housing, receive financial aid, and/or are on an F-1 or J-1 visa are generally required to maintain full-time status.) In order to complete 128 units—the number of units required to earn a B.A. degree from Gallatin—students need to take an average of 16 units per semester over the course of 8 semesters. We would recommend, in most cases, that you take 16 units to start to get a clear and realistic sense of what the average course load entails, but you should discuss your particular needs and plans with your pre-registration adviser. If, for example, you are considering accelerating your timeline to graduation, 18 units might make sense for you from the start of your time in Gallatin.
As a first-year Gallatin student, you must complete the First-Year Sequence: the First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar and the First-Year Writing Seminar in the fall; the First-Year Research Seminar in the spring. That is, in your first semester, you must take a First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar and a First-Year Writing Seminar. Together, these courses add up to 8 units. (Do make sure you are actively considering at least five options for each of your required first-semester courses, as these classes are very small and will fill up quickly.)
Beyond your first-year requirements, look for courses that will prepare you to do advanced coursework in those disciplines you envision becoming part of your concentration. Talk with your Pre-Registration Adviser about the courses that might effectively prepare you to bring your interests together and consider how you might explore your concerns from new perspectives. Make sure to pay attention to pre-requisites set by the departments in which you seek to do advanced coursework, and try to satisfy these pre-requisites early in your college career.
A special note to students interested in pre-professional options: the virtue of pursuing these fields at Gallatin is that they will be contextualized and historicized by Gallatin’s liberal arts focus, allowing for critical perspectives on your career goals. If you are planning on pursuing a pre-health curriculum, make sure to indicate this intention on your Pre-Registration Interests Survey, as well as to let your Pre-Registration Adviser know. As a pre-health student, you must complete a set curriculum of required courses, and it’s important to get started in your first semester. Keep in mind that generally, pre-health students take MATH-UA 121 Calculus I and CHEM-UA 125 General Chemistry I in their first semester. However, depending on your calculus readiness—students must meet the criteria outlined by the math department—and other interests, it’s important to discuss your options with your Pre-Registration Adviser to effectively position yourself to successfully complete the required sequence of courses.
Finally, some tips on building a balanced schedule:
- Too much of a good thing can be too much. For example, taking four courses that demand a lot of reading and writing can make for a term that feels repetitive and exhausting. Consider taking a course that might shake up your academic routine or otherwise offer a new perspective and help you develop new skills.
- Lecture courses at NYU tend to have required recitation components, and you must register for both to take the course. (Many science courses will also have a lab.) Recitations are small, discussion-based sections that give students a chance to reflect on the content presented in the large lecture, and you will need to account for the additional time commitment they will require in your schedule.
- Know your learning styles and keep them in mind when deciding between lecture and seminar courses, morning and evening courses. Try to be as honest with yourself as possible and put together a schedule that accurately reflects the ways in which you learn best. Do be aware, however, that students often find that their sense of what works changes over time.
- Consider your week as a whole, and be sure to allow adequate time to complete the reading and assignments that will be required in your courses. Make sure as well to allow for other commitments you will likely make, including involvement in extracurricular activities. (You may generally expect to devote 8-10 hours of work to each class beyond the time you spend in the classroom.)
- Be attentive to scheduling conflicts! Albert, NYU’s student information system, which you will be using to register, will not allow you to register for courses that overlap or are less than 15 minutes apart.