Courses - Freshman Program
(formerly Writing I and II)
Writing sequence is an integral part of Liberal Studies. Every course in the program requires that students write to demonstrate their mastery of material. Writing sequence provides students with an important method for organizing and expressing their thoughts, and it helps students to develop and enhance their critical, analytical, and interpretive skills.
Writing sequence proficiency is required for the NYU bachelor’s degree. The writing sequence proficiency requirement is fulfilled by taking the Writing as Critical Inquiry (formerly Writing II) course and receiving a minimum grade of C. A Writing as Critical Inquiry grade that is below grade C requires that the student take and pass the Writing Proficiency Examination.
Writing as Exploration (formerly Writing I) - Fall Semester - 4 points
Writing as Exploration has two main objectives: first, to develop the students’ self-confidence and fluency by engaging them in the use of writing to express, explore, and develop ideas through a variety of forms, including informal writing (free writing, journal writing, etc.); second, to engage them in practicing the same kinds of critical and analytical skills they will use throughout their two years in Liberal Studies’s writing intensive program. The class is conducted as a workshop. Students produce a wide range of writing, both in and out of class, which forms the basis for classroom activities. All papers go through multiple drafts, often with input from peers as well as the instructor.
Writing as Critical Inquiry (formerly Writing II) - Spring Semester - 4 points
In Writing as Critical Inquiry, students develop their skills in analysis and argumentation, by exploring the ways in which the ideas of others can be incorporated into their own writing. Students read and discuss longer, more challenging texts; in their own writing, students are expected to incorporate a broad range of primary and secondary sources to develop and support their increasingly complex ideas. Students are familiarized with a wide variety of possible resources at the library and should be comfortable with the mechanics and conventions of the academic research essay. The course continues to encourage in-class participation, collaborative learning, and workshop presentations.
The freshman core courses Arts and Cultures across Antiquity and Arts and Cultures towards the Crossroads (formerly Cultural Foundations I and II) and Global Works and Society: Antiquity and Global Works and Society in a Changing World (formerly Social Foundations I and II) are based on the study of great texts from antiquity to the Enlightenment. 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 large-scale 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. All of the courses return again and again to a limited number of fundamental issues. Students will come to see that these problems are discussed in many kinds of texts and from many different cultural and historical points of view.
Arts and Cultures across Antiquity (formerly Cultural Foundations I) - Fall Semester - 4 points
This course focuses on the world's great traditions in literature, music, and the visual and performing arts from the most ancient civilizations to the Middle Ages. It familiarizes students with the earliest foundations of the world's major cultural traditions and the connections between these cultures. The course includes such literary works as The Odyssey, The Ramayana, andthe Shih Ching; students personally encounter foundational achievements of visual art in museums as well as learning about them in art history texts.
Global Works and Society: Antiquity (formerly Social Foundations I) - Fall Semester - 4 points
This course focuses on the world’s great traditions in philosophy, theology, history, and political science from the most ancient civilizations up to the Middle Ages. It familiarizes students with the earliest foundations of the world’s major discourses about the nature of human identity and society through a comparative study of seminal texts. The course includes such works as The Analects, Bhagavad Gita, and the Republic of Plato.
Arts and Cultures towards the Crossroads (formerly Cultural Foundations II) - Spring Semester - 4 points
This course focuses on the world's great traditions in literature, music, and the visual and performing arts from the Middle Ages into the Enlightenment. It familiarizes students with the exchanges between the major world cultural traditions of the pre-modern era. The course includes such literary works as Journey to the West, Dante's Commedia, and the poetry of Rumi; in addition it continues the study of original works of art and introduces students to musical masterworks of the era.
Global Works and Society in a Changing World (formerly Social Foundations II) - Spring Semester - 4 points
This course focuses on the world's great traditions in philosophy, theology, history, and political science from the Middle Ages into the Enlightenment. It familiarizes students with the major world discourses about the nature of human identity and society of the pre-modern era through a comparative study of seminal texts. The course includes such works as The Koran, The Prince, and The Conquest of New Spain.
A list of 4-credit liberal arts classes will be shared with students in mid-May prior to registration. Students can plan to to enroll in one of these elective courses as their fourth class.