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Introduction to New York University
An Introduction to New York University
New York University in 1831 by a group of eminent private citizens was
a historic event in American education. In the early 19th century, a
major emphasis in higher education was on the mastery of Greek and Latin,
with little attention given to modern or contemporary subjects. The
founders of New York University intended to enlarge the scope of higher
education to meet the needs of persons aspiring to careers in business,
industry, science, and the arts, as well as in law, medicine, and the
ministry. The opening of the University of London in 1828 convinced
New Yorkers that New York, too, should have a university.
The first president of New York University’s governing council
was Albert Gallatin, former adviser to Thomas Jefferson and secretary
of the treasury in Jefferson’s cabinet. Gallatin and his cofounders
said that the new university was to be a “national university”
that would provide a “rational and practical education for all.”
The result of the founders’ foresight is today a university that
is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leader in scholarship.
Of the more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America, only 60
institutions are members of the distinguished Association of American
Universities. New York University is one of the 60. Students come to
the University from all 50 states and from 137 foreign countries.
The University includes 14 schools and colleges at six major centers
in Manhattan. In addition, the University operates branch campus programs
in Westchester County at Manhattanville College and in Rockland County
at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Certain of the University’s research
facilities, notably the Nelson Institute of Environmental Medicine,
are located in Sterling Forest, near Tuxedo, New York. Although overall
the University is large, the divisions are small- to moderate-sized
units—each with its own traditions, programs, and faculty.
Enrollment in the undergraduate divisions of the University ranges between
90 and 6,200. While some introductory classes in some programs have
large numbers of students, many classes are small. More than 2,500 courses
are offered, leading to more than 25 different degrees.
The Schools and Colleges of the University
The College of Arts and Science
offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in a wide range of programs in the
humanities, science, social sciences, and foreign languages and literatures
and, in some departments, the Bachelor of Science degree. Joint programs
of study currently involve NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School
of Public Service, Graduate School of Arts and Science, Steinhardt School
of Education, Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, School of
Medicine, and College of Dentistry, as well as Stevens Institute of
The School of Law
is one of the oldest law schools in the United States. It offers a comprehensive
first professional program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor and
a graduate curriculum leading to the degrees of Master of Laws, Master
of Comparative Jurispru-dence, and Doctor of Juridical Science.
The School of Medicine
Medical School offer the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor
of Philosophy degrees and courses for accreditation designed to meet
the needs of physicians in practice. Medical students and residents
gain clinical experience through the NYU Hospitals Center, which includes
the 726-bed Tisch Hospital and the 174-bed Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation
Medicine, both of which are part of the Mount Sinai-NYU Medical Center
and Health System. The school also maintains affiliations with select
institutions for a variety of joint academic and clinical programs.
Most clinical teaching takes place at the 1,232-bed Bellevue Hospital,
where the School of Medicine supervises care. Other affiliated hospitals
include the Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Downtown Hospital, and
the New York Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The school’s Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine is one
of the world’s leading medical research centers, with research
emphasizing the biomolecular roots of disease. Specific areas of focus
include developmental genetics, molecular pathogenesis, neurobiology,
and structural biology.
The College of Dentistry
is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the United States.
It offers a predoctoral program leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery
degree, as well as advanced education programs in the dental specialties
and allied health programs in dental hygiene. The patient care clinics,
laboratories, and other teaching facilities that comprise the College
of Dentistry are housed within several buildings, including the Arnold
and Marie Schwartz Hall of Dental Sciences and the K. B. Weissman Clinical
Science Building. The center is located on First Avenue, from East 24th
Street to East 25th Street, in the midst of one of the nation’s
most renowned health sciences complexes, which extends from East 14th
Street to East 34th Street.
The Graduate School of Arts
and Science offers the degrees of Master of Arts, Master
of Science, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy in most areas
of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Several certificate
programs are also offered. The NYU in Paris and NYU in Madrid M.A. programs
are based in centers in Paris and Madrid. Dual degree programs of study
currently involve the School of Law, School of Medicine, Leonard N.
Stern School of Business, and Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public
Service. Courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening as well
as during the day.
The Steinhardt School
of Education offers a broad range of innovative undergraduate
preprofessional and professional programs and advanced graduate study
in education, health, communications, and the arts professions. Undergraduate
programs lead to the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Music degree
and combine a solid foundation in the liberal arts with specialized
course work and fieldwork, clinical practice, or internships in a wide
variety of settings throughout New York City. Graduate students may
enroll in master’s, advanced certificate, and doctoral programs
in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are given weekdays, evenings,
weekends, and summers to full-time, part-time, and special students.
Study abroad is available for undergraduates during the academic year
and for graduate students during the summer. Applied research opportunities
abound for all students.
The Leonard N. Stern School
of Business is located in a three-building complex that
comprises Tisch and Shimkin Halls and the state-of-the-art Henry Kaufman
Management Center, which houses the graduate programs. The Washington
Square complex is adjacent to the University’s renowned Elmer
Holmes Bobst Library and Study Center. The Stern School offers B.S.,
M.B.A., and Ph.D. degrees. Students may specialize in accounting; economics;
finance; information systems; international business; management; marketing;
operations management; statistics; and actuarial science. Joint graduate-level
programs are offered with the School of Law and the Graduate School
of Arts and Science. Enrollment in the graduate program may be full
or part time.
College of the Stern School of Business administers the
undergraduate business program. This program offers an innovative curriculum
that integrates liberal arts studies with business studies. Through
this course of study, students are exposed in a distinctive manner to
the international dimensions of business; develop strong interpersonal
and team-building skills; gain a sense of professional responsibility;
and undertake cross-disciplinary course work while retaining a strong
individualized component through elective course work. The undergraduate
curriculum is a full-time course of study.
The School of Continuing and Professional Studies
for more than 60 years has provided courses and credentials designed
to meet the cultural and career needs of today’s adult population.
The school boasts a wide range of noncredit classes in information technologies
and digital media; e-business; real estate and construction; publishing;
marketing and management; film and video; creative writing; international
affairs; foreign languages; hospitality; finance and law; and more.
The Virtual College™, SCPS’s distance learning component,
hosts a growing number of on-line courses across a variety of disciplines.
SCPS also offers workshops for adults considering a career change or
returning to college, as well as opportunities to study for an associate’s,
bachelor’s, or a master’s degree.
The Robert F. Wagner Graduate
School of Public Service offers curricula in public administration,
including nonprofit management, financial management, public policy
analysis, comparative and development administration, and international
administration; urban public policy studies; urban planning; and health
policy and management. Master’s and doctoral degree programs are
offered. The Advanced Professional Certificate Programs and the Master
of Science in Management Program offer career development opportunities
for experienced professionals, including the Advanced Management Program
for Clinicians (AMPC). Joint degree programs are available with the
College of Arts and Science, the School of Law, the Steinhardt School
of Education, the School of Medicine, and the Shirley M. Ehrenkranz
School of Social Work. Courses for full-time and part-time students
are offered in the late afternoon and evening. Special Saturday programs
are available in public and nonprofit management and in health services
The Shirley M. Ehrenkranz
School of Social Work offers Bachelor of Science, Master
of Social Work, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The bachelor’s
program prepares students for beginning social work practice immediately
on graduation and for admission to graduate programs with advanced standing.
The master’s program prepares students for the core mission of
social work and provides an advanced concentration in clinical social
work. The doctoral program offers a concentration in clinical social
work. It prepares graduates to assume leadership positions as researchers,
advanced practitioners, and educators. The school also offers an Advanced
Certificate in Clinical Social Work and a Post-Master’s Certificate
Program in the Treatment of Alcohol- and Drug-Abusing Clients.
The Tisch School of the
Arts, founded in 1965, provides undergraduate and graduate
training in aspects of the performing and visual arts. Departments and
programs offering professional training are acting, dance, design, drama,
performance studies, film and television, cinema studies, photography
and imaging, dramatic writing, musical theatre, and nteractive telecommunications.
Degrees offered are the B.F.A., M.F.A., M.P.S., and, through the Graduate
School of Arts and Science, the M.A. and Ph.D.
The Gallatin School of
Individualized Study offers Bachelor of Arts and Master
of Arts degrees in individualized programs of study. Gallatin provides
an innovative and student-centered liberal arts education in which students
create and hone their own plans of study under the mentorship of faculty
advisers. The Gallatin model encourages students to integrate their
studies in traditional disciplines and professions by combining Gallatin
course work with independent studies, internships, and courses at other
schools within NYU. Gallatin’s interdisciplinary courses focus
on significant texts from around the world and engage students with
major historical and philosophical traditions. Programs in the arts,
writing, and community learning offer students opportunities to utilize
New York City as their extended classroom and to explore the relationship
between theory and practice as they develop their capacity for critical
thinking, effective communication, and creative work.
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine
offers the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in addition to a combined M.D./Ph.D.
program in a rigorous intellectual environment focused on collaboration
between faculty and students. The school is committed to training students
to be not only outstanding clinicians and scientists but also compassionate
individuals who also serve science and society. The school, founded
in 1963, became affiliated with New York University on July 1, 1999.
New York University and New York
The striking, 12-story Elmer
Holmes Bobst Library, designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster,
is the flagship of an eight-library, 4.5 million-volume system that
provides students and faculty members with access to the world’s
scholarship and serves as a center for the University community’s
intellectual life. The Bobst Library houses more than 3.3 million volumes,
20 thousand journals, and over 3.5 million microforms and provides access
to thousands of electronic resources on-site and to the NYU community
around the world via the Internet. The library is visited by more than
6,500 users per day and circulates almost one million books annually.
Bobst Library offers three specialized reference centers, 28 miles of
open-stack shelving, and approximately 2,000 seats for student study.
The stacks are open until midnight, and a 24-hour study area is located
on the A and B levels. The Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media,
one of the world’s largest academic media centers, has over 100
audio and video viewing carrels and five media-enhanced classrooms;
students and researchers use more than 65,000 audio and video recordings
per year. The Studio for Digital Projects and Research offers a constantly
evolving, leading-edge resource for faculty and student projects and
promotes and supports access to digital resources for teaching, learning,
research, and arts events. Bobst Library is also home to significant
special collections such as the Fales Collection of English and American
Literature, one of the best collections of English and American fiction
in the United States. Fales contains the unique Downtown Collection,
archives documenting the downtown New York literary and arts scene from
the 1970s to the present, focusing on the developments of postmodern
writing and dance, performance art, outsider art, and the downtown music
scene. Bobst Library also houses the Tamiment Library, one of the finest
collections in the world for scholarly research in labor history, socialism,
anarchism, communism, and American radicalism. Tamiment includes the
Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, which holds the Jewish Labor Committee
Archives and the historical records of more than 130 New York City labor
Beyond Bobst, the library of the renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical
Sciences focuses on research-level material in mathematics, computer
science, and related fields, and the Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts
at the Institute of Fine Arts houses the rich collections that support
the research and curricular needs of the institute’s graduate
programs in art history and archaeology. The Jack
Brause Real Estate Library at the Real Estate Institute is the most
comprehensive facility of its kind, designed to meet the information
needs of the entire real estate community.
Complementing the collections of the Division of Libraries are
the Frederick L. Ehrman
Medical Library of NYU’s School of Medicine and the
College of Dentistry’s
John and Bertha E. Waldmann Memorial Library. The Law Library
serves the programs of the School of Law and is strong in a
variety of areas, including legal history, biography, jurisprudence,
and copyright, taxation, criminal, labor, business, and international
law as well as such legal specialties as urban affairs, poverty
law, and consumerism.
The NYU Libraries continue to enhance their services for NYU students
and faculty and to strengthen research collections. The extraordinary
growth of the University’s academic programs in recent years,
along with the rapid expansion of electronic information resources,
has provided an impetus for new development in NYU’s libraries.
The Larger Campus
New York University is an integral part of the metropolitan community
of New York City—the business, cultural, artistic, and financial
center of the nation and the home of the United Nations. The city’s
extraordinary resources enrich both the academic programs and the experience
of living at New York University.
Professors whose extracurricular activities include service as editors
for publishing houses and magazines; as advisers to city government,
banks, school systems, and social agencies; and as consultants for museums
and industrial corporations bring to teaching an experience of the world
and a professional sophistication that are difficult to match.
Students also, either through course work or in outside activities,
tend to be involved in the vigorous and varied life of the city. Research
for term papers in the humanities and social sciences may take them
to such diverse places as the American Museum of Natural History, the
Museum of Modern Art, a garment factory, a deteriorating neighborhood,
or a foreign consulate.
Students in science work with their professors on such problems of immediate
importance for urban society as the pollution of waterways and the congestion
of city streets. Business majors attend seminars in corporation boardrooms
and intern as executive assistants in business and financial houses.
The schools, courts, hospitals, settlement houses, theatres, playgrounds,
and prisons of the greatest city in the world form a regular part of
the educational scene for students of medicine, dentistry, education,
social work, law, business and public administration, and the creative
and performing arts.
The chief center for undergraduate and graduate study is at Washington
Square in Greenwich Village, long famous for its contributions to the
fine arts, literature, and drama and its personalized, smaller-scale,
European style of living. New York University itself makes a significant
contribution to the creative activity of the Village through the high
concentration of faculty and students who reside within a few blocks
of the University.
University apartment buildings provide housing for nearly 2,000 members
of the faculty and administration, and University student residence
halls accommodate over 11,500 men and women. Many more faculty and students
reside in private housing in the area.
A Private University
Since its founding, New York University has been a private university.
It operates under a board of trustees and derives its income from tuition,
endowment, grants from private foundations and government, and gifts
from friends, alumni, corporations, and other private philanthropic
The University is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity
in every aspect of its relations with its faculty, students, and staff
members, without regard to age, citizenship status, color, disability,
marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, or veteran status.
Inquiries regarding the application of the federal laws and regulations
concerning affirmative action and antidiscrimination policies and procedures
at New York University may be referred to Dr. Sharon Weinberg, Vice
Provost for Faculty Affairs, New York University, Elmer Holmes Bobst
Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012-1091; 212-998-2370.
Inquiries may also be referred to the director of the Office of Federal
Contract Compliance, U.S. Department of Labor.
New York University is a member of the Association of American Universities
and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
(Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of
Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-662-5606).
Individual undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and schools
are accredited by the appropriate specialized accrediting agencies.