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Courses - Freshman Program

Global Encounters

This zero credit pass/fail course, taken by both upperclassmen and freshmen, is designed to give students a common experience on site while providing basic historical knowledge of the host country as well as survival language skills.  Freshman only enroll in this required course during their fall semester.

This course aims to explore the place that Paris – and more broadly France -- hold in the public imaginary, while examining the tensions and antagonisms that rightfully complicate that view. Through a series of conferences, site visits, and seminars, the course examines four key moments or themes as a means of apprehending the density of French cultural, social, and political life. Starting with French republicanism, past, present, and future, we consider how France, at once the preeminent site of experiments in democratic liberty, is also plagued by institutional entrenchments of class stratification and the dual specters of colonialism and post-colonialism. Turning to Paris, the “capital of modernity,” we reflect on its 19th century emergence as a locus of phantasmagoria, mystery, and seduction, and the emergent capitalist forces that were shaping the urban landscape. We consider the early 20th century avant-garde, among the most important and radical artistic and political movements of our time, that opened new spaces in which to imagine the very terms of “art” and “politics,” to finish with a consideration of France in the contemporary moment, wrestling with global transformations, the crisis of the welfare state, and a tension between the reproduction of elites and a political commitment to equality that increasingly troubles the country’s educational system, politics, and cultural life.

Interdisciplinary and “inter-textual” in scope, the course fuses expert lectures, textual analysis, and out of the classroom experience, to bring together the artistic, the literary, and the social scientific, against the backdrop of global transformation.

Class organization and assignments

This is a required course for all students at NYUParis. Students meet in assigned groups according to their language level; students with an advanced level of French may do their coursework in French. Students are expected to attend all conferences and site visits, to do the assigned readings and to participate in class discussions.

 

Writing

Writing is an integral part of the Liberal Studies Program. Every course in the program requires that students write to demonstrate their mastery of material. Writing 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 proficiency is required for the NYU bachelor’s degree. The writing proficiency requirement is fulfilled by taking the Writing II course and receiving a minimum grade of C. A Writing II grade that is below grade C requires that the student take and pass the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Writing I 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. 

In writing II, 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. 

Freshmen Foundations

The freshman core courses Cultural Foundations I and II and 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.

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. 

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.   

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. 

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

French Language Courses

In addition to their Liberal Studies coursework, all students are required to take one course in French language each semester and an intensive language workshop during orientation. Placement is finalized upon testing during orientation.

Students are not expected to have taken French coursework prior to their arrival in Paris. In fact, many students begin with Intensive Elementary French in the fall semester. That said, even the most proficient students should expect to take French in both the fall and the spring. Questions about language placement can be directed to freshmen.paris@nyu.edu. 

Presentation and systematic practice of basic structures and vocabulary of oral French through dialogues, pattern drills, exercises. Correct pronunciation, sound placement, and intonation are stressed. For students with little or no command of French. Completes the equivalent of one year's elementary course. Textbook: Libre Echange. Conducted in French.

Sample Syllabus

Prerequisite: V45.0010 or V45.0001-0002. Open to students who have completed the equivalent of a year's elementary level and to others on assignment by placement test. Completes the equivalent of a year's intermediate level in one semester.

Acquisition and practice of more sophisticated structures of French. Development of fundamental oral and written skills, vocabulary enrichment, conversational ability. Short reading texts; guided compositions. Completes the equivalent of one year's intermediate course. Textbook: Libre Echange. Conducted in French.

Sample Syllabus

Prerequisite: FREN-UA 11-12 or FREN-UA 20. Open to students who have completed the equivalent of a year's intermediate level and to others who have passed the proficiency examination but who wish to review their French in order to take advanced courses in language, literature, and civilization.

Systematizes and reinforces language skills presented in earlier level courses through an intensive review of grammar, written exercises; an introduction to composition, lexical enrichment, and spoken skills. Conducted in French.


Sample Syllabus

Prerequisite: FREN-UA 30, or assignment by placement test, or approval of the director.

Assumes a mastery of the fundamental structures of French. May be taken concurrently with FREN-UA9105. Helps the student to develop vocabulary, to improve pronunciation, and to learn new idiomatic expressions. Introduction to corrective phonetics and emphasis on understanding contemporary French through a study of authentic documents; radio and television interviews, advertisements, spontaneous oral productions, etc. Conducted in French.


Sample Syllabus (Coydon)

Sample Syllabus (Guédon)

Prerequisite: FREN-UA 30, assignment by placement test, or approval of the director.

Designed to improve the student's written French and to provide advanced training in French and in comparative grammar. Students are trained to express themselves in a variety of writing situations (diaries, transcriptions, narration, letters, etc.). Focuses on the distinction between spoken and written styles and the problem of contrastive grammar. Emphasis is on accuracy and fluency of usage in the written language. Conducted in French.

Sample Syllabus

Prerequisite: FREN-UA 101, or assignment by placement test.

For students with relative fluency in French who wish to further strengthen their pronunciation and command of spoken French. Develops the skills presented in FREN-UA 9101 through an in-depth study of French phonetics (corrective and theoretical), and analysis of the modes of oral discourse in French. Emphasis is on understanding spoken French (modes of argument, persuasion, emotion, etc.) through analysis of authentic documents and development of student discourse in French. Conducted in French.

Sample Syllabus

Prerequisite: FREN-UA 105 or assignment by placement test.

Aims to refine students' understanding of and ability to manipulate written French. Students practice summarizing and expanding articles from French magazines and papers and learn how to organize reports and reviews in French. Focuses on the distinction between spoken and written styles and the problem of contrastive grammar. Emphasis on accuracy and fluency of usage in the written language. Conducted in French.

Sample Syllabus

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