Writing Sequence

(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.

Freshmen Foundations

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.

Italian Language Courses

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


Students are not expected to have taken Italian coursework prior to their arrival in Florence. In fact, many students begin with Intensive Elementary Italian in the fall semester. That said, even the most proficient students should expect to take Italian in both the fall and the spring. 


All Liberal Studies coursework (Writing, Social Foundations, and Cultural Foundations) is conducted in English.