Students enroll in the leadership course, The Meaning of Leadership (4 credits), and choose two or three additional classes to complete a full-time course schedule. Courses are  offered in many academic areas including: business, economics, journalism, politics, public policy, and other subjects related to their major.  

The Meaning of Leadership is a multi-disciplinary, experiential course that explores the nature of leadership in our 21st century global society and the capacities required to contribute effectively. For too long, we’ve imagined leadership as belonging to a select few. In every sector, we’ve focused our support and attention on individual leaders, and yet, the rapid transformation of our workplaces and communities requires a new and more expansive approach. Whether it’s addressing issues like climate change and income inequality or generating breakthrough innovations in science and technology, tackling today’s challenges requires capable and responsive leaders, as well as broadly distributed leadership that is ethical, inclusive and collaborative. The purpose of this course is to expose you to the trends, both practical and theoretical, that are driving this shift and to prepare you to more effectively exercise leadership in your own life and meaningfully contribute to work on complex challenges across a variety of sectors.

This course will be the academic component of your internship or other experiential learning engagement. You will analyze contemporary leadership frameworks and develop your perspective on what it means for leadership to be ethical, inclusive, and collaborative. You will use the seminar to reflect critically and analytically on your experience to further your academic and professional goals. You will be asked to evaluate various aspects of your internship or experiential learning site, including but not limited to its mission, approach, policies, leadership culture and the local, regional and international contexts in which it operates. You will also be asked to reflect critically on the roles you take and your application of class learning in your internship or experiential learning placement throughout the semester. Hands-on course activities such as simulations, team projects and peer-to-peer consultancies will support you in developing self-awareness and critical leadership skills. You will be graded on the academic work produced in this course.


We are very proud of our Global Leadership Program alum.


Read interviews with past Global Leadership Program students about their experience


Internships/Experiential Learning

Students will participate in internships or experiential learning placements during the semester that involve a significant time commitment. A knowledgeable staff at NYU Washington, DC, is available for guidance and support during the placement process.

Sample Internships held by NYU students studying in Washington, DC:

  • American Enterprise Institute
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Arab Gulf States Institute
  • Center for American Progress
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • DeVos Institute of Arts Management
  • Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
  • UN World Food Programme
  • US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • US Conference of Mayors
  • US Departments of Justice, Education, and Commerce
  • US House of Representatives
  • US Senate
  • US Supreme Court
  • Various Embassies 
  • White House
  • Women's Foreign Policy Group



Students are guaranteed and required to live in the NYU residence. An extremely limited number of single rooms are available for an additional charge. The apartment-style rooms include kitchenettes where students may prepare their own meals, or they may dine at local restaurants.