NYU in D.C.

New York University is not solely bound to its urban neighborhood in New York. It’s all over…Within the College of Arts & Sciences students can go to London, Florence, Abu Dahbi, Paris, New York and Washington D.C. I experienced life as an undergraduate student attending the D.C. site in the Liberal Studies Core and Global Studies programs. Both programs under the umbrella of Liberal Studies, College of Arts & Sciences give students an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Small, discussion-based classrooms within the context of the large NYU network. Students have the opportunity to apply directly to the program of their choice though the Common Application and list their preference of campus site. These are the kinds of things that make me want to go back and do it all over again. Start Freshman year in Florence? Why not?! Take a look at what I learned and explored on campus and out in the city.

  • Global liberal studies program (4 years)
    • Volunteer/immersion opportunities on site abroad
    • Global study freshman and junior year
    • Experiential learning
    • Lots of writing!
    • Senior Thesis and independent research
  • Core Program (2 years – finish last 2 years at NYU and transition into an NYU undergrad program)
    • Global learning component
    • Study abroad
    • Small, liberal studies learning environment
  • Campus options in both programs
    • Florence Italy (live on campus and have meal plan) (350 students, 100 first year)
    • London England (450 students,  100 first year)
    • Paris France (250 students, 65 first year)
    • Washington, DC (100 students, 45 (first year)
    • Counselor on all sites for students
    • One full year studying and living away
    • Students study in NYU’s New York campus throughout the programs
  • Curriculum/Methodology
    • Global experiences
    • Students study great works of the past through reading, visiting museums, plays, writing, discussing and integrating into the life of the campus site
    • Lots of writing!
    • Discussion based classroom settings
    • Interdisciplinary
  • Applying
    • Common Application
    • Early Decision I/II (binding, if you do not get your top choice campus site, then non-binding)
    • or apply Regular Decision
    • Choose College of Arts & Scences, pick Core Program or Global Studies Program
    • Rank the study away options from your top pick down (don’t be sneaky, just be honest and rank where you want to be!)
  • Who this wouldn’t be good for
    • Students wanting to study specific programs (for example, majors within the Tisch School of the Arts, Bio-chem majors, etc.)

My Experience of D.C. 

Between “Brexit” and the ongoing presidential campaign I felt immersed in an energized city buzzing with passionate opinions and intellectual conversations. I am positive that even without everything going on, D.C. is a place alive with constant energy.


The culture, museums, access to….well everything….it was all happening and it was empowering to be immersed in it. I can only imagine how students feel when they choose to study in a place like this. We had the opportunity of listening to a Junior from the Global Studies program. He was interning in the White House, had studied abroad and a contagious spark when he spoke of his experiences.



We took a “class” with Dr. Christopher Packard in the Freer Sackler Galleries at the Smothsonian. We studied ancient Asian Art, specifically calligraphy and paintings and then held a discussion after in small groups dissecting the works and the emotion behind them. (check out the photos to see the works!) This was class? I could have stayed all day.

After “class” I walked throught the Smithsonian American History Museum (I recommend the American Flag exhibit, the flag was raised in 1814 and was the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner). I walked through the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, the Mall, all of it. What amazed me the most was how much I was able to see in a couple days because D.C. is such a walkable city.

We toured the White House. An incredible experience I will never forget. The history, the stories, the personalized China on display from former presidents, the dining room, the paintings. Like I said incredible.

Oh the food. We ate what I felt like was a good portion of what D.C. has to offer. We ate and we ate and it was glorious. Here’s proof!


Overall what characteristics in students would I see thriving in this environment? Curious, intellectual, flexible, open-minded, writers, thinkers, students who want to use the word as their classroom.

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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