Great Courses to Consider

By now, you’re probably finalizing your course registration. But if you’re stuck on a waitlist or still looking for a great course with an open seat, try one of these:

CLASS-UA 291: Special Topics in Classics: Science Fiction Before Science 

How would you define science fiction? Are futuristic settings, advanced technologies, and alien worlds fundamental aspects of the genre? If so, what roles can subsequent exploration, discovery, and innovation play in changing our reception of a work as science fiction? In this class, we will read excerpts from a variety of ancient texts, including Homer’s Odyssey, Herodotus’ Histories, and Lucian’s True History alongside modern works by Doris Lessing, Richard Adams, and Ursula K. Le Guin (among others) in order to assess what parallels can be drawn between their respective treatments of technology, history, religion, and culture. Our goal is to work toward a definition of science fiction critically, while paying special attention to the techniques that each author employs in describing and analyzing a world that is not their own.”

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BIOL-UA 8: Living Environment

An issues-oriented course in biology emphasizing the current understanding of fundamental contemporary matters in life and environmental sciences. Covers topics such as evolution, biodiversity, genetic engineering, the human genome, bioterrorism, climate, pollution, and diseases. Examines the interrelationship within living systems and their environments.

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COLIT-UA 132: Delirious Knowledge and Desire in Literature, Film, and Music

At its limit, ecstatic experience threatens to pull you dangerously into the unknown, to destroy your sense of self, to change you in such a way that you can no longer return to what you used to be.


SOC-UA 111: Sociological Theory

Is a society more than the sum of the individuals in it? Does it have its own history of growth and change? Can people work together to change it for the better? Social theory illuminates the ways that individuals are shaped and constrained by the social relations into which they are born, yet social theorists have often argued that existing social relations are unnecessarily harmful, holding out hope for their reform or revolutionary transformation. Sometimes, problems that seem to each individual to be their own personal troubles can only be confronted together, as issues for public debate and action. It is the job of social theory to make the connection from personal trouble to public issue. Above all, social theory shows that inequalities—in workplaces, families, the public sphere, and elsewhere—are not immobile facts of nature but instead can be challenged. In this course, we will delve into some of the foundational (but conflicting!) contributions of social theorists who have sought to understand, first, why society is the way it is and, second, whether and how its harms can be fixed.


Open Courses!

While many people have finalized their course schedules, some of you may still be looking for course recommendations. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating registering for courses (tut tut); maybe you are 4th on a waitlist for a popular course and need a good alternative; maybe you just are completely overwhelmed and have no idea what to take. Whatever your story, here are some recommendations for some great Precollege courses that still have open seats, conveniently sorted by interest rather than subject.


So, if you’re interested in…

The arts (Music, Dance, Theater), try:

  • MUSIC-UA 100 Music of New York
  • OART-UT 804 Modern Dance: Mind Body Knowledge and Expression
  • FMTV-UT 1083 Intro to Special Effects Make-Up

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

History or cultural studies, try:

  • SCA-UA 608 Urban Cultural Life
  • EAST-UA 950 Topics in Asian Studies: East Asia in Western Travel Writing 1850-1940s
  • MEIS-UA 690 The Emergence of The Modern Middle East
  • MEIS-UA 798 Topics in Modern Middle Eastern Culture: Music and Society Through the Lens of Literature & Cinema
  • SOC-UA 471 Politics, Power, and Society

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Pop culture and society, try:

  • SCA-UA 157 Hip Hop & Politics
  • SCA-UA 608 Urban Cultural Life
  • IDSEM-UG 1494 Monsters in Popular Culture

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Human nature, behavior, or the human body:

  • CAMS-UA 110 The Science of Happiness
  • ANTH-UA 2 Human Evolution
  • ANTH-UA 3 Archaeology: Early Societies & Culture
  • ANTH-UA 326 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
  • SOC-UA 1 Intro to Sociology
  • OC-UA 301 Research Methods
  • APSY-UE 2 Introduction to Psychology and Its Principles
  • SOC-UA 471 Politics, Power, and Society
  • PHIL-UA 21 History of Modern Philosophy
  • STS-UY 1002 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
  • BIOL-UA 4 Human Physiology
  • JOUR-UA 505 Issues and Ideas: Writing the Body

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Ethics or law, try:

  • PHIL-UA 21 History of Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL-UA 50 Medical Ethics
  • SOC-UA 471 Politics, Power, and Society
  • SOC-UA 503 Criminology

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Reading and literature, try:

  • CLASS-UA 404 Classical Mythology
  • CLASS-UA 291 Special Topics in Classics: Science Fiction Before Science
  • THEA-UT 705 Realism & Naturalism: European Origins
  • IDSEM-UG 1494 Monsters in Popular Culture

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Movies & film, try:

  • COLIT-UA 132 Topics: Ecstasy: Desire in Lit, Film
  • MEIS-UA 798 Topics in Modern Middle Eastern Culture: Music and Society Through the Lens of Literature & Cinema
  • FMTV-UT 1095 Producing for Film

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Writing and storytelling, try:

  • SPAN-UA 551 Topics: Nueva York/New York: Writing the City
  • JOUR-UA 21 Report New York
  • JOUR-UA 202 Methods and Practice: Pop NY, The Personal Essay
  • JOUR-UA 505 Issues and Ideas: Writing the Body

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

The environment and nature, try:

  • BIOL-UA 8 Living Environment
  • ENVST-UA 100 Environmental Systems Science

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Math, engineering, or business, try:

  • MATH-UA 140 Linear Algebra
  • MATH-UA 233 Theory of Probability
  • G-UY 1003 Introduction to Engineering and Design
  • MA-UY 1124 Calculus II for Engineers
  • MA-UY 1424 Integrated Calculus II for Engineers
  • UPADM-GP 242 The Business of Nonprofit Management
  • STS-UY 1002 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
  • FMTV-UT 1095 Producing for Film

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Computers & programming, try:

  • CSCI-UA 2 Introduction to Computer Programming
  • CSCI-UA 4 Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles
  • FMTV-UT 1123 Internet Design

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Learning a new language, try:

  • EAST-UA 201 Elementary Chinese I
  • EAST-UA 247 Elementary Japanese I
  • FREN-UA 1 Elemen French Level I
  • SPAN-UA 1 Spanish for Beginners- Level I
  • GERM-UA 20 Intensive Intermediate German
  • ITAL-UA 20 Intensive Intermediate Italian

Check out detailed course descriptions here.

Bonus  Blogger’s Pick: CAMS-UA 110 The Science of Happiness

This is one of our most popular courses at NYU every fall and spring, which “examines the state of college-student mental health and wellness” by looking at “how individuals can create positive change by reinterpreting their goals and identifying steps toward a successful college experience.”



Subject Spotlight: The Arts

The Arts are how we as individuals and as a society express ourselves. From the dawn of cave paintings to the digital media art of today, from silent films to blockbuster hits, from classical music to top 40, humans have communicated their stories, emotions, and conditions through a multitude of art forms. Whatever your talent or passion, NYU Precollege offers a wide range of choices for you to express your creative side, learn a new skill, or be boldly exposed to territory you’ve never ventured art

Here is just a sample of some of the art courses being offered at NYU Precollege:

Art History: ARTH-UA.6: Modern Art

Art in the Western world from the late 18th century to the present. The Neoclassicism and Romanticism of David, Goya, Ingres, Turner, Delacroix; the Realism of Courbet; the Impressionists; parallel developments in architecture; and the new sculptural tradition of Rodin. From postimpressionism to Fauvism, Expressionism, Futurism, Cubism, geometric abstraction in sculpture and painting, and modernism in architecture in the 20th century. After World War I, Dadaism and Surrealism. Developments since 1945, such as Action painting, Pop art, Minimal art, and numerous strands of Postmodernism.

Music: MUSIC-UA.100: Music of New York

This course is designed to take advantage of New York’s dynamic music community. There are in-class presentations by local musicians and scholars, and students regularly attend performances throughout the city. The focus is on the everyday practices of musical life in New York City by both performers and listeners in a number of the City’s musical constituencies: immigrant communities; amateur and professional music-makers; and popular, classical, and avant-garde scenes. Examination of these processes of music-making will be enhanced by a look at the histories of these different kinds of music-making. There will also be a historical discussion of the vibrant musical life of New York in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which will contribute to an understanding of why New York is seen, and sees itself, as a musical city.


Drama: THEA-UT 705 :Realism & Naturalism, European Origins

This course will examine the primarily 19th century European movement toward Realism and Naturalism that remains a major influence in today’s theater, shaping both dramatic practice and audience expectation. It will look at the relationship of Realism and Naturalism to the philosophical climate of the 1800s (Hegel, Darwin, Marx, Freud), to other theatrical movements (Romanticism, Symbolism, Expressionism and Aestheticism), to contemporaneous dramatic and literary forms (melodrama, the well-made play, the novel, photography), and to concrete historical trends (the rise of nation states, changing sex roles and family structures). The course focuses on the plays of the major European dramatists who defined the movement (Zola, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw), and tentatively traces its transformation in early to middle 20th century American drama.


Cinema: CINE-UT.393: NYC on Film

Summer in the City: This course examines New York City’s role as America’s second “movie capital” from the time of the invention of motion pictures right up through the mid-1980s. Topics covered include: New York’s centrality to the creation of the American film industry in the early silent period; the City’s role as an icon of modernity in Hollywood movies of the 1930s and ‘40s; and Manhattan’s emergence in the Postwar period as a center for alternate filmmaking practices, especially independent and exploitation features, “underground” experimental films, and early televisual forms such as “direct cinema” and live “anthology” dramas. In sum, the course analyzes a set of generic and formal practices intimately associated with Greater New York as well as offering an introduction to the City’s rich cultural history. Screenings include Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Escape from New York (1981), King Kong (1933), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Twelve Angry Men (1954).


Film: FMTV-UT 1083: Intro to Special Effects Make-Up

 This is an introductory level hands-on workshop designed for students wishing to develop their artistry, experienced make-up artists seeking advanced techniques, non-make-up artists just starting out, and anyone who has always wondered “how’d they do that?” This course explores the art of special effects make-up. Topics include skin safe molding procedures; casting and painting silicone replica props; applying “out-of-kit” make-up effects including cuts, bruises, black eyes, scabs, scars, wounds, burns, and decayed flesh; designing an executing a zombie make up, designing and executing a frozen death make-up; sculpting a 1;1 scale Replica Character Maquette; using anatomical reference to enhance a character sculpt and safely using all tools and materials. Students receive a make-up kit specially designed with all materials necessary to complete in-class projects.


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Of course, there are more courses being offered– this is just a select sampling! Check out the full Precollege 2016 course listing can be found here.

Subject Spotlight: Business

New York City is sometimes referred to as the financial capital of the world. Some of the buisiness!.jpglargest and leading business and financial firms are located right here. So if you’re considering a future in business, or getting into the business side of any field, what better way than to take some courses this summer in the midst of all the action? There are several business-related courses available in NYU Precollege.

The College of Arts & Science is offering :
ECON-UA.1-060: Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECON-UA.2-060: Introduction to Microeconomics.
These courses provide the fundamental basics needed for a major and career in economics, and economics is often required for business degrees.

The College of Liberal Studies is offering:
ECI-UF 101-060: Principles of Macroeconomics
This course is similar to ECON-UA, dealing with basic concepts of macroeconomic theory. Topics include unemployment; inflation; aggregate demand; income determination and stabilization policies; fiscal and monetary policies; and the Keynesian monetarist debate over stabilization policy.

The Tisch School of the Arts is offering:
FMTV-UT.1095-060: Producing for Film
In this course, you will learn about how a production company is formed and be able to analyze, schedule, and budget a 90-minute feature film of your choice!

The Wagner School of Public Service is offering:
UPADM-GP 242.60: The Business of Nonprofit Management
This course is a general introduction to not-for-profit management, with heavy emphasis on practical application. What are the core elements of a “good” not-for-profit company? And, what, exactly does not-for-profit even mean?

Summer @ Stern

In addition, the Stern School of Business is offering Summer @ Stern courses, MULT-UB.275-060: Business and Investments and MULT-UB.276-060: Behavioral Economics and the Science of Decision Making. However, before you can enroll in these, you will need to submit an application. Click here for more information, including course descriptions. Depending on when you apply, course application decisions will be sent by Stern every three weeks beginning April 4th. While you wait, we recommend that you register for alternative Precollege courses so they don’t fill up in the event you aren’t approved for Summer @ Stern. We also hope that you would still decide to participate in NYU Precollege if you don’t get into Summer @ Stern, and we would be happy to help you explore your interests in other areas, so feel free to write to us at


Be sure to browse the Precollege course search for the full listing of options, and as always, contact us with any questions!


Registration FAQ: Courses, Credits, & Units


In doing your course search, you’ve probably seen a number of new academic terms you may not be familiar with. We’ll try to answer some of your common questions here.

What is a course?

course is one class. You register for a course through NYU Albert. For help with the registration process on NYU Albert, check out our previous post on How to Register for Classes.

How many courses should I register for?

Depending on whether you will be living on-campus or commuting, you will be enrolled in anywhere from 1-3 courses during the program. For more information, check our post on commuter vs. residential students.

What are credits and units? What’s the difference?

A credit is a value of academic units assigned to a course. We use the terms credit and unit interchangeably–there is no difference.

How many credits is each course worth?

Good question; most summer courses are worth 3 credits (though some might be worth 2, 4, or even 5).  The writing workshops are non-credit and are worth 0 credits each.

How many credits will I take?

Again, this can vary, especially depending on whether you are residential or commuting. 6-8 credits total is considered full-time study during the summer, so, if you attend Precollege full-time (or are a residential student), you will be registered in at least 2 courses worth 6-8 credits.

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We are always happy to help you with your course selections, so please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Course Registration 101

Course registration for NYU Precollege is open!  Be sure to activate your NYU NetID and set a password before you log-in to NYUHome to register.

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Here are some tips before you start registering:

  1. Research: Carefully read over the course offerings and descriptions so you know exactly which courses you want to take.
  2. Explore: Pick more than one course that interests you. A good place to start is to consider possible majors. Talking to your guidance counselors at school can also be helpful.
  3. Have a backup: Courses fill up quickly, so it is a good idea to have second-choice courses in case your first choice is full or wait listed.Consider taking a variety of subjects to keep you interested and challenged throughout the full six weeks of the program.
  4. Check for Pre-Reqs: Most Precollege classes require no previous experience, but if a course has a prerequisite that you believe you’ve met, complete the Enrollment Request Form, and we will be happy to evaluate your eligibility to enroll in that course. Note that you must be logged into your NYU email account (your NetID) to access this form.
  5. Know yourself: Create a schedule that works for you. If you’re an early riser, register for courses beginning before noon. If you find waking up is hard to do, try courses offered later in the day.
  6. Read: Check out the registration tips and information available on the blog.
  7. Ask questions: If you have any questions about courses or subjects, contact us!  We’re happy to help guide you with course selection.

Confused by Albert?  The NYU Registrar has awesome online guides on how to use Albert and register for classes.  Still confused? Contact us and we can help you further