First-Year Planning

At NYU Shanghai, we encourage intellectual curiosities. In your first year, you will not be assigned to a major and it is a time for you to try out different subjects and figure out what you are passionate about. You can review the NYU Shanghai majors and start to think about some possible majors. 

Pre-College Summer Advising

To help you navigate your first college semester, we've prepared the following resources:

  • Summer Advising Module: It is required to complete the Summer Advising Module via NYU Brightspace. The advising module contains information about degree requirements, course registration, and academic policies.
  • Summer Advisor: In July or August, you will be assigned to a summer academic advisor who will help you with registration and academic questions. In September, you will be assigned to an academic advisor based on your academic interests.
  • Advising Sessions: Academic Advisors and Academic Peer Advisors (APAs) will hold group and individual advising sessions for any quick questions and general inquiries.

Course Registration

In the first year, students are required to take Global Perspectives on Societies (GPS) in the Fall semester and Writing as Inquiry (WAI) in the Spring semester.

Chinese students will take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and international students will take a Chinese language class depending on the Chinese placement exam result.

Students are highly recommended to take a Math course that fulfills the Mathematical core requirement during their first semester. As a first-year student, you are encouraged to explore your intellectual curiosity by taking a core curriculum or a major foundational course.

Explore Academic Interests

Academic Advising runs a series of events to help students explore potential majors, such as Major Exploration week. Students may explore their academic interests through attending multi-disciplinary panels from a variety of students, staff, and faculty representatives.

Major Declaration: Students may declare a major once they have completed or enrolled in at least 32 credits, and have a final grade of C, or are currently enrolled in a designated prerequisite course for the major. Please refer to major-specific website for detailed information.


First-Year FAQs
1. I would like to register for classes. How can I get my first semester Advisor Clearance Hold lifted?

Complete the Summer Advising Module, including videos, quizzes, and course plan assignment. Please note that you can only access your assignment page after a successful completion of all module quizzes.

It typically takes 2-3 business days for your summer academic advisor to review your assignment submission. Your Advisor Clearance Hold will be lifted after your course plan assignments are approved.


2. Who is my academic advisor and what can they help me with? How can I reach out to my academic advisor?

Each student is assigned to an academic advisor. Advisors provide resources and advice for academic challenges, support choosing majors and minors, and identify ways that your classes and experiences fit together to give meaning to your education and meet your personalized goals. You can find your academic advisor’s information in Albert.

You can contact your academic advisor via email or schedule an appointment on Albert. It typically takes 1-2 business days for your advisor to respond to your inquiry. There might be some delays during the peak hours, and we thank you for your patience.

It may be helpful to consult this Email Etiquette Video to understand the formalities of writing professional emails.

3. How many credits can first year students take?

Students are recommended to take 16-18 credits per semester.

First-year students are not permitted to request a course overload. First-year students are encouraged to engage in campus activities and explore their academic interests.

4. Fall 2022 Course Registration Reminder

The following information is sent to all first-year students via email on August 29th (subject: Fall 2022 Course Registration Reminder).

1. Major Interest Survey

Completed the Major Interest Survey in the Advising Module by Friday, September 2 if you haven't done so.

2. Math Placement Appeal Form

Completing the Math Placement Appeal Form by Friday, September 16 to appeal your placement level. You can provide additional scores listed under the placement criteria that you had not provided to NYU, high school transcripts, high school math course syllabi, and/or any additional information about your math background. You will be notified of the appeal results in a week.

3. Placement Exams

Students who have no math test scores are encouraged to consider taking the math placement exam to be placed into the right level math course. Sign up for math or computer science placement exams here!

4. Registration Time

Registration opens on Monday, August 29 at 9:00 PM China Standard Time / 9:00 AM Eastern Time. If you are in other time zones, you can use this Time Zone Converter to find your local time. 

When your registration starts on August 29, you will need to swap your 12-credit “NYU Shanghai FT Enrollment” placeholder with any of your planned 4-credit courses from your Albert Shopping Cart. You may then enroll in the remaining 12 to 14 credits on Albert accordingly.

Many courses have reserved seats for first-year students, which will be released to all students on September 1, so we encourage you to complete your registration as soon as the registration time comes.

5. Registration Hold

If you have submitted your fall course plan in the Advising Module in Brightspace and gotten approval from your advisor, your “Advisor Approval Required Fall 2022” hold should have been removed by your advisor. If you still haven’t completed your Advising Module, please make sure to complete it as soon as possible and work with your summer advisor to have the hold released. It may take 2-3 business days for advisors to respond to late module submissions and registration inquiries and students may not be able to register until their hold is released.  

6. Check the Waitlist box

If you have course(s) that you really want to enroll in, it is best that you check the “Waitlist if class is full” box in your Shopping Cart which will allow the system to put on the waitlist of the course if the class becomes full after you click “Enroll.” 

If a course is waitlisted, it means that the class is already fully enrolled, but has a waitlist for students who still want to join. You can still try to enroll and Albert will put you on the waitlist. Be realistic - if you end up number 9 on the wait list in a small seminar course (as opposed to a large lecture course), it’s unlikely you get into that course or section, so it is best to enroll in a backup course now than waiting until later and then set up an Edit Swap

GPS and EAP do NOT have waitlists. You will need to enroll in a section that is still open.

You can make changes to your schedule after registration opens until the end of the second week of the fall semester for 14-week courses (see academic calendar). You will have time to adjust when needed and you can continue to monitor the enrollment status for any course which is full that you still desire to get into.

7. Global Perspectives on Society

GPS does NOT have waitlists. You will need to enroll in a section that is still open. To encourage classroom diversity, each GPS recitation has equal seats reserved for Chinese and international students. If you receive an “Available seats are reserved and you do not meet the reserve capacity requirements” error, it means the seats allocated for your student group are already filled, so you will need to find another open section to enroll.

8. Precalculus and Calculus

Lab components for Precalculus and Calculus are now available again in Albert. Students who plan to take the course will need to delete the Precalculus or Calculus section(s) from their Shopping Cart and add again with Lecture, Recitation and Lab components. All students have to register for a lab but they are not required to attend them.  Attendance is optional and intended for students who need extra help with the course.

Precalculus: Please note that the meeting time of the Laboratory (section 005) component of MATH-SHU 9 Precalculus is updated to Wednesdays 7:15pm - 8:30pm. Please double check your schedule to make sure that there is no time conflict between your classes.

9. Registration Assistance

Academic advisors and the Registrar’s Office will be monitoring urgent emails (e.g., system wide problems) from 9:00-10:00 pm China Standard Time. For individual inquiries, students may need to wait till the following working days to get a response. Response time will be delayed during this high-volume time, but we will aim to respond to emails within 2-3 business days. If you need any technical assistance with registering using Albert, you can email the Registrar’s Office at


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