First-Year Planning

NYU Shanghai operates in accordance with the core values of intellectual curiosity and a liberal arts education. In your first year, you will not be assigned to a major and it is a time for you to explore 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.
  • Academic Advisor: In the Summer, you will be assigned to an academic advisor who will help you with registration and academic exploration based on your Major Interest Survey responses. 
  • 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

The Academic Advising Office runs a series of events to help students explore potential majors, such as Major Exploration. Students may explore their academic interests by 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 the 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.

Information for Advisors [Log-in Required]