Core Curriculum

 

There are 6 components to the NYU Shanghai Core Curriculum: Social and Cultural Foundations, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Algorithmic Thinking, and Language. Students may use the advanced standing exam scores to wholly or partially fulfill Mathematics, Science, and Algorithmic Thinking requirements.

Core Course List

For students admitted in Fall 2021 or later semesters:

1. Social and Cultural Foundations Global Perspectives on Society (GPS)

4 Credits

Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)* 4 Credits
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on China (IPC) 1 4 Credits
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on China (IPC) 2 4 Credits
2. Writing Writing as Inquiry (WAI) 4 Credits
Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)* 4 Credits
3. Mathematics** One 4-credit Math course or placing into Calculus 4 Credits
4. Science**

Experimental Discovery (ED)
One 4-credit ED course or 3 credits of FoS Lecture
+ 2 credits of FoS Lab

4 Credits
or 5 Credits
Science, Technology, and Society (STS) 4 Credits
5. Algorithmic Thinking** One 4-credit class from Algorithmic Thinking (AT) category 4 Credits
6. Language Chinese students: English for Academic Purposes (EAP)  8 Credits
Non-Chinese students: passing or placing out of Intermediate Chinese II 0-16 Credits
Key:
Actual Course TitleActual Course Title
CategoryCategory

* The Mathematics, Science, and Algorithmic Thinking requirements may be partially or wholly fulfilled with relevant exam scores.

** One PoH course counts towards both Social and Cultural Foundations and Writing requirements.

 

For students admitted before Fall 2021:

1. Social and Cultural Foundations Global Perspectives on Society (GPS)

4 Credits

Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)* 4 Credits
Social Science Perspectives on China (SSPC) 4 Credits
Humanistic Perspectives on China (HPC) formerly named Chinese Arts (CA) 4 Credits
2. Writing Writing as Inquiry (WAI) 4 Credits
Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)* 4 Credits
3. Mathematics** One 4-credit Math course or placing into Calculus 4 Credits
4. Science**

Experimental Discovery (ED)
One 4-credit ED course or 3 credits of FoS Lecture
+ 2 credits of FoS Lab

4 Credits
or 5 Credits
Science, Technology, and Society (STS) 4 Credits
5. Algorithmic Thinking** One 4-credit class from Algorithmic Thinking (AT) category 4 Credits
6. Language Chinese students: English for Academic Purposes (EAP)  8 Credits
Non-Chinese students: passing or placing out of Intermediate Chinese II 0-16 Credits
Key:
Actual Course TitleActual Course Title
CategoryCategory

* The Mathematics, Science, and Algorithmic Thinking requirements may be partially or wholly fulfilled with relevant exam scores.

** One PoH course counts towards both Social and Cultural Foundations and Writing requirements.

Hear from Our Students About the Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum FAQs

Learn More about Core Curriculum

1 | Social and Cultural Foundations

Courses in the Social Foundations and Cultural Foundations sequences will provide students with a thematic framework within which to study influential works of diverse cultures, from the beginnings of history to the present, and from global and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students will reflect on fundamental and enduring questions about what it means to be human and how we as individuals live in society.

2 | Writing

NYU Shanghai writing courses serve as an introduction to academic writing and inquiry at the university level. Students learn how to read academic, argumentative, and narrative texts closely, how to provide an interpretation supported by evidence, how to build logical arguments and develop research questions, and how to adapt their writing to different genres and audiences.

​3 | Mathematics

Considered by many to be the “universal language,” mathematics provides logical and analytical tools necessary for tackling many of the important problems of our time. Quantitative skills are essential for work in the sciences and the social sciences, and have applications in the humanities. They are also critical to one’s ability to function and thrive in today’s increasingly complex world.

4 | Science

Scientific knowledge and inquiry are central to human society, and science and technology play an increasingly important role in our lives. At the heart of the natural sciences is a quest to understand the universe and who we humans are. The special feature of science is that its hypotheses can be tested under controlled conditions by appealing to evidence external to the inquirer. Thus, science provides a consistent framework for proposing ideas and testing potential answers to these questions. NYU Shanghai students will become conversant with the intellectual methods and analytical techniques that define modern science.

5 | Algorithmic Thinking

These courses have a hands-on programming component and cover basic programming concepts. All students must complete at least two credits of Computer Science courses from the Algorithmic Thinking category, either as part of, or in addition to, the course(s) they take to fulfill the Core Curriculum Science requirement.

6 | Language

Language study is central to the educational mission of NYU shanghai. All NYU Shanghai students will be expected to become fluent in academic English, the language of instruction, as is expected for undergraduates in the world’s top liberal arts universities.

Global Perspectives on Society, Writing as Inquiry and Perspectives on Humanities (GPS, WAI, and PoH)

1. What is the sequence and requirement for Global Perspectives on Society (GPS), Writing as Inquiry (WAI) and Perspectives of Humanities (PoH)? 

All students are required to take the three-courses (GPS, Writing, PoH) in the following sequence.

First Year Fall Global Perspectives on China* Students would need to earn a grade of D or better to fulfill the GPS core requirement.
First Year Spring Writing as Inquiry* Students would need to earn a grade of C or above for Writing as Inquiry to satisfy the prerequisite for PoH.
Sophomore Fall Perspectives on Humanities (prerequisite: WAI with a grade of C or above) Students would need to earn a grade of D or better to fulfill the PoH core requirement.

 

* Add/Drop Deadline for Writing as Inquiry course is the Sunday of the first week of class.

2. What if students failed or didn’t take one of these courses during the semester they should have taken it?

Students who missed GPS because of a leave of absence or who failed to complete it successfully ​in the first attempt are required to propose a substitute IPC course and get it approved by their advisor, and then complete the course in a later semester.

Students who missed WAI or POH because of a leave of absence or who failed to complete it successfully ​in the first attempt are required to complete the course(s) in a later semester as part of their graduation requirements.

Mathematics

1. What is the core curriculum math requirement and how this requirement can be fulfilled?

Only the following four exams can be used to fulfill the core curriculum mathematics Requirement:

  • AP Calculus AB or BC: Score of 4 or higher
  • IB Mathematics: Score of 6 or higher
  • A Level Mathematics: Score of B or higher
  • NYU Shanghai Placement Into Calculus

If you are placed into calculus based on other exams (ACT, Gaokao, and etc), you would still need to successfully pass one (1) four-credit Math course or take and pass the NYU Shanghai Placement Into Calculus exam. Check out more information about the Placement Into Calculus exam.

2. What are some courses in New York that students can take to fulfill the core curriculum math requirement?

The following New York Math course can be counted towards the core curriculum math requirement:

  • MATH-UA 9 Algebra and Calculus
  • CORE-UA 1XX Quantitative Reasoning

Please refer to the Global courses satisfying Shanghai degree requirements (New York Tab). You may filter the column E core and select mathematics.

Language

1. Can a student take a language course as P/F? (Guidelines for Pass/Fail Grades Infographics)

Students cannot take the core curriculum Chinese language and English for Academic Purpose courses P/F.

For advanced Chinese classes that are taken as general electives, students may request from their advisors the option of taking it P/F. Courses taken P/F may not be counted toward a Chinese language minor.

Courses in other languages can be taken P/F but grades of C or higher must be earned for a prerequisite course to advance to higher level courses. Language course requirements at study away sites cannot be taken P/F.

2. What are the passing grades for EAP 100 and EAP 101?

A grade of D or higher is required as passing grade for both EAP 100 and EAP 101.

3. In what situations are students eligible for the 2-credit English for Academic Purpose/Chinese class?

Students are permitted to take 2-credit Chinese/English for Academic Purpose if they take all the Foundation of Science classes (e.g. Foundations of Physics I Honors/General Physics, Foundations of Chemistry I, Physics I Lab) during one semester.

Non-Foundations of Science students must enroll in the 4-credit Chinese/English for Academic Purpose courses.

3. What is the Waitlist and Add/Drop Policy for EAP?

You can enroll in any open session of EAP course, but there is no waitlist for any EAP course, and you can only enroll in one open session at one time. Beginning the Sunday of the first week of class (September 11, 2022 for Fall 2022 term), you will not be able to add/drop your EAP course in Albert. If you wish to change your EAP course registration after that date, you may contact Co-Area Heads of English for Academic Purposes: Professor Daniels (marcel.daniels@nyu.edu) and Professor Iams (sei2@nyu.edu), Co-Area Head of English for Academic Purposes. They will accommodate your request if possible. 

Science Core (Experimental Discovery & Science, Technology, and Society)

1. How could the core curriculum Experimental Discovery requirement be fulfilled? Do students have to take a course with a lab?

Students are required to take one laboratory science course to fulfill the Experimental Discovery requirement. For example, students must take both Physics I and Physics Lab (5 credits in total) to fulfill the science core ED requirement. Or, they may take a 4.0 credit core class such as CCEX-SHU 122 Perception and the Brain, PSYC-SHU 101 Intro to Psychology, etc.

2. [Math and Honors Math major] What is the science core requirement for Math or Honors Math major students?

Students who are majoring in Math or Honors Math should refer to their respective major websites.

Algorithmic Thinking

1. Could a student satisfy the Algorithmic Thinking (AT) category with an exam score?

Yes. The following three exams can be used to fulfill the core curriculum Algorithmic Thinking requirement:

  • AP Computer Science A: Score of 4 or higher
  • IB Computer Science HL: Score of 6 or higher
  • NYU Shanghai Placement into Introduction to Computer Science
Social and Cultural Foundations

Students admitted in Fall 2021 or later should complete

  • Two Interdisciplinary Perspectives on China (IPC) courses

Students admitted before Fall 2021 can choose any of the following course combinations:

  • HPC + SSPC
  • IPC + SSPC
  • IPC + HPC
  • IPC + IPC

Information for Advisors [Log-in Required]