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)

Two 4-credit courses from Interdisciplinary Perspectives on China (IPC) category

Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)**
2. Writing Writing as Inquiry (WAI) Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)**
3. Mathematics One 4-credit math course or placing into Calculus
4. Science Experimental Discovery in the Natural World Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
5. Algorithmic Thinking One 4-credit class from Algorithmic Thinking (AT) category
6. Language Chinese students: 8-credit English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses Non-Chinese students: passing or placing out of Intermediate Chinese II
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 Foundations Global Perspectives on Society (GPS) Social Science Perspective on China (SSPC) (One course from this category)
2. Cultural Foundations Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)** Humanistic Perspective on China (HPC) formerly named Chinese Art (One course from this category)
3. Writing Writing as Inquiry (WAI) Perspectives on the Humanities (PoH)**
4. Mathematics One 4-credit math course or placing into Calculus
5. Science Experimental Discovery in the Natural World Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
6. Algorithmic Thinking One 4-credit class from Algorithmic Thinking (AT) category
7. Language Chinese students: 8-credit English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses Non-Chinese students: passing or placing out of Intermediate Chinese II
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.

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 SSPC 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. 

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.

What to do if I did not pass EAP 100 or EAP 101?

Please follow the EAP Course Progression Chart below:

EAP Course Progression Chart

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.

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

* Please note students may choose to follow a bulletin from their admitted year or a later bulletin. For example, students who are admitted in Fall 2018 may choose to follow the AY 18/19 bulletin or 19/20 bulletin.

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