Undergraduate January Term

Photograph of student

2020 Program Dates: January 6 - 23, 2020 

NYU Shanghai offers three-week January Term (J-Term) courses in Shanghai. These courses give students the opportunity to study away in China and experience the excitement of Shanghai, one of the most dynamic cities in Asia. Students benefit from NYU’s facilities, professors, and full-time academic and student life staff. Site visits to historic sites and neighborhoods arranged by NYU Shanghai enable students to explore this city beyond the campus. 

Dates  |  Courses  |  Credit  |  Eligibility  |  How to Apply  |  Tuition & Fees  |  Financial Aid  |  Pre-Departure Preparation  |  Request Info   

Program Dates

Arrivals/Check-in: January 5, 2020 at 12:00pm
Students will be able to start checking in to the dormitories from 12 pm on Sunday January 5. The NYU Shanghai campus is located 35-40 minutes by taxi from the Pudong International Airport (PVG). There is no airport pick-up provided by NYU Shanghai but public transportation and taxis are readily available. More details on arrival to the dormitories will be sent after acceptance to the program.
Orientation: January 6, 2020
Classes begin: January 6, 2020
Classes end: January 23, 2020
Check-out/departure: January 24, 2020 by 12:00pm


Students may only take one four-credit course during the three-week January term. All courses are taught in English. 

Economics (click here)

Topics in Economics: Sustainable Business Practices and Development Economics: An Integrated Framework, ECON-SHU 151T (4 Credits)

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills Economics Major Elective and Non-Finance/Non-Marketing Elective and Economics Elective

Instructor: Rodrigo Zeidan

Prerequisite: ECON-SHU 3 Microeconomics There is a clear recent shift in the development economics literature from a focus on economic growth towards a more integrated framework that incorporates concepts such as well-being, sustainability, and other non-economic factors. Even though economic growth is still a necessary condition for development, local policies can increasingly rely on social entrepreneurship and sustainable business policies for improved development. This course invites undergraduate students to delve into different business practices that can transform the socioeconomic landscape and to use recent theoretical contribution in different fields such as economics, complexity theory, and management. The course explores critically social entrepreneurship and sustainability to analyze its economic and social impact.

Humanities and Social Science (click here)

Topics in Global China Studies: Hong Kong Cinema, GCHN-SHU 205T (4 credits)

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills: Core Curriculum Humanistic Perspectives on China; Global China Studies major elective category “Chinese Media, Arts, and Literature”; Humanities Major Topics course or Advanced course.
Instructor: Ezra Claverie

Prerequisites: None

This course offers an overview of the growth, “golden age,” and relative decline of the film industry of Hong Kong (HK). It looks at this sub-national cinema from four perspectives: geopolitical history, film genre, directorial style, and the economics of the film industry.

HK’s complex geopolitics will inform our approach to the region’s films. As a British Crown Colony, the territory became a haven for filmmakers escaping first the violence of the Chinese Civil War and then the political and artistic repression of the Communist Party of China. The territory’s film industry therefore had a hybrid nature from the start; its films convey nostalgia for a lost past and anxiety about an uncertain future. Questions of territorial identity also reveal tensions between languages: until the early 1970s, HK studios produced their most costly and prestigious films for the Mandarin export market, but after the success of The House of 72 Tenants, producers began to see Cantonese—previously heard only in low-budget productions for the local market—as both commercially and aesthetically viable.

This course will survey a variety of film genres, attending not only to how they coalesced into recognizable formulas but also to how filmmakers mixed, recombined, and subverted those formulas. Students will learn and practice the fundamentals of writing about film as we watch and discuss representative films by major directors, considering their styles as simultaneously individual and conditioned by the industry. In the absence of state funding for film production, the commercial imperatives of studios shaped film production, so attention to the growth, competition, and decline of studios will therefore provide further explanations for the stylistic, generic, and personnel choices on the screen.

Topics in Psychology: Human Nature and Genocide: A case study in critical social psychology, SOCS-SHU 101T (4 credits)

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills Social Science major 200 level focus course for the Psychology track.
Instructor: Anup Gampa

Prerequisites:  PSYC-SHU 101 Introduction to Psychology

Imagine participating in an experiment in which you are asked to shock a fellow participant who answers questions incorrectly. You are to shock the participant at increasing rates for every answer they get wrong. Eventually, you are required to shock them at a level capable of killing them. How far would you go? What factors are important in understanding how far you would go? Can evidence from such an experiment provide enough insight into why you may, or may not, be capable of committing acts of genocide?

This is a course in critical social psychology using the case study of human nature and genocide. The goal is to critically analyze experimental social psychology by applying it to the study of human nature and genocide. We will do this by studying classical social psychology paradigms and experiments. We will also engage with theories such as evolutionary psychology, cultural anthropology, Marxist psychology, and critical theory—allowing us to compare and contrast various ways of studying human behavior. In order to aid us in this journey, we will ask questions such as: · What role does human nature play in genocide? · Can human nature be discovered by the scientific method? · Is human nature today the same as it was 15,000 years ago? Or, could genocide have happened 15,000 years ago?

Topics in Global China Studies: China and Japan: Cultural, Political and Population Flows, GCHN-SHU 135T (4 credits)

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills: Core Curriculum Humanistic Perspectives on China; Global China Studies major elective category “China and the World” ; Humanities Major Topics course or Introductory Course.
Instructor: Roslynn Ang

Prerequisites: None

This course explores the flow of people, culture, media and politics between Japan and China from the late nineteenth century to the contemporary present. How do the concepts of national belonging and boundary shift within the context of migration, media/culture and geopolitics? We will learn about the interconnected histories of Japan and China, and gain a critical understanding on the formation of a modern nation-state. This is followed by an application of these concepts and historical context to analyze population, media and cultural flows between Japan and China.

Mathematics (click here)

Calculus, MATH-SHU 121 (4 credits)

Instructor: Joseba Dalmau

Equivalent to MATH-UA 121 Calculus 1. Note: This course will not be recognized as fulfilling the Calculus prerequisites of higher-level MATH-SHU courses. Students pursuing the following majors will therefore not be able to use this MATH-SHU 121 to fulfill major requirements: Economics, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Data Science, Computer Science, Engineering.
Only open to students who have already taken (or are currently taking) Calculus and who want to re-take it in January.

This course presents the foundations of calculus for functions of a single variable. Topics addressed include limits, continuity, rules of differentiation, antiderivatives, definite integrals and the fundamental theorem of calculus.

Science and Experimental Discovery (click here)

Experiments in Food Science, CCEX-SHU 115 (4 credits)

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills: Core Curriculum Experimental Discovery
Instructor: Lu Zhang

In this laboratory course students will become familiar with various techniques, equipment, data analysis skills, best practices in lab safety, and ideas common to chemistry laboratories and to experimental research. The course will also give students an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the major and minor food components including water, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and so on. The course is intended to introduce students to the applied aspects of food chemistry, chemical properties of food components and relationships between the chemical composition of foods and functional, nutritional, and sensory properties. Students will also learn how to use scientific instruments and acquire different laboratory skills and techniques to help them draw conclusions from observed facts.


Academic credit for the NYU Shanghai J-Term program is treated like any other credit awarded for coursework at NYU. The NYU Shanghai J-Term courses will be recorded on the student’s NYU transcript, and the final grades from such courses will be calculated into a student’s NYU grade point average (GPA). It is your responsibility to work with your home school academic advisor and major department to determine whether and how a course might count towards your degree requirements.


Undergraduate students from NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and visiting students from other US accredited institutions are welcome to apply. Students must have completed at least two semesters at an undergraduate institution to be eligible to apply.  An integrated review of an applicant's academic background and University record is required to confirm admission. Students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above are encouraged to apply. Students with lower GPAs are encouraged to provide information on their academic goals in their personal statement. 

How to Apply 

NYU Shanghai degree students do not need to fill out an application and can simply contact their academic advisor for assistance in registration. 

NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and Visiting Students from other institutions must apply following the instructions below. After successfully being admitted to the program, NYU Shanghai will provide instructions on how to register for a course.

NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi students: Log in with your NYU net ID and password on the NYU January Application portal

Visiting Students: Create an account and login on the Visiting Student Application portal. Visiting students must also submit their official transcript.

Application Deadline and Notification Timeline 

Application Deadline: October 15, 2019 |  Notification By: October 22, 2019  | Confirmation due by: October 31, 2019

Tuition & Fees

Tuition                              $5,972
Administrative Fee         $300
Housing Fee                    $950. (NYU Shanghai students who are already living in the dorms throughout the 2019-20 academic year will not be charged.)
Books ¹                             Course-specific

¹All books and course materials will be provided to you upon arrival in Shanghai. Fees will be charged based on requirements of the specific course.

Students are responsible for round trip airfare, meals, and personal expenses. Immigration costs vary greatly depending on student citizenship. 

For information about billing, payments, and refunds please visit the Bursar's website

Financial Aid for January Term (J-term):

There is no institutional scholarship/grant available for NYU Shanghai undergraduates enrolling in January term either in Shanghai or at an NYU Study Away site.

Visiting Students (non NYU students) and NYU students from the New York campus, please visit see here for additional information regarding financial aid options for January term.

For US citizens/eligible non-citizens:  Federal Direct Loans and Pell grants are available for J-term enrollment. Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan eligibility are based on the combined total number of credits between the J-term and the Spring term. For Federal Direct Loans, students must be enrolled at least half time, which is at least 6 credits or have an approved equivalency, between the J-term and Spring Term. For Pell Grants, eligibility is based on a student's FAFSA EFC (Expected Financial Contribution) and enrollment as either a full-time or part-time student. 

Students will be reviewed for federal financial aid as long as they have a valid FAFSA on file, are enrolled for an appropriate amount of credits, and are otherwise eligible.

For all Students: Students needing additional financial aid for January Term will be able to seek out alternative loans. Students seeking alternative loans are encouraged to relay to their potential lender the number of credits they will be taking, as some have minimum enrollment criteria. Private loan eligibility cannot exceed the cost of attendance for January term. NYU cannot recommend or endorse any particular private lender. Students are encouraged to research their options carefully.

Please click here for more information about private (non-federal) alternative loans.

Students who change January Term enrollment or who do not attend in January will have their January award adjusted or canceled.

Pre-Departure Preparation

Admitted students will be sent information pertaining to program preparation. NYU Shanghai will host pre-departure orientations for students who will join the January term program. More information about this session will be sent out to admitted students in November. NYU Shanghai will provide you with the necessary documents to process a student study visa. It is important to check with the Office of Global Services (OGS) or utilize the Global Check Plus application found in NYUhome to check if you have specific visa requirements. Immigration requirements vary based on student citizenship. If you have general questions or need help, please email shanghai.student-mobility@nyu.edu for further information.

Contact Us

Please contact shanghai.january@nyu.edu with any questions.