New York University's School Culture

Founded in 1883, New York University (NYU) is one of the biggest private research universities in the US. Although NYU has been established for over a century now, the school still has a modern feel to it, especially with it being surrounded by New York City, and embraces liberal ideologies with open arms. Going to university in NYC is definitely a unique experience and in this article, we will be discussing NYU’s school culture and what it’s really like to attend the university.

What it’s like to attend NYU

Going to a big school in a huge city is a completely unique university experience—you definitely won’t find your traditional college campus or lifestyle at NYU. Because “the city is your campus,” dorms and apartments that students reside in are scattered all over the city. This can make it a little harder for people to meet and find their community if they’re not involved in school clubs and activities. However, the plus side of going to school in a big, diverse city like NYC is that you have amazing opportunities right outside of the classroom. It makes finding work opportunities easier as many firms are based in NYC and interning during the semester also becomes more possible due to the city’s accessible subway system. In terms of academics, classes range from large lectures to small, discussion-based seminars. It depends on the specific class and what college it is in. 

Different colleges within NYU

Like many universities in the US, NYU also has its own smaller colleges within the larger university. However, unlike most liberal arts schools, there is a significant disconnect between these schools as the culture and academic life differ from college to college. NYU in particular has 11 different schools, including College of Arts and Science (CAS), Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Tandon School of Engineering, and Tisch School of the Arts.

Other than the main campus at Washington Square, New York, NYU also has many global sites that students can directly apply for or study abroad at. These global sites vary in size, with the biggest ones being Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. 

School spirit

Some NYU students may argue that there isn’t really any school spirit on campus, which can be attributed to the lack of inter-college sports games on campus that  usually increase school pride. Because the school is located in a densely populated city, it is difficult to find a large stadium space without having to travel quite a distance to other boroughs. This makes it harder for NYU to host sports competitions and, therefore, makes it harder for students to feel included in the sports culture that usually increases school pride. On the other hand, it can’t be said that there is absolutely no school spirit as many students are still proud of attending NYU and even wear school apparel outside of their homes.

Advice for incoming students

NYU is an incredible school with many opportunities due to its location, resources, and well-known name. The best advice that I have for incoming students is to be open to new experiences and meeting people. You should definitely take advantage of the clubs and try to get involved in them, particularly the professional ones as you will have the opportunity to learn from older students who have already gone through the job recruiting process. 

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