Since our students are on the move, CAS is on the move!
Welcome to the College of Arts and Science at New York University! Each admission cycle we receive about 40,000 applications to CAS. We are the most attractive undergraduate destination at NYU. We are also one of the most popular and selective private liberal arts colleges in the United States. Admission to CAS is a remarkable achievement, both for our students and for their families.
When students decide to apply to NYU and pick the undergraduate door called CAS, what does this choice mean? It means that they are entering a unique world. By the time our students graduate from the College, they will come to realize that we value student success unlike any other school at NYU or the broader world.
We Are NYU’s Founding School for Liberal Arts Education
Remarkable can only describe the legendary founding of CAS and its storied evolution into the prescient institution of higher education that it represents today. Nine days before Christmas in 1829, several men convened in the home of Reverend James M. Matthews, all sharing a desire to establish in New York City what had not yet existed—a true university. One of them was named Albert Gallatin. He emerged as leader of a movement in New York City to establish a university that would be open to the public, but also one that would develop a curriculum cutting across the academic disciplines.
The University of the City of New York, the original name of New York University, was incorporated in 1831. One year later, the College of Arts and Science was founded as the first school of NYU. The goal of CAS was threefold: first, to produce a higher education that sought to advance democracy; second, to deem education a social good; and, third, to make intellectual ideas more accessible, more available, to the broader community.
We have come a long way since the founding of CAS was etched into the University bylaws close to two centuries ago, when the first graduating class comprised only three men who earned their degrees. Today, we confer more than 2,000 bachelor’s degrees each year!
As Dean of the College, I am responsible for a plethora of academic and co-curricular resources and administrative offices that usher our CAS students from admission to graduation. Not only do I oversee the academic quality, standards, and policies of CAS undergraduate education in the classroom and outside it. As steward of this curriculum, I encourage and support the innovative efforts of our faculty to distill the prevailing global challenges and opportunities shaping our lives, but also to educate students on how best to advance intellectual knowledge and impact society for the better. Finally, our renowned co-curricular programming has enriched the experiences of CAS students as they seek to achieve cultural and intellectual fulfillment in our University setting.
Given that more than a quarter of the students admitted to other NYU undergraduate schools take CAS courses as well, we accept the responsibility and privilege of being the signature school for liberal arts education at the University. We offer over 60 majors and 60 minors in the humanities, the social sciences, as well as the natural and computational sciences. We have a global liberal arts curriculum developed and taught by engaged faculty who have won awards ranging from the Guggenheim and the Pulitzer Prize to the Nobel Prize. We also have curricular innovations ranging from the newly created degree in Data Science to the brand new admissions pathways from CAS to NYU Stern Business School and NYU Law School. We now marvel at numerous CAS students who have gone on to win global awards like the Fulbright Scholarship or the Truman Scholarship.
The students who emerge with a complete education from CAS go on to become our most accomplished scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, doctors, analysts, programmers, attorneys, scholars, and teachers, among other kinds of accomplished leaders.
We Are on the Move
When I say our students are on the move in CAS, that means that they are on their way toward doing great things in the world. But I also refer to three specific ideas: our students are moving up, they are moving together, and they are moving forward in their lives.
By “moving up,” I mean that we plan to elevate our students to higher levels of academic education and social experience in the College. We value building a rigorous undergraduate education on the foundation of academic excellence. Starting with the Core Curriculum, we seek to expose our students to new ideas and new ways of understanding the world through general education. We encourage our students to embark on a challenging yet rewarding journey at once intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.
We also value co-curricular engagement, which is key to preparing our students for the complexities of our world. Our students have the opportunity to participate in a wide array of activities, programs, internships, mentorship, and research experiences that extend the academic curriculum to newfound opportunities. The Cohort Program, the Proud to Be First Program, and the Academic Achievement Program are three of our signature initiatives that respectively invite first year students, first generation students, and underrepresented students to crucial communities of engagement with one another and with faculty.
By “moving together,” I mean that we plan to deepen the student sense of belonging and community in the College. We value having one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. We view diversity as an active practice, in concert with our pursuit of justice, equity, and inclusion for all people. Diversity generates new ideas, creativity, and academic excellence, and it remains crucial to our liberal arts experience.
We also value our global connectedness. CAS is central to NYU but it is also central to New York City, the United States, and the world; it is a hub for the exchange of intellectual ideas between and among faculty and students at our global study away sites, where cultural immersion and diverse value systems underscore the virtue of cosmopolitan education.
Finally, by “moving forward,” I mean we plan to advance our students to multiple levels of academic success in the College. We value the timely student completion of the baccalaureate degree. Our College Advising Center properly guides our students by paying attention to their curricular planning and academic development, whether they are first-generation students, international students, or students who have other important needs.
And we value the holistic development of our students. We want to ensure that our students are growing cognitively, that our students are strengthening their sense of emotional resilience and intelligence, and that they are on their way toward being the best version of themselves.
Our students thrive from our commitment to the values of academic excellence, co-curricular engagement, diversity, global connectedness, degree completion, and holistic development. Anchored to our New Student Center, these values separate our school and our students from all peers.
We Cultivate Dynamic Leaders and Bold Thinkers
Without a doubt, the recent past has been a challenge not only for us but for the entire world. In due course, the annals of history will admire the perseverance of our current generation of students, recording their success as an extraordinary future lesson for those who will follow in their wake. Many of our current faculty likewise have persevered in teaching our students with customary rigor and dexterity. We have achieved a remarkable degree of flexibility in our CAS community, focused on delivering an outstanding education to all our students.
CAS transcends the challenges of our times. Flexible and resilient enough, our school has long overcome the global instabilities of wars and, indeed, pandemics. Likewise, our students were predestined for admission to the College. We believe our students embody the great moral purpose of higher education we should never forget: both to better our world today and to till the educational soil for tomorrow. Future generations must be able to learn from and teach one another, thereby to live and thrive together, so that a humane, just society remains ever within reach. Our students represent the beacon of light shining our path toward this remarkable goal.
We cultivate a different sort of student at the College: a dynamic leader and bold thinker empowered not just for one single moment, but for any moment in history.