Undergraduate and Global Education

Undergraduate Education at NYU Abu Dhabi is distinguished by a strong liberal arts intellectual foundation, an emphasis on blurring of boundaries between disciplines, and a global orientation. The undergraduate curricula, delivered across 26 majors, provide students with the education and preparation to become critical thinkers with the ability to understand and analyze complex issues from multiple perspectives and develop solutions for the global interconnected co-dependent world.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s study body is unique in its diversity. NYUAD students hold citizenship in over 120 countries, speaking 115+ languages. The undergraduate curriculum ensures a transformative global education experience for all students.

The office of Undergraduate Education holistically and collaboratively supports undergraduate education across all majors via the following:

  • provide a rigorous, global liberal arts curriculum that balances breadth of understanding with specialized knowledge;
  • create rich opportunities for experiential learning;
  • create substantive opportunities for undergraduate research;
  • develop a highly effective and well-integrated system of advising and mentoring for student success;
  • nurture an inclusive residential community and holistic student residential academic experience.

The office also helps clarify, confirm, and assess progress of the strategic goals:

  • attract and admit a globally diverse student body with exceptional potential and committed to meaningful engagement with difference;
  • recruit a diverse community of outstanding teacher-scholars and foster excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

Undergraduate learners at NYUAD are distinctive, and student diversity allows us to rethink traditional assumptions and create new concepts and pedagogies. NYUAD students are driven by curiosity, creativity, critical reflection, and they are well-equipped to tackle the challenges as well as opportunities of our interconnected world. While the composition of NYUAD’s study body makes global perspectives inevitable, we create opportunities for this diversity to be activated and made academically and culturally meaningful.

Global Education is an essential component of NYU Abu Dhabi’s educational mission and curriculum. It is realized through a careful sequence of interrelated academic and intercultural experiences over four years that foster greater intercultural understanding towards social responsibility — globally and locally. These experiences are designed to advance students’ ability to:

  • respect, engage, and negotiate difference toward greater common ground and the common good;
  • and act with ethical intelligence as responsible, local citizens, and leaders in communities they engage in the UAE, abroad, and at home. 

Just as the development of critical thinking skills is not produced in one course but through a process of intellectual and social maturation over multiple years, a global education is not the product of a single experience abroad or more general traveling. It is cultivated through well-guided, iterative interactions with otherness. It is produced by bringing critical reflection and disciplined analysis of those experiences. It manifests in the ability to ask and respond to questions of global human significance with an ever more unprejudiced mind.  

Carol Brandt

Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor, Global Education and Outreach