January Term

A Distinctive Learning Experience

January Term is different from what can be offered during the fall and spring semesters. Students take one course full-time for approximately three weeks. The courses are designed as immersive experiences: they intensify the student’s focus; reach beyond the classroom to incorporate experiential learning; and are often site-specific, connecting students to the place where they study.

Taking a single course during January Term gives students more time for concentrated reflection on a dedicated topic than is the case during the semester when students must split their time between several courses. The intensity of the shared experience also forges an unusually strong bond between the students and their professor. Although January Term is short, it has great impact because of its immersive character and integration of theoretical and experiential learning.

January Term courses are taught by renowned visiting scholars, writers, artists, journalists, and policy analysts from institutions around the world as well as distinguished professors from NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. January Term also features pre-professional courses taught by faculty from NYU's professional schools.


Emirati culture is so exclusive and sometimes impossible to penetrate, even if you live in the Emirates. This one-of-a-kind homestay experience gave me unprecedented access to UAE culture and a single language/dialect for three intensive weeks.

Sue-Ann Lau, spent J-Term studying in Al Ain, UAE


Students are required to complete three J-Term courses, including one in the first year. In the absence of an approved, compelling reason such as a study-away calendar conflict, students must complete their two remaining January Terms during their second and third year of enrollment. Seniors are eligible to take a fourth J-Term course only if they can demonstrate an academic need related to their progress towards graduation.

Students may take at most two Core Curriculum courses during January Term, and they must be in different Core categories.

January Term Beyond Abu Dhabi

January Term includes options to study outside Abu Dhabi and participate in community learning experiences. Some J-Term courses that are based in Abu Dhabi include international travel to places such as India, Nepal, Oman, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. Other J-Term courses are offered at NYU’s global sites around the world. Intellectually linked to their locations, the courses take advantage of local resources; explore the history, culture, economy, and society of the host communities; and often involve collaborative activities with local students and faculty. These courses illuminate the interdependence of local knowledge and global awareness while fostering cross-cultural research and insights into complex, global issues.


In the News

Top Republican pollster on Trump's insults, an ignored electorate, and his own NYUAD masterclass
Frank Luntz is credited with identifying an ignored class of voters fed up with Washington politicians and receptive to business tycoon's message.
The National | January 18, 2018

Blair urges students to become open-minded global leaders
Former British prime minister addresses students at New York University Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News | January 16, 2018