NYUAD Announces Inaugural Class

150 Top Secondary School Students From 39 Countries to Comprise NYUAD Class of 2014

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2014: At a Glance*  
Size of inaugural class
Number of countries of origin
SAT -- Critical Reading (75th percentile)
SAT -- Math (at 75th percentile) 780
Total languages spoken
Students speaking two languages
Students speaking 3+ languages

Number of male students

Number of female students


NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) announced today that 150 students from 39 countries on six continents are expected to make up its first freshman class, which will begin studies this fall. The admissions process was highly competitive, and yielded a class with exceptional academic qualifications, with SAT scores that rank the school in the top six of US Universities.

*Note: These numbers are preliminary, and will be finalized this fall when the final Class of 2014 Profile is completed.

Overall, 189 students were accepted out of 9,048 applicants worldwide (an acceptance rate of 2.1 percent). NYUAD had initially sought an entering class of 100 students, however the combination of a remarkable candidate pool, with a 79.4 percent yield -- the percentage of those admitted who have committed to attending this fall -- produced a class 50 percent larger than anticipated.

"From the beginning, we hoped that NYU Abu Dhabi would be the 'World's Honors College,'" said NYU President John Sexton. "To create such a school, we knew that we needed to attract students who not only would be top candidates for admission at the best universities in the world, but who also possessed a special appetite for a cosmopolitan and diverse environment. Our inaugural class exceeds even these aggressive goals: indeed, by the available measures, they are arguably the most selective and internationally diverse entering class in the world."

The selectivity of the class was reflected in the applicants' academic credentials. At the classes' 75th percentile, the SAT critical reading score is projected to be 770 (ranking it fifth among US universities), with the 75th percentile for math being 780 (ranking it sixth). The median SAT score (on the 1600 scale) is projected to be 1470.

In addition to their academic prowess, members of the NYUAD Class of 2014 are an internationally and culturally diverse group, representing 39 countries of origin, and with the median NYUAD student speaking three or more languages. Approximately one-third of NYUAD students will be from the United States; the next most popular countries of residence are the UAE, China, Hungary, and Russia.

"NYU Abu Dhabi students will be among the most talented in the world," said NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Alfred Bloom. "They bring a remarkable array of interests and experience to a uniquely diverse and exciting undergraduate experience. They will be students who engage the examination and shaping of thought with passion and rigor. They will be students who strive to make their own mark on a more knowledgeable, productive, responsible, just and peaceful globe."

Of its 9,048 applicants, 957 students applied solely to NYU Abu Dhabi, while 8,091 applied to both NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. Of the 150 students in the entering class, 127 applied only to NYU Abu Dhabi, while 23 applied to both campuses.

Students were selected after an intensive recruitment and admissions process, which included working directly with top secondary schools around the world to identify their leading candidates for admission. Ultimately 275 "finalists" were invited to Abu Dhabi for one of five Candidate Weekends, allowing students the opportunity to learn more about NYUAD (and for admissions staff and faculty to learn more about them), Abu Dhabi and the UAE more generally, and perhaps most importantly, to have the opportunity to become acquainted with their extraordinary peers.

When it opens this August, NYU Abu Dhabi will be a liberal arts and science college, including engineering; over time, it will also offer distinctive graduate programs and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi will form the backbone of a unique global network university, with faculty and students from either New York or Abu Dhabi spending semesters at one or more of the numerous study abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents.

NYU Abu Dhabi is the result of a partnership between NYU and the government of Abu Dhabi, and is based on a shared understanding of the essential role that quality higher education plays in the society that sustains it, and in a global society.

"Both we and our Abu Dhabi partners share the belief that a liberal arts and sciences college, at the center of a world-class research university, is an essential building block for a city that is destined to become one of the world's next great cultural capitals," said Bloom.

Admissions to NYU Abu Dhabi is "need blind": admissions decisions are made without regard to the students' financial need. The school tailors its financial support programs to meet individual needs. All aid is in the form of grants or fellowships; students and families will not need to take on debt to support an NYUAD education.

Students at NYU Abu Dhabi will enjoy close faculty interactions, with a student to faculty ratio that will not exceed eight to one. Faculty will consist of both standing NYU Abu Dhabi faculty, as well as members of NYU New York's faculty who have been named as NYU Abu Dhabi Affiliated Faculty. NYUAD Affiliated Faculty in the first year include: two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering-Lewis, professor of history; the renowned Lebanese novelist, playwright and critic Elias Khoury, global distinguished professor of modern Arabic literature; recent Guggenheim fellow Michael Purugganan, professor of genomics and biology; and Mary Carruthers, recipient of the Haskins Medal and professor of English. Other faculty of note include sociologist and political scientist Ivan Szelenyi, the former chair of the sociology department at Yale University and director of the school's Center for Comparative Research, who recently joined the faculty of NYUAD, and also serves as the school's dean of social sciences; and Philip Kennedy, a Middle Eastern literature scholar and faculty director of the NYUAD Institute, who is overseeing the first major translation series of Arabic texts as part of his work with NYUAD and its students. Levering-Lewis and Szelenyi are members of the Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Courses will be taught in English, though selected courses in language and literature will be taught in other languages as well.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.