NYU Abu Dhabi's Kaleidoscope of Classes

Timothy Dore, associate professor of chemistry, teaches a class.

Nine students reveal their favorites

Snap judgments, exile, monsters and nomads have all formed the basis of courses at NYU Abu Dhabi. It is a liberal arts university known and celebrated for offering a wide scope of courses from basic requirements such as Introduction to Psychology, to the more obscure classes like Wood.

NYUAD offers hundreds of courses within the five academic divisions. Being a student here means having the freedom of choose courses that are completely unrelated to your major. We're encouraged to look at the world with a critical eye and go beyond the familiar.

It wasn't an easy task, but these students, with widely varying interests, managed to narrow down their favorites and explain why.


“I love seeing how the different cultural backgrounds of people in the class influence our ideas about play, and just how vastly different our personal experiences are. I also really enjoy the more practical side to the course, both in terms of analyzing, and designing games, as well as opportunities to get outside the classroom to ‘test out’ some different types of play.”—Chris Wheeler, Class of 2019

Rogue Fictions: Tricksters, Outlaws and Outsiders

"Through literary works, we learn how fictional characters as well as humans transgress the norms and boundaries in society, and how transgressions shed light on the current state of society’s values and state of being. It's fascinating to be able to make connections between the world/history/society and books, since I hadn't really thought of literary works in that way. This class sparked my interest in literature and literary analysis—a field completely different from my area of study.”—Carlos Escobar, Class of 2018

Global Women Writing

"I got to know myself and deal with the internal prejudices toward women that I didn’t even know existed in me (they are a product of the culture I was raised in). I also came to terms with issues that I had with myself where I would go on and on about freedom and women’s rights yet I would never apply those words to me. The class helped me see these things and fix them, and deal with my own prejudices about the concept of united womanhood. It was definitely an eye-opener." —Kristina Stankovic, Class of 2018

Disease and Society

"I had never before had the opportunity to learn extensively about public health and medical history. I came to realize that my interests in medical sciences and policy-making can converge in public health. In addition to lively class discussions, we talked about Bettina Hoerlin, who served as Philadephia's Commissioner of Public Health during the AIDS crisis. The professor poses thought-provoking questions that require us to adopt the position of power. It's safe to say I cannot wait to serve my country by pursuing my passion in public health.”—Khairunnisa Semesta, Class of 2018

General Relativity

“I would describe myself as a very weird, or at least very atypical, physics major. The majority of my passions lie outside scientific disciplines, and I’ve managed somewhat questionably to take a large number of classes in the humanities and social sciences, even spending an entire semester in Paris doing nothing related to my major. So, I guess it might be even weirder for me to say that my favourite class so far (I think) has been General Relativity in New York, which was a graduate-level physics class. Spacetime and relativity are some of these things you sometimes hear passed around in a dilettantish way at over-educated cocktail parties, but seeing these principles not only laid bare, but grounded firmly in mathematics was an educational experience unlike any other I’ve encountered. The class was immensely challenging, and I can’t even say I’ve internalized 1% of the necessary material in order to fully understand MTW’s Gravitation (the holy grail of physics textbooks). However, even receiving an introduction, where I began to see the simultaneous simplicity and complexity underlying the universe in its entirety, was both philosophically enlightening and supremely beautiful.”—Allen Magnusson, Class of 2016

Principles of Microeconomics

"I find lectures very interesting because we learn about fundamental economic principles through real life examples. Also, it is one of the rare classes where I don't check the time every five minutes!"—Aleksandra Markov, Class of 2019

Reinventions of Love

“It allowed me to explore a new area of academia that I was not accustomed to, pushing me to leave my comfort zone and explore art from a new perspective that was completely unfamiliar.”—Layan Abu Yassin, Class of 2016

Analysis and Expression: Taste, Culture, and the Self

"I love this class because it's discussion-oriented and whenever anyone has something to say that seems unclear, Marion (the professor) is able to organize it in a way that makes sense. She is able to guide us into putting our thoughts into words. This is one of the most rewarding classes I have taken, and I know the skills I'm acquiring through it (critical and independent thinking, useful discussion methods and structures of essays) are already helping me so much.”—Josefina Dumay Neder, Class of 2019