320 Students Representing 76 Nationalities Join NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2020

Student population now over 1,000 students

Press Release

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has welcomed 323 of the world’s best students as its Class of 2020, a diverse group of young men and women representing 76 nationalities and speaking some 70 languages.

UAE Nationals and Americans make up the two largest groups of students by nationality, with 43 Emirati students and 44 Americans in the Class of 2020. In addition to the United Arab Emirates and United States, students from India, Pakistan, Korea, China, Jordan, Nepal, Mexico, Egypt and Taiwan make up the next largest cohorts.

NYUAD’s Class of 2020 was selected from over 11,000 applicants around the world. The yield for the incoming class — the percentage of students who choose to attend NYUAD after being admitted — was nearly 80%.

With the Class of 2020, NYUAD’s total student population of over 1,000 students, hails from more than 110 countries and speaks over 115 languages, reflecting the international diversity and multicultural character of Abu Dhabi.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton said: “This is the first time that I have had the privilege of welcoming a new class to NYU Abu Dhabi and so it is a particular delight for me to welcome the Class of 2020 to this extraordinary community. As a student of NYU Abu Dhabi, you get the best of two worlds. You are part of a small, close-knit family here in Abu Dhabi, one that has just passed 1,000 students. At the same time, you are also very much part of NYU, with its capacity for research and impact, and access to global sites in the great cities of the world. We invite you to be active participants in the life of NYU Abu Dhabi and the wider NYU. Help us write the next chapter of this extraordinary university that I have come to love and that I know you’ll soon love as well.”

NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Al Bloom said: “A special welcome to the Class of 2020 as they join fellow undergraduates who share their commitments to excellence, to the pursuit of ever deeper understanding, to significant creativity, and to global and humane contribution. As the new class embark with enthusiasm and courage on their college years, I know that NYU Abu Dhabi made the right choice in inviting each of these remarkable to students to be a part of our historic adventure.”

We are particularly delighted that 13% of our students come from the Emirates and that the remaining 87% represent more than 105 nations across six continents,” Dr. Bloom said. “The Class of 2020 builds on our unprecedented success of attracting students of exceptional academic achievement, extraordinary dedication to intellectual growth and resolve and ability to build bridges of common humanity.”

Class of 2020 student Amna Al Qubaisi from the UAE said, "A central reason that I chose to attend NYU Abu Dhabi is because it offers the best learning environment for its students; multidisciplinary and global. NYU Abu Dhabi is distinct in that it integrates both liberal arts and research, ultimately giving students the best opportunity to learn and actively apply that knowledge."

Class of 2020 student Junhao Xu from Weifang, China said, “What attracted me to NYU Abu Dhabi was the individual attention from the professors, the extraordinary cultural diversity of students, and the wealth of opportunities on and off campus like trips to the other emirates and research with world-renowned faculty. Thanks to the liberal arts education, I look forward to exploring my academic and extracurricular interests. I am so grateful that I chose NYUAD to receive my one-of-a-kind college education."

NYUAD students undergo a rigorous selection and interview process and must demonstrate impressive academic credentials. In pre-arrival survey’s, members of the Class of 2020 report choosing NYUAD over some of the world’s most prestigious universities – including Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), Brown, UC Berkeley, Swarthmore, Georgetown, University College London - for its small class sizes, rigorous and innovative curriculum, geographic location, and incredible student diversity.

NYUAD, like NYU in New York, accepts a number of options that satisfy its testing requirements in recognition of the international composition of both institutions. Results include:

SAT: At the class' 75th percentile, the SAT math score was 800 (with 26 students receiving perfect 800 scores), while at the 25th percentile, the score was 730. At the 75th percentile, the score for critical reading was 760 (with 6 students receiving perfect 800 scores). At the 25th percentile, it was 670. The median SAT score was 1,510 (out of the 1,600 scale).

ACT: The ACT — a US-based standardized test that encompasses English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning — median composite score was 33 out of a 36-point scale.

International Baccalaureate (IB): Students completing the IB Diploma reported a median predicted score of 39 (out of a scale of 42).

As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYU Abu Dhabi serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, and knowledge creation and exchange through its academic, research, and creative activities. NYUAD, which opened its doors in 2010, was established in partnership with NYU and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and founded upon a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century.

Class of 2020 statistics (PDF)

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.