Frequently Asked Questions | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

light bulb

What is the General Studies (GS) Program?

The General Studies (GS) Program provides proactive academic support in mathematics and the sciences through weekly tutoring and advising sessions while students maintain a full-time course load. Students are selected by Admissions to participate in either an On-site or Online pre-college summer intensive which is indicated in the formal acceptance letter from Admissions. At the end of the summer, having successfully completed either the On-site or Online pre-college summer program, students follow Academic Bulletin guidelines for their intended major in the fall and spring semesters. In each of those semesters, students continue to attend required weekly advising, tutoring, and up to two pass/fail GS courses per semester dedicated to enhancing time management and study skills. Before they can be transferred to an advisor in their major department, GS students must earn 24 credits and a minimum grade point average of 2.0 ("C") by the end of their second semester.


Why was I selected for the General Studies Program and who attends the pre-college summer intensive?

Our engineering admissions committee believes that your interest in and passion for the world of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship would make you a valued member of the Tandon School of Engineering community. We also believe, however, that your academic success is contingent upon NYU providing you with the tools necessary to enhance your current foundational skills in order to succeed in our engineering curriculum. This is what our General Studies (GS) Program seeks to provide. Students who provided evidence of a strong academic record in high school/secondary school but who may have more modest test scores OR may lack certain courses in math, science and/or writing are chosen by our engineering admissions committee to complete the pre-college summer intensive with the purpose of fortifying each student's academic foundation to successfully complete a degree in engineering. Depending on the strengths of one's academic record (both grades and test scores) as well as one's curriculum in math, science, and/or writing, students are expected to complete the four-week online version of the pre-college summer intensive or the six-week on-site version of the program. The engineering admissions committee determines which program each student must complete as a condition of one's admission to NYU.


What are the dates for the pre-college summer intensive?

To learn the dates for the summer intensive to which you were admitted, visit the General Studies Forms page. Then, click the link labeled "Important Dates" for the summer intensive that Admissions instructed you to complete (On-site or Online). Other deadlines are listed at that link as well so check back often for updates.


If I need housing for the pre-college summer intensive, how do I go about getting it?

Go to NYU Summer Housing to start your application. Apply as an individual. When choosing a room, you must pick the "Othmer Residence" and you will be assigned to a shared room in the Othmer Residence Hall in Brooklyn. If asked, please indicate that you are with the General Studies Program. You must pay the Summer Housing deposit to secure your room so be sure to pay special attention to the deadlines.


What happens if I am academically unsuccessful in the pre-college summer intensive?

In the event that you do not successfully complete the Summer On-site or Summer Online Intensive, you will not be permitted to continue at the School of Engineering.


Are all students who are not offered admission into their selected major selected for GS?

No. You have been selected because of your previous academic record and potential for success at the School of Engineering. No more than 50 students enter the General Studies (GS) Program each year.


Is it possible for students to apply directly to the General Studies (GS) Program?

No. Students in the General Studies (GS) Program are selected by the Admissions Committee. You are one of a small group of highly qualified students selected for this program.


I would like to transfer to the School of Engineering. Am I eligible for the General Studies (GS) Program?

No. The General Studies (GS) Program is designed for students who are at the very beginning of their college careers.


If I enroll in the School of Engineering General Studies (GS) Program can I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in four years?

It is possible to do so, but you may need to take classes during the summer after your first year to graduate within a four-year time frame. The first year courses students take while in the GS Program fulfill the requirements of all majors offered at the School of Engineering. 


What if my GPA is below 2.0 at the end of my second semester of the General Studies (GS) Program?

In the event that your overall GPA falls below a 2.0 or you fail to complete at least 24 credits by the end of your second GS semester, the summer following your first year will be a probationary period during which you have a chance to meet minimum GS requirements. If you fail to earn at least a 2.0 and/or 24 credits by the end of that probationary summer, you will be dismissed from the School of Engineering. However, our rigorous initial admissions standards as well as the pro-active and structured weekly tutoring and advising sessions during your first year are designed to promote your success in pursuing your School of Engineering degree as planned.


What are the advantages and benefits of the General Studies (GS) Program?

The program promises a friendly, supportive structure that enables students to transition into a college life that is known for its rigorous academic program. The weekly advising sessions focus on developing time management skills, establishing study habits and helping students navigate the emotional hurdles that they often face when transitioning into university life. This ready-made community of students, advisors and peer-tutors feels like a home away from home, where student advocacy and support is the primary focus.


Are charges for this program greater than those for other the School of Engineering programs?

No. Although there is a charge for NYU Summer Housing, both the Summer On-site and Summer Online Intensive courses are free of charge, as are the support services (i.e., tutors and advisors).


I have AP and/or transfer credits. Can these credits be applied to the General Studies (GS) Program?

No. Although AP and/or transfer credits, if accepted by the School of Engineering, can apply toward graduation completion requirements, all credits for the General Studies (GS) Program, including any courses taken the summer after the first year, must be completed at the School of Engineering location in Brooklyn.


If I enroll in the General Studies (GS) Program am I still eligible to apply to the BS/MS program?

Yes. All students who meet the academic requirements for the School of Engineering BS/MS program may apply.


If I enroll in the General Studies (GS) Program could I declare a dual major (e.g., Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering) or declare a minor?

Yes, with permission from each respective department.


If I enroll in the General Studies (GS) Program could I transfer to the Honors Program?

No. Like GS, the Honors Program is an admissions based program, meaning that you would have to be accepted directly into it by the Admissions office.


Is it possible to change my original major after I complete the General Studies (GS) Program?

Yes; however, you will need to meet with your academic adviser prior to doing so.


If I accept admission into the General Studies (GS) Program at the School of Engineering may I later transfer into a school of NYU?

Yes; however, you must first successfully complete the GS Program. Then, you may apply to that school of NYU as an internal transfer.


What if I have more questions, whom do I contact?

You may contact Melissa Barnes, Ph.D., Director of the General Studies Program
Phone: 646.997.3882