Welcome to NYU! But Wait a Semester

As members of the Class of 2023 prepare to start at NYU in the fall, some of their classmates will join them a semester later because of the university’s spring admit program.

How does NYU spring admission work? Does the admission rate include spring admits? (Staff Photo by Jorene He)

When NYU released its breakdown of the accepted Class of 2023, some students were missing from the data. Spring admits — students accepted to the university who start a semester late —  don’t receive a thick envelope in the mail and aren’t included in the acceptance rate that has dropped in recent years.

Three years ago, NYU started a program meant to give more students the opportunity to study at the university. Students who apply for fall admission but are not initially accepted are sometimes given the option to start in the following spring semester. Instead of coming to NYU, some students take classes at other colleges or work jobs as they wait to make their way to Washington Square.

LS first-year Amanda Curtis is one of those students. She applied to NYU Early Decision II but was deferred.

“After being waitlisted during Regular Decision, I reserved my spot,” Curtis said. “On May 10 [2018], I received an email that told me I was accepted to the Liberal Studies Core program in the spring.”

During the fall semester, Curtis took classes at Austin Community College in Texas. She transferred eight credits from her classes there.

NYU defers some of its early decision applicants to determine how their applications compare to students who apply through Regular Decision. Assistant Vice President of Admissions Jonathan Williams explained in an email to WSN why the university began the spring admission process three years ago. 

“Spring Admission was developed as a way to offer more opportunities for students to enter the [first-year] class,” Williams wrote. “We can accommodate them in the spring because of the number of students that take advantage of study away programs during the spring semester.”

Students admitted in the spring are required to take summer classes in order to graduate with their peers accepted in the fall. Liberal Studies; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; and the Tandon School of Engineering are the only programs that admit in the spring semester.

Like Curtis, LS first-year Christina Strippoli was accepted from last year’s waitlist. Strippoli worked at a bakery in addition to taking classes at SUNY Old Westbury as a visiting student before going to NYU. 

After coming to NYU in the spring, she said it took some adjusting to get used to the university. 

“I think NYU is a really diverse environment, but it can get a little overwhelming sometimes,” Strippoli said in a text message to WSN. “The lack of a traditional campus is something I miss, but it makes up for it with all of the different programs it offers.”

Liberal Studies had an orientation in January during which spring admits were told they would be required to take Cultural Foundations I, Social Foundations I and Writing I in the spring — classes that LS students typically take in the fall semester.

Spring admits in LS have access to advising groups, where they form connections with their academic advisor in addition to their peers. Academic advisors help students prepare for their class registration deadline in November before they arrive at NYU.

If a student wants the chance to be admitted in the spring, they must take into account that they can only choose from a select number of majors. In Steinhardt, students can choose Nutrition and Food Studies, Applied Psychology or Media, Culture and Communications as their majors.

Tandon first-year Ben Guirakhoo wanted to pursue Mechanical Engineering but was advised to major in Civil, Computer or Electrical Engineering — the only tracks available for spring admits.

Guirakhoo worked part-time at his high school during the fall. As a spring admit, he wondered if he would be able to find his community.

“I was worried, but I didn’t realize how many spring students there were,” Guirakhoo said. “Now that I’m here, I definitely feel like I have a better experience.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 15, 2019, print edition. Email Alexandria Johnson [email protected] 

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