Yale-NUS College is a dynamic start-up in the world of higher education. Its faculty is currently engaged in the exciting process of devising a fresh curriculum that draws on the best from the tradition of liberal arts education, while rethinking old practices in light of pedagogical innovations, advanced learning technologies, and the needs of 21st century students.
We have completed the first phase of designing the majors, and the descriptions below represent current thinking about their content, structure, and intellectual flavor. Undoubtedly, however, details about the majors will continue to evolve, with input from students as well as faculty. Students who enter the College will therefore be more than recipients of an education; they will be crucial participants in the development of a new style of liberal arts education for a rapidly changing world.
Each major provides systematic training in a specific academic discipline or interdisciplinary area. The majors are designed to give students ample scope and flexibility to explore their interest in a chosen area of knowledge, while providing direction and depth to their studies.
Every student’s selection and planning of a major will be guided by close personalized interaction with faculty advisors at Yale-NUS. In designing the majors and helping each student map a path through them, faculty members consider not only the merits of each course on its own, but also the way in which the courses work together to build a coherent set of insights, skills, and knowledge for each student.
Each major builds on a foundation provided by the Common Curriculum, and requires a total of 10 courses in addition to the Common Curriculum. The fourth year capstone project counts for two of those 10 courses. Most majors also require at least one gateway course, to be completed before the beginning of the student’s third year at Yale-NUS.
The majors to be offered at Yale-NUS College includes:
- Arts & Humanities
- Environmental Studies
- Global Affairs
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical and Computational Sciences
- Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
- Physical Sciences
- Urban Studies
Each major is broadly conceived. Thus, Physical Sciences includes Physics, Astronomy, aspects of Chemistry, and Geology. Global Affairs includes aspects of Political Science, Sociology, History, International Relations, and Ethnicity, Race & Migration. Likewise, the Arts & Humanities major will be broadly conceived to include Art History, Music, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Film and Media Studies, and other humanistic fields.
Every student at Yale-NUS will complete a capstone project as part of his or her major, a year-long supervised endeavor that will develop initiative and independence in research. Students will present the results of their work at the end of the fourth year in presentations to audiences of their peers in the field as well as to faculty and students in other disciplines. Each major will have its own support network for students engaged in capstone projects, including faculty-led seminars for sharing work-in-progress, laboratory and studio spaces, as well as resources for improving the quality of the oral, visual, and written presentation of ongoing research. Graduating students will enjoy the self-confidence and initiative that comes from having successfully conducted a sustained and independent research inquiry.