Undergraduate courses in Art & Public Policy expose young Tisch artists to the dynamic world of arts activism, helping them map their own landscape of creative practice outside the traditional art world.

Students will rethink and reimagine what the future of the arts and activism might be. Drawing on their background as writers, performers, filmmakers and photographers, students will engage across disciplines and take a collaborative approach to creative production.

Courses are designed to fulfill General Education requirements for Tisch undergraduates in all disciplines. Certain courses are offered on a rotating basis and may be open to graduate students as well.


The Department of Art and Public Policy recognizes that young artists and scholars need  opportunities to incubate their ideas outside the safe haven of the academy, in dialectic with real world problems. The Department offers courses that investigate the social, ethical, and political realities that affect artists’ ability to make and distribute their work, while looking at how art and its production can affect all aspects of life.

Undergraduate students who wish to delve deeper into these issues may consider declaring a minor in Art and Public Policy. The minor allows students to customize a suite of four courses (beyond the two taken by all Tisch freshmen through the core curriculum) that offer a window into the world through art, deepening an understanding of the role of art in social struggles. Students may include one thematically linked course from outside Art and Public Policy with permission of Department Chair, Professor Kathy Engel..

Students can exercise considerable flexibility in crafting a course of study that best reflects their own pursuit of how art links to the world and what social knowledge is embodied in the arts. Some of the courses like Urban Ensemble are offered on a recurrent basis. Other courses provide unique opportunities to study with visiting faculty. Students will be able to take advantage of both kinds of opportunity.

To apply for the minor, Tisch students must fill out a declaration form available from Tisch Student Affairs at 726 Broadway, 2nd floor, and then bring it to the Department of Art and Public Policy’s Administrator, Emily Brown, at 665 Broadway on the 6th floor, Tisch School of the Arts. Emily can be reached at 212-992-8248 or by email at emily.brown@nyu.edu. Completion of requirements will be verified by the Department, and the student and the Office of Student Affairs will be notified so that the minor can be reflected on the student’s transcript. Non- Tisch students should fill out a cross-school minor form via Albert.


Art in the World (Fall)

The World through Art (Spring)

The Tisch School of the Arts Core Curriculum began in the Fall of 2001 and was developed for all incoming undergraduate students as a way for students to have a common experience and to integrate students' various professional interests. The courses mix different artistic media, and combine practical and theoretical approaches to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the work that art can do in the world.

The Core Curriculum is required of all Freshmen and fulfills their Expository Writing requirement (transfer students will be evaluated as to whether or not they have previously fulfilled their writing requirement upon receipt of their final transcript). The Core Curriculum consists of two courses - Art in the World offered in the Fall semester and The World Through Art offered in the Spring semester. All incoming Freshmen must take both semesters. Each course consists of a plenary lecture given by a Tisch Senior Faculty member that meets once a week and a workshop that meets twice a week for both Fall (Writing the Essay) and Spring (Writing the World) semesters. These writing courses are intensive, interdisciplinary and collaborative. Lectures and workshops focus on how to read complex texts for an understanding of their arguments, and how to write well-reasoned essays supported by evidence. These courses are designed to foster an appreciation of how arts relate to each other and to society in a changing world. These courses will allow students to reflect on a range of social and ethical issues as they pertain to their own creativity.