Student standing outside of a building with the NYU Tandon sign visible.

Congratulations on your acceptance to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering! It’s truly a big accomplishment. When I was admitted to NYU, I was beyond excited! 

However, I was also nervous about everything from making friends and navigating the city to excelling in my classes. Looking back I realize everything comes with time and I didn’t need to stress. So to help you transition to college life, I’ve compiled a list of advice I wish I knew before coming to Tandon.

Don’t Overthink Choosing Your Major

As high school seniors deciding your entire academic path, you might be worried your major isn’t the best fit. And, I’m here to tell you, that’s totally okay! At Tandon, it is super easy to switch majors within the school. In fact, everyone takes the same core classes their first year with the exception of one to two major-related classes. If you decide to switch majors, you don’t have to worry about falling behind. 

Tandon first-year students are required to take Introduction to Engineering and Design. This class was actually one of my favorite classes because it goes over all the engineering disciplines and what each of them entails. You also have corresponding labs to help you see if certain majors are a good fit for you. Pay attention in this class! You may get interested in a completely different major or become even more interested in your current major.

Take Advantage of Tutoring

Free tutoring services are available to all NYU undergraduate students. They’re extremely helpful and an underrated resource. Here are some of the different types of tutoring services:

Writing Center
The NYU Expository Writing Program offers this program. You’ll work closely with a faculty consultant, graduate student consultant, or undergraduate peer tutor on your writing. They can help with any piece of writing, wherever you are in the writing process. Keep in mind, however, you do need to make an appointment!

Brooklyn Math Tutoring Center
The NYU Tandon Math Department offers this program where tutors answer questions or help with homework problems. What’s more? You can utilize drop-in tutoring and no appointment is necessary.

Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC)
You also don’t need an appointment for tutoring services here! Tutors can help with a wide range of subjects taught at NYU Tandon. There are even study spaces within the center for you to study on your own. Furthermore, PTC offers mock exam and review sessions too!

Research as a First Year
Students working on an indoor vertical farming project.

NYU is amazing because students can conduct hands-on research in their first year! Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs) are unique research opportunities at Tandon. They are long term, large scale projects where students gain experience while making a real-world impact. There are so many VIPs available to choose! Definitely do your research and see which interest you. 

Think you might be interested in researching during your first semester? Pay attention to your emails in the first few weeks of school! That’s when recruitment starts for research projects. You don’t need any experience and can even get credit!

Use the Shuttle and Safe Ride
NYU shuttle bus parked on a city street.

NYU provides a free shuttle service for students with multiple routes throughout Manhattan as well as a route that goes between the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses. If you’re based at Tandon in Brooklyn, Route A will likely be your most-traveled route. The shuttle service is a great way to get between campuses. Personally, I use it all the time! It’s super convenient and runs about every 15–20 minutes between 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

After the above hours, there are no-cost rides provided for students to get between NYU campus locations. It is super easy and convenient. You can get rides through the NYU Safe Ride app. 

Explore the Libraries
The exterior of the Bern Dibner Library
Dibner Library

At Tandon, the Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology is our main library. There are so many resources offered here!

Within the library we have plenty of study spaces. Whether you like to study quietly or collaboratively, there are reservable study spaces for both individuals and groups. These rooms are especially handy when preparing for exams.

There is also a computer lab available to all students and equipped with specialized engineering software. If you need to use a specific software for class, this is a perfect place!

The last resource I would highly recommend is the library’s service desk. The staff are friendly and always willing to help students. Whether you need to check out a textbook or borrow a laptop or equipment, this is the spot to go. 

Enjoy Your Time!

I know you might be going through a rollercoaster of emotions, but I assure you that everything will be okay. It’s natural to worry about the future and what it will entail! But trust me when I tell you, you’ve got this. Going to college in New York City is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just make the most of out it when you are here!

One more thing: enjoy your last few months at home! These last months will be bittersweet, so spend time with your friends and family. See you on campus soon.

Hello! I’m Jennifer, and I’m a student at the Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn. I’m currently studying Computer Engineering. I was born and raised in South Jersey, and I’m also a first-generation Vietnamese-American. I’m a huge foodie, so I love to explore the city in search of the most unique and tasty food New York City has to offer!