With the headlines changing constantly, you might be wondering what you can expect when you arrive at NYU this September. While the 2021 fall semester may be a little different, safety, academic exploration, community building, and social activities are just as important—and possible—as ever.

A bridge in New York City.
NYU’s New Normal

This year, back to school means a return to in-person classes. But while we can’t wait to gather, the NYU community’s safety is still our number one priority. With new COVID-19 variants and rising cases, that means universal masking and mandatory vaccines for all students, staff, and faculty. For international students, who may not be able to make it back to campus by September, we’re offering virtual options so you can continue your studies.

With a blend of virtual and in-person events, you can expect a warm reception with NYU Welcome 2021, which kicks off with NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s Presidential Welcome. Last year, Welcome Week lasted for a full month and included student favorites like The Reality Show: NYU, a student-produced musical exploring all things NYU, and Club Fest, an introduction to NYU’s more than 300 student clubs. Additionally, you can check out themed affinity spaces, take workshops on the NYU experience, and attend school-specific orientations. And did we mention Drag Bingo and Bob Ross paint night? There’s definitely something for everyone.

And as the world opens up, we expect to resume most NYU study away programs this fall. We’re also continuing to offer our Go Local option for students who are unable to travel this semester. This unique program allows students to take classes at the NYU campus or location closest to wherever they call home.

Students sitting outside wearing masks in 2021.
Applicant Updates

First things first, NYU will continue to be test-optional for the 2021–2022 application cycle. While we’ve always had a flexible testing policy, we recognize the challenges of the past 18 months. What’s more, we believe no one should have to choose between safety and their education. That being said, if you’re proud of your test score, you’re welcome to submit it—just know that it’s no longer required for admission. If you’re ready to apply, you can read all about the NYU application process here.

And while our Bonomi Admissions Center remains closed to walk-in visitors, you can still sign up to take a guided tour of our NYC campus or register for one of the many NYU Admissions events taking place this fall.

NYU’s flag.
Here’s to the Future

The past 18 months have left an indelible mark. And while many of the lessons learned have been painful, some will serve us well going forward. We’ve realized the power of our voices to effect change and the power of technology to connect us. Furthermore, we learned how quickly we can adapt and overcome. And we’re determined to use all these lessons to enhance the NYU experience in 2021 and beyond.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of advancing inclusion and accessibility. Accordingly, we’ll continue to offer remote classes and tailored remote learning support for anyone who can’t return to campus or doesn’t feel comfortable doing so. Additionally, while NYU has always had a diverse faculty, staff, and student body, recent events have led our community to demand more. Going forward, we’ll build on these lessons to strengthen our culture of diversity and equity in learning. So, while the return to campus might be a bit different this year, many of the changes are for the better. We can’t wait to see you there!