Because of its location in the heart of New York City, NYU is anything but a traditional university.

No, there isn’t a history of weekend football games and there isn’t a walled-off campus. The city is your campus. And NYU campus traditions are as unique, diverse, and special as the city itself. This University and its communities are beyond conventional. Are you ready to become one of the bold? Check out some of the opportunities you have to do just that.

Audience watching UltraViolet Live, one of many NYU campus traditions.
Singer performing at UltraViolet Live.
A World of Talent

Every year, NYU’s most talented performers compete for a $1,000 top prize at UltraViolet Live. Singers, poets, dancers, guitarists, drummers, and pianists grace the main stage of NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City for the final round of the competition.

The competition begins with preliminary rounds held by NYU residence halls—including ones at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai—the Commuter Student Council, and the Inter-Greek Council to determine which acts will move on to Skirball. Regardless of who wins, UltraViolet Live is a chance to share your amazing talents with the NYU community—and to experience just how exceptional this community is.

Students lining up in front of a tent for the Strawberry Festival, the sweetest NYU campus tradition.
Pastries being topped off with frosting.
Too Sweet to Miss

If the thought of one of the world’s longest strawberry shortcakes makes your mouth water, then this NYU campus tradition is for you. Students, faculty, and staff flock to the Strawberry Festival street fair each year to have a look at—and of course, a taste of—this marvel of pastry engineering.

Held on NYU’s Washington Square campus, the Strawberry Festival also includes live music, carnival games, giveaways, and interactive booths. Come for the shortcake. Stay for the community. It’s a campus tradition that’s too sweet to miss.

Students on Welcome Day, which kicks off the NYU campus tradition of Welcome Week.
Students at the Ball during Welcome Week.
Welcome to NYU

Kick off your NYU experience by taking part in the excitement of Welcome Week. With more than 500 programs and events dedicated to helping you connect with and thrive within your new community, Welcome Week is your perfect introduction to life at NYU.

Each year, Welcome Week begins with Welcome Day, the largest moving day in New York City. Students begin the day by arriving on campus and settling into their dorms, and they end the day at the Ball. A multi-floor, multi-DJ event, the Ball’s theme changes every year. Past themes include Good Vibes Ball, Glo Ball, and Beach Ball. In 2019, the NYU community danced the night away at the Unforgetta-Ball Summer.

Additional Welcome Week events include NYU Portraits, The Reality Show: NYU, and marquee events such as a cappella shows, casino nights, and Drag Bingo.

Students performing a dance routine at NYU’s World Tour event.
A student visiting a club’s booth at NYU’s Club Fest event.
Become Part of the Tradition

Check out even more NYU campus traditions that will help you understand, and become part of, the University’s amazing history.

Since joining NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, Nathan has been integral in helping the university strengthen its brand and share its value with the world. He enjoys uncovering and sharing the stories that hit audiences on a deeper level and guiding partners across the university toward more engaging and informative brand and storytelling experiences. Nathan has also worked as a teacher and academic counselor. He earned a BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.