Undergraduate January Term

Photograph of student

2021?Program Dates: January 4?- 21, 2021

NYU Shanghai offers three-week January Term (J-Term) courses in Shanghai. These courses give students the opportunity to study away in China and experience the excitement of Shanghai, one of the most dynamic cities in Asia. Students benefit from NYU’s facilities, professors, and full-time academic and student life staff. Site visits to historic sites and neighborhoods arranged by NYU Shanghai enable students to explore this city beyond the campus.?

Application is?now open! Admission will be processed on a rolling basis. Applicants may expect the admission result within 14 working days after the application is submitted.

Please note that we are not currently able to accept January term 2021 applications from non-NYU Shanghai students who would need a new student visa to enter China.

NYU Shanghai students do not need to submit an application to attend January term and only need to speak with their academic advisor for registration clearance.?

Dates ?| ?Courses ?| ?Credit ?| ?Eligibility ?| ?How to Apply ?| ?Tuition & Fees? | ?Housing?|?Financial Aid? | ?Pre-Departure Preparation? |??Request Info? ?

Program Dates

Arrivals/Check-in: January 3, 2021
Orientation: January 4, 2021
Classes begin: January 4, 2021
Classes end: January 21, 2021
Check-out/departure: January 22, 2021


Students may only take one four-credit course?during the three-week January term. All courses are taught in English.??

Calculus 1,?MATH-SHU 121 (4 credits)

Instructor:?Joseba Dalmau

Pre-requisite: Students should have taken MATH-SHU 121 or MATH-UA 121 or MATH-SHU 131 before.?

Equivalent?to MATH-UA 121 Calculus 1.?Note: This course will not be recognized as fulfilling the Calculus prerequisites of higher-level?MATH-SHU?courses. Students pursuing the following majors will therefore not be able to use this?MATH-SHU?121 to fulfill major requirements: Economics, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Data Science, Computer Science, Engineering.

This course presents the foundations of calculus for functions of a single variable. Topics addressed include limits, continuity, rules of differentiation,?antiderivatives, definite integrals and the fundamental theorem of calculus.

Format: In-person and Virtual (but classes must be attended synchronously)?

Course schedule:?Monday to Friday, 09:00am -- 12:00pm?(Lecture),?12:00pm -- 01:00pm?(Recitation)?(No recitation on January 4, 15, and 22)

Bio - Inspired Robot Systems,?INTM-SHU?282 (4 credits)


Fulfills?the Experimental Discovery Core Curriculum requirement.

How do complex systems work? Can nature help us understand them? In order to explore answers to these questions, we will run a series of experiments that will serve as an introduction to swarm robotics, machine learning and bionics. The purpose of this course is to see natural phenomena under the light of new technology. By creating basic individual behaviors, we will analyze intricate collective ones.

We will first build and program simple mobile robots that replicate responses from living organisms. Focusing on the way that sensors and motors are used, we will study the interaction with the environment. During the second part of the course, we will work with radio links between robots and feedback from JavaScript libraries running remotely. This will allow us to model and study their communications and collective behaviors.

As final project, participants are expected to build a system as the result of a short research of their own interest. This introductory course does not require previous knowledge of electronics or programming.

Format: In-person

Course schedule:?Monday to Friday, 01:00pm -- 04:00pm

Hong Kong Cinema,?GCHN-SHU?205 (4 credits)


Fulfills: Core Curriculum Humanistic Perspectives on China; Global China Studies major elective category “Chinese Media, Arts, and Literature”; Humanities Major Topics course or Advanced course

Prerequisite: Global Perspectives on Society?(GPS)

This course introduces students to the distinctive cinema of Hong Kong (HK). We will focus on the years between 1967 and 1997, when HK rose from regional to international prominence, then declined. We will approach HK cinema from four perspectives: geopolitical history, film genre, directorial style, and the economics of the film industry. Students will learn to see these perspectives not as mutually exclusive but as complementary, for we can best understand a film by thinking about it from multiple angles. Students will write two essays, the first analyzing a film made before 1980, and the second analyzing one made between 1980 and 2000. Each student will twice lead discussion of readings from the syllabus. In a small group project, students will do research on a topic relevant to the course, make a bibliography of their findings, and then present those findings to the class.

Format: In-person

Course schedule:?Monday to Friday, 09:00am?-- 12:00pm?(Lecture),? 01:00m?-- 03:00pm?(Screening)

Moving Images I,?ART-SHU?306 (4 credits)

Instructor:?Alice Wang

Fulfills:?IMA and IMB Major Elective

Moving Images I is a praxis course that provides students with an introduction to time-based practices in the discipline of Visual Art and Film. The focus of the class is on the exploration of experimental film and video art in the context of museums, galleries, and art fairs, as well as independent film houses and film festivals. Students will experiment with essayist, abstract, and narrative and non-narrative moving image practices in both single-channel and multi-channel formats, and learn to shoot and edit moving image works using professional equipment and software. In the studio, students are required to critique the work of their peers, their own work, and work sourced from current contemporary art exhibitions and film screenings. Outside the studio, students will examine major historical movements in contemporary moving image practices. Works of practicing artists are examined to provide the framework and vocabulary to articulate the students’ own moving image investigations. Students are expected to do about 6-8 hours of course work per week outside of class. Note that attendance in the first class meeting is mandatory, otherwise you will be dropped from the course.

Format: In-person

Course schedule:?Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 01:00pm?-- 06:00pm

Sustainable?Business Practices and Development Economics,?ECON-SHU?151 (4 credits)

Instructor:?Rodrigo Zeidan

For NYU Shanghai students, fulfills Economics Major Elective and Non-Finance/Non-Marketing Elective and Economics Elective

Prerequisite:?ECON-SHU 1 Principles of Macroeconomics or ECON-SHU 3 Microeconomics

The course is structured to provide students with a series of coherent modules. The first module introduces concepts in sustainable development
economics and complexity theory. The main idea is to incorporate novel ideas into more traditional growth theories. We use a broader perspective on development, using concepts from complexity theory and other disciplines to provide a solid theoretical framework. Students are expected to tackle sophisticated theoretical papers in this module. The second module explores the role of companies in promoting sustainable ideas by transforming the?socioeconomical?environment, analyzing the possibility that private firms can be promoters of change by changing internal management practices. We use a Business as Usual to a Future Sustainable Business framework as sketched below and explore the role of firms in changing the international business context - one of the case studies for this module explores changes in a multinational bank that introduced a credit score system based on sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Format: In-person

Course schedule:?Monday to Friday, 01:00pm?-- 04:00pm

Topics in Humanities: History Makers in the U.S. and China You Probably Never Heard of,?HUMN-SHU 200?(4 credits)

Instructor:?Brett Goodin & Fang He

In this course we will explore the significance of ordinary and underappreciated individuals in major movements, developments, and events in United States and Chinese history. The assigned readings focus upon American, Chinese, and Chinese American individuals, moving back and forth across the Pacific and beyond.

At the end of the course you will have completed a 1300-word (minimum) research essay, or an essay that synthesizes and reflects upon several of the assigned readings and explains the strengths and weaknesses of the texts and identifies opportunities for new scholarship. Along the way you will also present an analysis to your classmates of two primary sources that you will use in your essay, and provide constructive criticism on your fellow students’ Draft essays.

When we think of people who “make” history, we usually think about the high and the mighty, important political officials or intellectuals, prominent military or diplomatic leaders. But when we look at the past, the great changes that take place are often made possible by men and women who are not rich and famous, who don’t occupy places of power – who in fact come from humble roots, from minority populations, who struggle for influence, and who were vital to helping create the world that elites envisioned, or fought for another vision entirely, or helped reshape the globe by merely pursuing their own self-interest. This course will explore some of these history makers, few of whom you’ve probably ever heard of, from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. Each day we will focus on one or more history makers. We will read about them, read their texts, and learn about the role they played in history as well as the legacies they may leave for us. The history of the individual in the US, and of Americans in China, and of Chinese in America, will hopefully look different by the end of the semester.

In this course you will critically analyze both primary and secondary sources of biographical writing and social history. You will study the genres, purposes of biographies, and how we should understand them. We will explore themes of national identity, race, diplomacy, gender, slavery, and sexuality, and you will explore how these concepts and approaches have been articulated differently by historical actors and historians writing for different purposes and audiences.

Format: In-person

Course schedule:?Monday to Friday, 01:00pm?-- 04:00pm


Academic credit for the NYU Shanghai J-Term program is treated like any other credit awarded for coursework at NYU. The NYU Shanghai J-Term courses will be recorded on the student’s NYU transcript, and the final grades from such courses will be calculated into a student’s NYU grade point average (GPA). It is your responsibility to work with your home school academic advisor and major department to determine whether and how a course might count towards your degree requirements.


Undergraduate students from NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and visiting students from other US accredited institutions who do not need a visa to enter China are welcome to apply. Students must have completed at least two semesters at an undergraduate institution to be eligible to apply.? An integrated review of an applicant's academic background and University record is required to confirm admission. Students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above are encouraged to apply.?Students with lower GPAs are encouraged to provide information on their academic goals in their personal statement.?

Please note that due to travel restrictions, we are not currently able to accept January term 2021 applications from non-NYU Shanghai students who need a visa to enter China.

How to Apply?

Application for January Term 2021 will open in September 2020.

NYU Shanghai degree students do not need to?fill out an application and can simply contact their academic advisor for assistance in registration.?

NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and Visiting Students from other institutions who would not need a visa to enter China must apply following the instructions below. After successfully being admitted to the program, NYU Shanghai will provide instructions on how to register for a course.

NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi?students: Log in with your NYU net ID and password on the?NYU January Application portal.?

Visiting Students: Create an account and login on the?Visiting Student Application portal. Visiting students must also submit their official transcript.

Application Deadline and Notification Timeline?

The application deadline has been extended. Admission will be processed on a rolling basis. Applicants may expect the admission result within 14 working days after the application is submitted.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? $ 6,148.00
Administrative Fee? ? ? ? ? ?? ?$ 150.00?
Housing Fee (Optional)? ? ??$ 1,005.00?
?(NYU Shanghai students who are already living in the dorms throughout the 2020-21?academic year will not be charged.)
Books ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Course-specific

?All books and course materials will be provided to you upon arrival in Shanghai.?Fees will be charged based on requirements of the specific course.

Students are responsible for round trip airfare, meals, and personal expenses. Immigration costs vary greatly depending on student citizenship.?

For information about billing, payments, and refunds please visit the Bursar's website.?


Admitted J-term 2021 students are not required to live in university housing. If you are interested in on-campus housing, application instructions will be sent to you if admitted. Please note?on-campus housing will be provided based on availability. If we are at our full capacity, you will be accommodated to a hotel with a different housing fee.

NYU Shanghai students who are already living in the dorms throughout the 2020-21?academic year will not be charged for J-term 2021 housing.

Financial Aid for January Term (J-term):

There is no institutional scholarship/grant available for NYU Shanghai undergraduates enrolling in January term either in Shanghai or at an NYU Study Away site.

Visiting Students (non NYU students) and NYU students from the New York campus, please visit see here?for additional information regarding financial aid options for January term.

For US citizens/eligible non-citizens: ?Federal Direct Loans and Pell grants?are available for J-term enrollment. Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan eligibility are based on the combined total number of credits between the J-term and the Spring term. For Federal Direct Loans, students must be enrolled at least half time, which is at least 6 credits or have an approved equivalency, between the J-term and Spring Term. For Pell Grants, eligibility is based on a student's FAFSA EFC (Expected Financial Contribution) and enrollment as either a full-time or part-time student.?

Students will be reviewed for federal financial aid as long as they have a valid FAFSA on file, are enrolled for an appropriate amount of credits, and are otherwise eligible.

For all Students: Students needing additional financial aid for January Term will be able to seek out alternative loans. Students seeking alternative loans are encouraged to relay to their potential lender the number of credits they will be taking, as some have minimum enrollment criteria. Private loan eligibility cannot exceed the cost of attendance for January term. NYU cannot recommend or endorse any particular private lender. Students are encouraged to research their options carefully.

Please click here?for more information about private (non-federal) alternative loans.

Students who change January Term enrollment or who do not attend in January will have their January award adjusted or canceled.

Pre-Departure Preparation

Admitted students will be sent information pertaining to program preparation. NYU Shanghai will host?pre-departure orientations for students who will join the January term program. More information about this session will be sent out to admitted students in November.?

Contact Us

Please contact?shanghai.january@nyu.edu?with any questions.