Macaulay's Academic Program begins with our four interdisciplinary seminars in the freshman and sophomore years, and extends throughout our students' college years with upper-level courses and experiences beyond the classroom.
The Arts in New York City
Seminar 1 introduces Macaulay Scholars to the arts in New York City and the Cultural Passport. During the semester, students attend theatrical, operatic, and musical performances, exhibitions of visual art, and other highlights of the current cultural season, and help to create the annual Snapshot of New York City.
The Peopling of New York City
During Seminar 2, Macaulay Scholars investigate the role of immigration and migration in shaping New York City's identity--past, present, and future. Visits to archives, interviews, mapping and walking tours allow students to create the collaborative Neighborhood Websites, presenting their research through audio, video, photography, and hyperlinks.
In Science Forward (Seminar 3) students develop critical thinking skills, the “Science Senses,” through hands-on activities and examination of pressing contemporary issues in science and technology. All students take part in a “BioBlitz,” a 24-hour census of all organisms in a specific location, and present their research with scientific posters. Learn more about Science Forward at cuny.is/scienceforward
Shaping the Future of New York City
The purpose of Seminar 4 is to analyze the ongoing interplay of social, economic, and political forces that shape the physical form and social dynamics of New York City. Throughout the semester, students engage in a team research project, sometimes including Public Service Announcement Videos, to be presented at a model academic conference.
Macaulay's upper-level seminars encourage students to integrate course work and their own primary research, in a richly collaborative and supportive interdisciplinary setting.
Offerings vary each semester (see the Current Students pages for listings). Some recent highlights have included:
Food, Self and Society: The Pleasures and Perils of Eating
Using a sociological and anthropological lens, this course explores the ways in which the production and consumption of food shapes and is shaped by the self and the social world. Indeed, the way a society eats reveals many modern paradoxes and problems about the contemporary world.
Sexuality and American Culture
How has sexuality been shaped and reshaped as shifts occur within family, economic, and medical structures? The course examines the history of changing attitudes toward and practices of sexuality from the colonial era to the present day.
Imagining the End of the World
Apocalypse. Armageddon. Doomsday. This course examines the meaning of such terms, from ancient history to contemporary fiction, and looks at how apocalyptic narratives reinforce gender and sexual oppositions.
Religion and Public Policy
What is the proper role of religion in American public life? This course examines the place of religion in both civil society and government, drawing on history, constitutional law and the social sciences.
Becoming Equal: Women and Global Public Policy Since the 1960s
"Women's rights are human rights" is now widely understood as an appropriate construct for informing the conduct and protecting the rights of individuals. This course examines the recent history of the global movement for women's rights.
Honors in the Workplace
Macaulay Honors College students benefit from the opportunity to meet and network with New York's most dynamic firms.
Macaulay students often use their Opportunities Fund to develop customized programs that enable them to explore different professional paths, or to gain additional hands-on experience in fields they wish to pursue in graduate school or professionally after college.
Some Recent Macaulay Internships
New York Life, Home Box Office, World Bank Beijing, Teen People Magazine, Colgate Palmolive, The New York Daily News, The New York Historical Society, Beth Israel Cancer Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, The Kings County District Attorney, The Bronx Zoo, WNYC Radio, The Roundabout Theatre Company
Honors in Service
Macaulay Honors College strongly believes its Macaulay Scholars should give back to the community, city, and state. Students find that community service and civic engagement projects, often student-run and staffed, provide them with invaluable learning experiences and tremendous opportunities for leadership, personal growth, and satisfaction. All Macaulay students are required to complete ten hours of community service in each of their first three years--many students complete much more.
Recent service projects include:
- Each year, a group of Macaulay students spends their spring break in New Orleans, to help rebuilding efforts there. They have assisted in the construction of Musicians' Village, building a group of modest wood-frame buildings to house performers in the Ninth Ward. They have also helped at an animal shelter in Metarie and performed clean up and construction at a house and school in St. Bernard Parish.
- Accompanied by Macaulay staff members, another group recently traveled to Chimaltenango, Guatemala to help Habitat for Humanity build houses with local residents.
Macaulay Honors College prepares students to meet the challenges of learning and leadership in an increasingly global environment. Over 90% of Macaulay Honors College students intend to study abroad. Using their Macaulay Scholars Opportunities Fund, outside fellowships, and additional resources CUNY makes available to them, students pursue a wide range of semester and year-long study abroad programs, at universities around the globe.
Many of our students also participate in innovative service-learning and primary research projects as part of their individualized Macaulay program of study. Students might analyze marine life in the Galapagos, study drama at Trinity College of Dublin, learn Arabic at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, or study mathematics at the City University of Hong Kong. The opportunities are as diverse as Macaulay students' intellectual interests and creativity.
Some Recent Study Abroad Locations
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, China, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey
Macaulay Honors College students take advantage of New York's rich cultural and intellectual resources. A unique "Cultural Passport" gives Macaulay students free (or greatly reduced) entrance to many of New York's cultural landmarks and educational institutions, where students extend classroom learning into primary resources of every shape and kind--plays, museums, interactive exhibits, and much more.
The Cultural Passport opens minds as well as doors, helping students understand their own potential for growth and development within the context of this extraordinarily diverse and vital city.
"The arts and culture are no longer a world outside of me but are now a part of who I am."