Students entering Yeshiva College in September will benefit from an exciting new curriculum that is six years in the making. Yeshiva College’s course offerings have changed and evolved over the years, of course, but this new educational program marks Yeshiva College’s first complete curriculum overhaul since 1928.
Naturally, incoming students have questions. Most of the students about to attend classes for the first time on the Wilf Campus in New York are currently studying in Israel or have recently returned from yeshivot there. They have received the following letter to answer their questions and allay possible concerns:
This is an exciting time, as registration approaches and you begin to plan for the years you will be on our New York campus, building a solid springboard from which to launch your professional careers and life pursuits.
This new curriculum was designed especially for you, our students, with the sole purpose of giving you the best possible education to prepare you for success and entry into top career positions and graduate schools.
Many of you, however, may have questions or concerns about the new curriculum and how it affects you. Below you can find what will and will not change with the new curriculum, along with frequently asked questions. There is also a dedicated email address ‐ firstname.lastname@example.org, and we encourage you to email us there so we can quickly answer your specific issues.
What will not change:
- Under this new curriculum, you will not have to stay in Yeshiva College any longer than you would have before.
- Your AP credits will still be counted for credit (see specific questions below).
- You will continue to gain from our dual curriculum exposing you to the best of Torah U’madda.
What will change:
- The new core requirements will be fewer classes and credits, giving you more time to focus on your academic discipline and on the general elective courses that you need above the 32 Israel credits.
- Yeshiva College’s grid schedule has been streamlined, with slots for academic Jewish Studies before 3 p.m. and different times for core requirements and major studies, making it easier for you to create a balanced schedule.
- You, along with your peers, will get more exposure to all of the disciplines and fields essential to a college education and beyond.
- You will be taking courses designed to best introduce you to multiple ways of thinking and problem solving
- For pre‐med students, the new curriculum will be excellent preparation for the newly modified MCAT examination, giving you the solid background in Human Behavior you need to excel.
Questions and Concerns about the New Curriculum
1. Why the change?
This new curriculum is the result of nearly six years of work by our faculty and administration in consultation with students, parents, and everyone in the Yeshiva University community. Our new curriculum is designed for the 21st century to better prepare you to choose a major, embark on a career, and to focus on more successful placement in graduate schools and in the corporate/ business world.
2. Can I graduate from YC in six semesters?
Yes, absolutely. Please see the attached case studies to see several examples of how students can graduate in six semesters, even without AP credits or summer courses.
3. What are the new core courses? How are they different from the current general education requirements?
The new core courses are specially designed inter‐disciplinary courses in eight categories: First Year Writing; First Year Seminar; Interpreting the Creative; Contemporary World Cultures; Cultures Over Time; The Natural World; Experimental and Quantitative Methods; and Human Behavior. Every YC student will choose one of five/six offered course from each category, with the exception of science students who may be exempted from the Experimental and Quantitative Methods core category. These new core requirements are different from the old general education requirements in that:
- There are fewer of them (from 14 to 8 courses); the new curriculum’s eight courses streamline the general education requirements.
- They are inter‐disciplinary, introducing you to current topics and problems exciting and relevant to multiple fields rather than immediately launching you into one particular subject area.
- They will help you make an educated choice in selecting a major that best fits your interests and life pursuits, by exposing you to many different academic fields in your first two or three semesters.
- They will expose you to disciplines related to your major; whereas currently a physics major can graduate without any chemistry or biology courses, the new curriculum will prepare you for the twenty‐first century interfacing of disciplines.
4. Do I get credit for my AP courses?
Yes! As before, a grade of five on an AP examination will give you college credit, and the numbers of credits will not change either. Remember, the 128 total credits required to graduate is a minimum; there is no penalty for getting more credits.
A. Do AP credits count towards my major?
Yes, absolutely. Your AP credits will allow you to move on to more advanced courses in your major, since you have fulfilled introductory requirements. Therefore you will be able to satisfy major requirements more quickly.
B. Do AP credits count in ways other than toward my major?
Yes, of course. You will receive credit, and this credit can be directed toward an academic credit in forming a minor or will exempt you from some of the general elective courses. As stated, there is no upper limit on received credits, and you certainly will not be penalized for working hard in high school.
C. Do AP credits count towards the core requirements?
No. The core requirements, as outlined above, are unique to Yeshiva College and incorporate multiple fields of study, an educational innovation not currently addressed in any Advanced Placement course or examination. Remember, however, that there are fewer general education requirements as a result, and your AP credits will still count toward general elective courses. These credits will count toward the 96 credits you need after 32 credits from your studies in Israel.
5. What about academic Jewish Studies?
The new core requirements do not affect the Jewish Studies courses you will fulfill as part of Yeshiva College – you will still take two Hebrew, two Jewish History, and four Bible/Tanakh courses. However, as a result of the streamlined schedule discussed above, you will now be able to take Hebrew and Bible before 3 P.M. and there will be more integration between those areas and your morning program, making it easier for you to construct your schedule flexibly.
Once again, if you have any questions please feel free to email us at email@example.com. Kol tuv and we look forward to seeing you on campus.
Barry L. Eichler
Professor of Bible and Cuneiform Studies
Dean, Yeshiva College
Rabbi Kenneth Brander
The David Mitzner Dean, YU Center for the Jewish Future
Special Assistant to the President for Undergraduate Admissions