Eugene Lang Essay

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!

School Spotlight: Eugene Lang College – The New School
New York, NY

In the heart of Manhattan, Eugene Lang College is a bastion of progressive, liberal arts education. Lang, one of the five colleges that comprise The New School, features select majors in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, such as culture & media, interdisciplinary science, and screen studies. For students who are eager to study both the liberal arts and a studio art or music program, Lang’s five-year dual degree programs with the Parsons School of Design or the School of Jazz are ideal.  All departments focus on an interdisciplinary approach to learning, and they are equally thoughtful about finding ways to incorporate New York City into day-to-day activities. Lang’s Greenwich Village campus is the perfect setting for its 1,500 students, where it’s easy to take advantage of the city’s many dance, film, music, theatre, and service opportunities. Seminar-style discussion-based classes are the norm here, making it easy to get to know both your classmates and professors. Although being educated at Lang is all about pushing boundaries, the College still offers a wide range of traditional campus activities, including a student newspaper, debate team, and intramural sports.

Image credit: Top, courtesy of Eugene Lang College – The New School

The New School is not for everyone, but it's incredible for those who prefer a non-traditional urban college. I specifically attend Eugene Lang School for Liberal Arts. Academically, I love the school. There are very few required courses and for the requirements that you do have to fulfill, you typically can still choose from about 10+ difference courses to meet those requirements. Students are given a great autonomy for choosing courses and there is an option to design an individualized major (which is what I am doing). Course topics are very interesting and specific. Most classes are small, seminar-style courses. The teacher sits at the table with the class and they are heavily based on discussion. Despite their larger size, lecture courses are also heavy in discussion. Most first year students would agree that the difficulty of the coursework is equivalent to that of an AP course in high school, or possibly even a regular high school course depending on the class and professor. Most coursework is reading and writing intensive. As a liberal arts school, there are little to no exams given and a lack of emphasis on STEM subjects. All of the teachers that I have had are extremely engaging, as well as passionate, knowledgable, and accomplished. They genuinely care about their students and make class as interesting as possible. An aspect of academics that a lot of students (including myself) have trouble with is the feeling that there are not enough practical courses. For example, although the courses are interesting, they mostly discuss theories and society, rather than teaching skills. For this reason it at times feels like students are wasting money on tuition. The New School is not for everyone but for this who seek curricular autonomy and interesting, discussion-based courses, it is an excellent choice.

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