Funded by the NYU Center for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Please note that this program has concluded. 

Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, On Being Human First-Year Seminars were pioneered by the Center’s founding Faculty Director Jane Tylus and former Dean Gabrielle Starr of the College of Arts & Science to explore how knowledge about the human condition is produced and how students can contribute to its evolving conception from different perspectives. The seminars introduce students to the building blocks of humanistic discourse, and teach them how the humanities shape critical issues in other fields such as economics, law, politics, and the natural sciences.

The Center will support faculty in developing their own versions of On Being Human by providing funding for digital tools, speaker fees, and class excursions that allow for active student participation in public initiatives at local museums, community-based arts programs, and performances.

Interested in participating?

Note: You must be signed into your NYU account.


All full-time and adjunct humanities and arts faculty who are confirmed to teach a First-Year Seminar with a humanistic focus within the College of Arts & Science at NYU are eligible.


Faculty must provide a brief written assessment of the experience within a month after the end of the semester during which the course was taught.


The total award amount is $1,000 for each course, to be used for speaker honoraria, class excursions, and digital educational tools. Faculty submit a request for funds for each case and, once approved, will receive more information on payment and reimbursement processes. A brief written report is required after the semester ends.

Questions? Email info@nyuhumanities.org.