History and Culture

  • Explores Varying Interpretations of Historic Events
  • Identifies Patterns and Trends
  • Provides Lively Discussion and Debate

To understand the present, we first must know the past. These courses focus on the origins of civilization, explore the causes and effects of world events, and debate conflicting interpretations of past events. From the world stage to New York City’s five boroughs, examine how history impacts our lives today.

This semester, study in-person or from anywhere in the world from the safety and comfort of your home through online or remote instruction.

Master Class: The Evolution of American Free Speech

Explore the key free speech debates that have demarcated the boundaries of what can—and cannot—be said in the United States.

2023 Spring
1 section

Traveling the Silk Road: The Evolution of China and What It Means for the United States

Learn the postwar history of China from the perspective of political, diplomatic, and economic history.

2023 Spring
1 section

The Glorious Country Houses and Palaces of Scotland

Discover the many impressive houses and palaces of Scotland that have played a significant role in history and popular culture.

2023 Spring
1 section

The Next New York City

Explore New York City’s role as a “World City” and how it will change in the future.

2023 Spring
2 sections

US Foreign Relations: 1600s to 1970s

Trace the development of the United States as a superpower, from the 19th century to the Vietnam War.

2023 Spring
1 section

Vietnam and the Road to Watergate: Lessons from the Johnson and Nixon Tapes

Gain new insights into the Vietnam War and Watergate by examining recorded conversations.

2023 Spring
1 section

America in the World: Dilemmas of Democracy at Home and Abroad

Explore how studying other democracies can shed light on the troubled present—and possible future—of American politics and government.

2023 Spring
1 section

New York City: From "Mannahatta" Through the Gilded Age

Study New York City’s history, from the earliest European encounters with Native Algonquian peoples to the Gilded Age.

2023 Spring
1 section

Exploring the Two CRTs: Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Understand what CRT really means and explore the debate around Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching.

2023 Spring
1 section

Aztec Culture and the Spanish Invasion of Mexico

In this course, we will explore the rich culture and history of Aztec civilization through the period of Spanish invasion and colonization. The...

Italian I

This course focuses on the pronunciation, vocabulary, useful expressions, and grammatical structures that allow for effective communication in...

Symphonies in Stone: The Medieval Cathedrals of England and Scotland

Follow the path from England’s awe-inspiring Canterbury Cathedral to the dramatic ruins of St. Andrew’s, overlooking the North Sea...

The Changing City: From Midtown to the Upper East and West Sides

In four illustrated lectures, see how New York City neighborhoods change with the times, and how the look of the City itself changes.

The Nixon Presidency

Richard Nixon emerged victorious in the turbulent election of 1968 after serving as Vice-President throughout most of the 1950s and nearly...

An Introduction to Intersectionality: Positioning and Situating Identities

Learn how our different identities relate to social norms and how we can become better allies for every member of our society.

Becoming a Better Ally: How to Collaborate with Marginalized Groups

Learn to develop meaningful relationships with allies in order to be an effective...

Central Europe 1848-1948: From Empires and Revolutions to the Dawn of the Cold War

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. This course will analyze the geopolitical...

Georgian England: Cities of Elegance and Art

Explore England’s historic cities and discover the splendors of the Georgian era.


Inspired by Real Life: Reading and Writing Exofiction in French

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. Explore French exofiction—a new literary...

International Relations

Gain an in-depth understanding of the post-Cold War world order and the Cold War’s impact on current geopolitical and economic landscapes.

Preserving Historic Neighborhoods

Gain a community-based view of how neighborhoods use the New York City Landmarks Law to determine the future of their communities.

The Supreme Court and Issues of Church and State

Explore the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s decisions about religion in recent years.

The United States Supreme Court in the 21st Century

Explore the United States Supreme Court’s major decisions during the last 20 years.

Understanding Race in a Global Context

Learn to understand and discuss race in a global context.

Antique Skyscrapers and the Tycoons Who Built Them

Tour landmark skyscrapers across America and learn about the Gilded Age barons who funded their construction.

Microaggressions and Racial Stress: Reducing Harmful Interactions

Learn to identify and reduce microaggressions and to communicate effectively with people of color.

Racial and Social Justice Offline and Online

Learn how to conduct successful social and racial justice campaigns.

Spies at War: Fact vs. Fiction

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. World War II was a critical challenge...

The US-Latin America Relationship: Past, Present, and Future

The United States’ relationship with Latin America has been and continues to be one of the most important and controversial relationships...

Digital Identities: From Social Networks to Deepfakes

Explore how digital identities are created and manipulated.

The Battle Against Online Misinformation

Learn how to identify and combat fake news and misinformation campaigns on the internet