Arts, Communications & LanguagesCenter for Global EducationClass YearFirst-yearFor CreditHow to Identify an Immersive ExperienceInternational OpportunitiesJuniorOff CampusSeniorSophomoreTheo School StudentTRECs: Global and U.S.

Semester on Contemporary Art (nycTREC)

Offered every fall semester. Classes begin in late August, end in early December and are held in New York or on campus on Wednesdays and/or Fridays

Applications are due by March 10.


Navigate New York’s art scene, intellectually and physically, negotiating subways and urban streets as you get up-close and personal with expressions of creative skill and imagination. Fuel your passion for art through one-of-a-kind discussions with painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers in their studios. Converse with critics and dealers in Chelsea galleries. Analyze works in cutting-edge museum exhibits. Stretch your legs and your mind as you traverse the city’s public art sites. By semester’s end, your artistic passport will bear stamps from up-and-coming venues and iconic art centers


Art in the 21st century. What does the New York art world teach us about the major movements and figures associated with the post-war period? How are contemporary artists expanding the definition of art? How are they changing processes and modes of making art? What are the relationships between theory and practice? What role do art critics, curators and historians play in mediating our experience of contemporary art?


You won’t just see art. You’ll live it. With each studio, gallery or museum visit, you will learn to place contemporary art in broader social, cultural and historical contexts. Hone your art history background under the gaze of a Kandinsky or Pollock. Grab a seat in a Brooklyn artist’s studio and be ready for a lively back and forth on everything from nature, to the self, from feminism to multiculturalism.


Complete an immersive experience for your Launch Plan and gain valuable transferable skills along the way. Knowing how to discuss and write confidently about art—remember, you’ll be learning from the pros—are assets in a broad array of career choices. Use the Art Semester as a springboard for a career in curation, preservation, or museum management, or graduate work in art history. Art and art history majors fulfill a major requirement with this nycTREC, but students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

Academic Program

The New York Semester on Contemporary Art is one of the highlights of Drew’s art and art history programs. While it is a mandatory course for all Drew art and art history majors, students from any background with an interest in art would appreciate this fascinating program. Students meet weekly to discuss timely issues and then journey into New York City two days a week. A thorough exploration of the art scene in New York includes viewing exhibits in Chelsea and the Lower East Side, visiting museums such as the New Museum, the Whitney, and MOMA, and personally meeting with several prominent artists in their studios. Through this intimate interaction, students can experience the center of the contemporary art world firsthand.

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