Stanford submits proposal for quarter-long program in New York City

The proposed three-year pilot project, modeled after the Bing Stanford in Washington program, combines full-time internships and academic study in the arts, architecture, design and urban studies.

Stockelement/Shutterstock New York skyline

The proposed "Stanford in New York City" program would place undergraduates in the Big Apple for a quarter of studying and working.

Stanford has submitted an application to the New York State Education Department to operate a program that would allow Stanford undergraduates to live and study in New York City for one academic quarter while serving as interns in organizations devoted to the arts, architecture, design and urban studies.

The proposed program, which combines full-time internships and academic study, is modeled on the Bing Stanford in Washington program.

Under the proposal, the new program, known as "Stanford in New York City," would be offered for the first time during fall quarter of 2015.

"New York City is widely regarded not only as our nation's greatest metropolis, but also as its artistic and cultural capital," Stanford said in its 115-page application, which will be evaluated by the Office of College and University Evaluation of the New York State Education Department.

"Stanford in New York City offers highly qualified undergraduates the unique opportunity to spend a quarter studying and working in this exciting setting. Open to all majors, but designed especially for students concentrating in urban studies, architecture, design and the arts, the program allows students to experience first-hand how urban planners and arts organizations function in a big city environment and the impact their work has on neighborhoods and communities."

The approval process for the application, which was submitted Jan. 30, could take six months, said Harry J. Elam Jr., vice provost for undergraduate education at Stanford.

"We are very excited about the possibility of having a Stanford in New York City program," Elam said. "We hope that the approval process goes smoothly and we can open the pilot program in the fall of 2015."

Under "Stanford in New York City," students would be placed in full-time, 35-hour per week internships in an art, design, urban planning or governmental organization closely aligned with their interests. They also would enroll in 15-18 hours of coursework, including an internship seminar, and two to three electives, studio courses or independent studies in art, design or urban studies.

If approved, "Stanford in New York City" will be offered fall quarter 2015-16, and fall and spring quarters in 2016-17 and 2017-18, under the three-year pilot program. Enrollment will be capped at 20 students per quarter.

Following the Bing Stanford in Washington model, Stanford would invite one faculty member to live in residence in New York City each quarter and teach two electives in his or her field. The program also will hire local experts to teach classes.

All undergraduates currently enrolled in a Stanford bachelor's degree program and in good academic standing will be eligible to apply. There will be no prerequisites.

Students would apply for the program two quarters before the term they hope to spend in New York. The application will require a transcript, resume, one letter of recommendation from a faculty member, an interview, and an essay in which students describe what they hope to get out of the program and what they hope to contribute. Optionally, students may submit a proposal for a special arts or urban studies project based in New York City.