Our innovative academic program encourages out-of-the-box thinking and the love of learning for a lifetime. New College graduates are prepared for the ever-changing 21st-century global workplace and the academic rigor of graduate and professional schools.
Students complete seven contracts prior to graduation in lieu of credit hours. With your faculty adviser, you create a written agreement each semester and set criteria for measuring your success. Each contract usually includes three to five academic activities (courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects) that will develop your personal educational goals. You also meet regularly with your faculty adviser to discuss your progress — not just once or twice in four years as happens at many colleges.
Narrative Evaluations Go Beyond Letter Grades
Professors provide narrative evaluations instead of grades for each course or project you complete. Detailed feedback on your progress — as well as suggestions for improvement and further study — are much more valuable than a mere letter grade. Through this process, faculty get to know you very well and are able to provide you with useful, informative feedback on your studies. Faculty can really look at your work holistically, rather than assigning an arbitrary grade that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Does the absence of grades impede entry to graduate school or your ability to get a job? Not at all! Narrative evaluations actually allow faculty to write strong, detailed recommendation letters for graduate school applications, scholarships and employment. About 80 percent of New College alumni go on to graduate school within six years of graduating.
Narrative evaluations promote a true learning environment with no fretting about your GPA and how you rank against your peers. Instead, you focus on the ways you can improve and develop the knowledge, experience, and critical and analytic thinking skills needed in the real world.
Provost Suzanne Sherman explains how narrative evaluations go beyond grades by providing detailed feedback on a student’s progress toward academic goals.
A cornerstone of the New College experience is your ability to work with faculty to design your own independent study and conduct hands-on research. During the four-week Interterm each January, you work one-on-one with your professor or in a small group on a research project, lab experiment or scholarly paper.
Or, you can use this time to study abroad — from Antarctica to the Amazon — take part in an off-campus internship or even put together your own art exhibit or performance.
The ISP Handbook and the workshop held in November of each year provide guidance to students as to the types of ISPs that faculty encourage. Projects may be carefully defined at the beginning or left open-ended and exploratory. Three ISPs are required for graduation.
Recent graduate Naeem Chowdhury talks about his independent study project.
Senior Thesis Project
New College of Florida offers more than 40 different majors in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as a number of interdisciplinary concentrations.Read more here