Customized - PhD

Customized fields are appropriate when none of the existing fields allow students to explore topics that are critical to their research interests. Students must justify the need for a customized field by demonstrating its relevance and its comparable breadth and scope to existing fields, and by clearly differentiating it from the existing fields.

Customized fields are developed under the supervision of a NYU Wagner faculty member who serves as the primary reader of the field exam. Other faculty from NYU Wagner or other schools at NYU serve as additional readers and advisors of the exam.

Students interested in a customized field must indicate their interest to the Assistant Director and to their advisor during their first year. Before the start of the second year, the advisor will help the student identify the relevant NYU Wagner faculty who will supervise the customized comp. This timing is to ensure that the customized comp supervisor can offer direction on second year coursework.

For final approval, students must obtain:

  • The signatures of three faculty members who have approved the customized field and will act as writers and readers of the exam
  • The approval of the Doctoral Board

Therefore, requests for a customized field must be made at least one semester before the student plans to take this alternate field examination.