Communities & Organizations in NYC

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The Study of a Modern Metropolis

New York City has consistently emerged as the sole metropolis in North America and one of the few in the world to be considered truly global in its impact. Few other cities can parallel its collection of art, cultural experiences, and history. Scarce American communicative, mediated, and social developments or movements occurred outside of the purview and subsequent impact of New York City. Clearly, New York has emerged as more than a mere metropolitan area but has instead become an icon of modern civic life.

This program will investigate the communicative components of New York City by focusing on its neighborhoods, organizations, and institutions. Students will undertake two courses on these topics as well having the option to take an additional course, for variable credit, as a self-directed independent study or internship.  Students explore the city as a group each Saturday and should expect to spend at least one additional day in New York City to complete course assignments.  Time spent on the optional independent study or internship will be scheduled individually by the student.  As part of the New York City student experience, students will attend regular events and excursions. Programs available in summer.

Click here for a full outline of the program >> NYC Program Manual

Photos from current and past years

Summer 2015

This summer, a group of SMC students have been getting the experience of a lifetime, as they joined director Scott Gratson in NYC for the summer study away program. The students made trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Mermaid Day Parade, Grand Central Station, Central Park, the NYPD training facility, and many others!

Communities and Organizations in NYC

Limited to 20 students, this program gives students in in-depth look at New York’s neighborhoods, organizations and institutions.  Consistently regarded as North America’s only “global” city, few other places can parallel New York’s richness of art, culture and history.


Interviews for application purposes will be held as necessary.

For a wonderful literary portrayal of New York’s character and ethos, read this poem.

Program outline

students in park
Students explore all of New York, from it’s beautiful parks to the museums that criss-cross the city!

NYC I: Neighborhoods: (Summer Session I)
This course examines New York’s neighborhoods as they relate to the city as a whole and at an individual level.  Students are challenged to re-examine the role and identify of “community” in the information age and explore how a community establishes and portrays itself.  Students collaborate extensively both in and out of the classroom.

NYC II: Institutions:
  (Summer Session II) An extension of
New York City I, this course investigates a series of public institutions and how they impact the culture and ethos of New York City. This course also strengthens the field research skills students acquire in New York City I.


Summer Long Internship:  (Entire Summer Term) Internships will be arranged with the Director. Although some internship offers will be announced as part of this course, students are advised to also
personally inquire and research an internship that will be appropriate to their goals and interests.

Program Dates

Summer 2016 program dates:

May 9 – August 1, 2016 *tentative

Course Meeting Dates:
Every Saturday:  May 9 – July 25, 2016 *tentative

Time: 10:30 am to 5:00 p.m., with the exception of the final day of class, when the time will be 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m..

Application Deadline: April 1, 2016

Internship applicants (taking NYC 1: Communities, NYC 2: Institutions, and NYC Experience; 7-10) will be permitted to enroll in the Internship/Field Experience course and they must secure their own internship placement and housing prior to departure.

Commuter applicants (taking NYC 1: Communities, NYC 2: Institutions 3 credit hours each)will still have the opportunity to participate in the Saturday coursework with the other students.


Apply Now!

Step by Step Instructions

Program Highlights

Make Connections

Network with and learn from alumni working at places like Buzzfeed, Vanguard Advertising, NBC/Universal, the NYC Department of Transportation, Random House Publishing and more.

Student Reflections and Initiatives

NYC Summer 2014 Student Blogs:

NYC Summer 2013 Student Blogs:

NYC Neighborhood Project:
Student Video

New York City Summer 2013 student, Victoria Miniscalco, an MSP major, created this 28 minute documentary about the LGBT community and their narratives. To see more student made student made videos of life in New York, visit the Student Life Page.