Graphic by Tom Abi Samra

All Future Course Titles to Be Acronyms

“From the CDC to A5C, everything else on this campus is alphabet soup. We just wanted to make course selection more on-brand.”

Dec 8, 2018

With students and professors alike using acronyms like FOS, GEPS and MVC to refer to classes, the Office of the Registrar has announced that all course titles in the 2019-2020 Academic Year must form a catchy or otherwise pronounceable acronym. Faculty have frantically started renaming their classes as they try to accommodate this new stipulation.
While courses like Global Cold War and International Business Law can quite naturally be abbreviated to GCW and IBL, some courses are not as lucky. For the J-term course Politics of Belonging: Kinship, Citizenship, Communities and Nations, its abbreviation, PBKCCN, is almost as awkward as the silence after a professor asks, “So how many of you actually did the reading?”
Many faculty, however, appear to be adapting. Fall 2019 is slated to have the new class Agency and Liberation: the Ligaments and Bones of Society — ALLBS. Students expect ALLBS to be a course where you don’t need to do the readings, just begin every comment with “building off what they said” and then lead into a personal story that will make you sound invested in the core themes.
Another new addition, Essentials of Zebra Anatomy — EZA — should be very popular. With a syllabus including trips to the Al Ain Zoo, a smattering of David Attenborough documentaries and a single take-home final, EZA should be a great refuge for seniors who left their work ethic at their study away site.
It seems, though, that not all Faculty have taken kindly to this new policy.
In protest against this new restriction, Professor Smartaz proposed the Fall 2019 courses Flatulence: a Ridiculous Title — FART — and Grasping In Vain: Eccentric Man Enthusiastically Tries Entreating NYU to Reward Employee — GIVEMETENYURE. After the registrar rejected both courses, Smartaz retaliated by proposing the new elective, Foundations Underlying Cultivated Karma Yielding Outcomes most Unfortunate. For obvious reasons, this course too was also rejected.
Smartaz’s frustration was not an isolated case. These new requirements pose a massive issue for all colloquia professors. They will now have to expand their titles beyond a single abstract noun.
“I don’t get it!” yelled Professor Ares. “The class was about War, so I just bloody called it ‘War’! Do you know how many papers I have to grade? I don’t have time to come up with these stupid initialisms. What are we, the UN?”
Such confusion is not confined to faculty. Economics major Mayken Fatstacks went into a panic when her mentor recommended she audit the elective Technical Approaches to Xenobiology: Evolution and Speculation.
“I can’t afford to have TAXES audited!” she exclaimed. “I haven’t reported a dirham of my side hustle to my home country! What if I get charged with tax evasion?” While the confusion was soon resolved, Fatstacks and several other students approached admin for an explanation of the policy change.
“It just seemed like the next logical step,” explained a spokesperson from the Office of the Registrar, “From the CDC to A5C, everything else on this campus is alphabet soup. We just wanted to make course selection more on-brand.”
“Also, abbreviations are the only reason kids these days think something is hip. We couldn’t agree more – they’re lit AF.”
After several eyerolls, the spokesperson began to get defensive. “We’re woke too, you millenials. Believe me, we understand you! Just… why are you so mad at us all the time? It’s not our fault you change your major five times a semester and fail every PE class!”
With NYU Abu Dhabi’s new course naming policy, the school has taken another bold step to ensure that every potential employer will be even more confused by your transcript. Unfortunately, given the number of takeout-boxes disappearing from the dining hall each day, this semester’s finals might just make everyone’s transcripts worthless anyway.
Only time will tell.
Ian Hoyt is a satire columnist. Email him at
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