New York University

Location: New York, New York
Type: Private
Tell New York University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

New York University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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Sexual Misconduct

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Title IX

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Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
  • Policy on Responsible Use of NYU Computers and Data

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    Acceptance of authorization to use NYU computer and data resources establishes an obligation to: … behave with civil regard for other members of the NYU community and of the wider community on the Internet; … Read More
  • Bias Response Line: Frequently Asked Questions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    What can I share or report to the Bias Response Line (BRL)? You can share or report instances of bias, discrimination, and/or harassment perpetrated against members of the University community. Those instances do not need to specifically relate to one of NYU’s existing policies, such as the University’s Non-Discrimi... Read More
  • Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for Students

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    Prohibited harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on actual or perceived race, sex (including unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature), gender and/or gender identity or expression, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, ethnicity, shared ancestry or ethnic characteristic, dis... Read More
  • University Student Conduct Policy: Bullying, Threatening, and Abusive Behavior

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    1. Engaging in or threatening to engage in behavior(s) that, by virtue of their intensity, repetitiveness, or otherwise, endanger or compromise the health, safety or well-being of oneself, another person, or the general University community, or that disrupt the effective continuation of the academic/educational proc... Read More
  • Guidelines Regarding Protest and Dissent

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    New York University is committed to maintaining an environment where open, vigorous debate and speech can occur. Read More
  • Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    Sexual Harassment: In accordance with Title IX regulations, Sexual Harassment is defined under this policy as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: … Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively ... Read More
  • University Student Conduct Policy: Academic Freedom, Demonstration and Protest

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 15, 2021

    The University is a community where the means of seeking to establish truth are open discussion and free discourse. It thrives on debate and dissent, which must be protected as a matter of academic freedom within the University, quite apart from the question of constitutional rights. The University also recognizes t... Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.


Non-Sexual Misconduct

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Sexual Misconduct

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Title IX

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

FIRE surveyed roughly 37,000 students at 154 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2021, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from 0-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2021 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.



Overall Ranking 68/154
Ideological Diversity 130/159

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 59.73
Openness 10.36
Tolerance (Liberals) 11.3
Tolerance (Conservatives) 6.45
Administrative Support 5.92
Comfort 16.22
Disruptive Conduct 9.48
Speech Climate
Supported Scholars
Sanctioned Scholars
Successful Disinvitations
Speech Code YELLOW
  • FIRE to NYU: Uphold your free speech promises and stop investigating anti-Zionist statement

    April 29, 2022

    Today, FIRE wrote New York University School of Law urging it to end an investigation into complaints of harassment based on a statement by Law Students for Justice in Palestine criticizing Zionists. Although some were offended by LSJP’s statement — which made several allegations including that the “Zionist grip on media is omnipresent” and that… Read more

  • Academic freedom, freedom of expression under the spotlight in international higher education

    September 1, 2021

    As FIRE frequently documents, academic freedom and free expression can be a source of contention in international higher education, from accusations of censorship at satellite campuses to pressure placed on traveling students and scholars.  In recent weeks, developments in some major international higher education hubs highlight the ways the global education industry still faces uncertainty… Read more

  • New York schools continue to flout student rights — and New York courts continue to let them

    April 16, 2021

    Earlier this month, in a disappointing ruling, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, one of the state’s intermediate appellate courts, reversed a trial court’s decision that protected the due-process rights of students at New York’s private colleges and universities. NYU students win first-round victory in challenge to fall semester suspensions The case… Read more

  • 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2021

    February 17, 2021

    This year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is releasing its 10th list of the “worst colleges for free speech.” Since our first list in 2011, more than 70 institutions in 31 states have found themselves named and shamed for actively working to shut down student and faculty speech rights. Each year, hundreds of… Read more

  • FIRE presents the 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2021

    February 17, 2021

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 17, 2021 — Would you make a student homeless during the pandemic because you didn’t like something he said? Or threaten faculty doctors fighting COVID-19 with termination for speaking to the press? If you’re a campus official at one of the schools on this list, you just might! In the 10th edition of… Read more

  • NYU ignores academic freedom, investigates Mark Crispin Miller’s course content, blog post

    November 30, 2020

    Mark Crispin Miller is a tenured professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communications at New York University and has been on the faculty there for more than 20 years. He has been a vocal commentator on — and critic of — a broad range of topics, from NYU’s plans to redevelop the Village… Read more

  • Scholars at Risk report addresses complex challenges facing higher education in China

    October 3, 2019

    Between the Great Firewall, the disappearances of dissidents, and re-education camps for Uighurs, China’s relationship with freedom of expression is one of the worst in the world.  How can a country that seeks to maintain such a tight grip on the thoughts and words of its citizens succeed in higher education, which can only flourish… Read more

  • NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus continues to face questions about academic freedom

    May 22, 2019

    In the aftermath of UK academic Matthew Hedges’ sentencing to life in prison on spying charges in the United Arab Emirates, and subsequent pardon in November 2018, New York University faced tough questions from its faculty and student newspaper about its UAE satellite campus.   During Hedges’ ordeal, over 200 NYU faculty members signed a… Read more

  • At city’s request, NYU postpones Milo Yiannopoulos classroom discussion

    October 31, 2018

    Per media reports that surfaced last weekend, New York University professor Michael Rectenwald invited conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to address his writing class today to discuss the “politics of Halloween.” In response, NYU issued a statement saying that while “Mr. Yiannopoulos has espoused many ideas that are at odds with the values of the NYU… Read more

  • FIRE alerts students to due process threats using campus newspapers

    February 23, 2018

    FIRE’s recent groundbreaking Spotlight on Due Process report found that the overwhelming majority of our nation’s top universities fail to provide students even the most basic elements of due process. Now, to make sure students know what they’re up against if they’re accused of serious misconduct, FIRE is running eye-catching ads in campus newspapers at… Read more

  • On overseas satellite campuses, academic freedom is more often promised than practiced

    November 17, 2017

    When announcing plans for a United Arab Emirates satellite campus in 2007, former New York University president John Sexton claimed that the new campus would offer the “standards of academic freedom” found at the university’s main campus. For NYU professor Mohamad Bazzi, who believes his visa was rejected earlier this year by the UAE on… Read more

  • Judge Rules New York University Faculty Handbook a Binding Legal Contract

    December 20, 2016

    A New York appellate court recently held that two New York University (NYU) professors’ claims can proceed against the school on the theory that its faculty handbook is a legally binding document. The decision sends a message to educational institutions that they must uphold the promises they make in faculty handbooks in and other written… Read more

  • ‘So to Speak’ Podcast: NYU Professor Stephen Solomon’s ‘Revolutionary Dissent’

    November 3, 2016

    The time of America’s founding was full of raucous debate and widespread dissent. Americans built effigies, wrote pamphlets, sang songs, and gathered at liberty trees to protest British rule. But while citizens of the 13 colonies, and later the United States, might have acted like they had a right to express themselves in the myriad… Read more

  • Climate at NYU Shanghai Offers Surprising Contrast with U.S. Campus

    July 15, 2016

    In the months leading up to my time studying abroad in Shanghai, China, I received many questions. Friends and family asked how I would handle living in a country known for its suppression of free speech and due process. I, too, wondered how my year would be living within an American university community in the… Read more

  • New York’s Affirmative Consent Law Affirmatively Confuses Students (VIDEO)

    October 28, 2015

    [iframe src=””] In an effort to address sexual assault on college campuses, New York became the second state to pass an affirmative consent—or “yes means yes”—law this summer, putting college students at risk of punishment if they cannot demonstrate that they received “clear permission” to engage in “sexual activity.” But how many students know about… Read more

  • NYU Prof at United Arab Emirates Campus Barred from Country After Criticism

    March 20, 2015

    FIRE has written before about the difficulties that American universities have encountered in upholding their commitments to freedom of expression on satellite campuses operated in countries that restrict speech. Often, it seems that American institutions advertise American-style academic freedom abroad, but deliver only what their host countries will allow—which is, in many cases, not much…. Read more

  • NYU Dental Student Expelled Without Even a Veneer of Due Process: Part II

    December 14, 2012

    This is part two of a blog series detailing the saga of Katie Kickertz, an expelled New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry student. Part one can be found here, and her recent court victory can be found here: In re Katie Kickertz v. New York University, 952 N.Y.S.2d 147 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012). You… Read more

  • Rotten! NYU Dental Drills Student: Chiseled, Kicked Out (Part I)

    December 12, 2012

    Let anyone who claims that student due process rights in higher education don’t matter stand witness to Katie Kickertz, who came within 15 minutes of graduating from dental school before being effectively extorted and expelled, and who earned a second dental degree while her lawsuit was pending. We see many awful cases here at FIRE—cases… Read more

  • N.Y.’s ivory towers vs. free speech

    November 11, 2012

    When politicians talk about college, their thrusts are usually about getting more people to attend or helping more families afford it. Now and then, we discuss what students are actually learning. But there’s another profoundly important concern that far too often falls off our radar screen: the frequently poisonous culture of our campuses, which discourages… Read more

  • When in Rome, Don’t Censor Yourself

    July 11, 2012

    Renowned civil libertarian and FIRE Board of Advisors member Nat Hentoff has an article in the Village Voice excoriating New York University (NYU) President John Sexton for kowtowing to censorship on NYU’s foreign campuses. Here’s a bit of what Nat has to say:  This is how NYU president Sexton responded when Human Rights Watch asked:… Read more

  • NYU Journal of Law and Liberty Examines Issue of Off-Campus Student Speech

    February 28, 2012

    The New York University Journal of Law and Liberty’s Law and Liberty Bulletin blog has an overview of the split among federal circuit courts concerning school regulation of off-campus student speech. The Supreme Court of the United States denied certioriari earlier this year in three cases that together might have settled the issue. An excerpt:… Read more

  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2009

    December 23, 2009

    As Torch readers know, each month FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. While all 12 Speech Codes of the Month in 2009 flagrantly violated students’ right to free expression, three were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2009’s Speech Codes of the Year…. Read more

  • June 2009: New York University

    June 4, 2009

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for June 2009: New York University. NYU’s Anti-Harassment Policy explicitly prohibits “insulting,” “teasing,” and even “inappropriate jokes” when they are based on a legally protected status such as race, gender, or religion. Specifically, the policy provides that Examples of such prohibited conduct when based upon a legally… Read more

  • Civil Disobedience and Due Process at NYU

    February 26, 2009

    Last week, approximately 60 student activists at New York University staged an occupation of a cafeteria in the university’s student center. Although their numbers dwindled as the protest wore on, the student activists—members of Take Back NYU!, a coalition of student groups on campus—held the cafeteria for approximately 40 hours until NYU security guards cleared… Read more

  • At NYU, Blogging About Journalism Class Draws Rebuke and Raises Issues of Student Speech, Privacy

    September 18, 2008

    I was interviewed earlier this week by Mark Glaser, author of PBS’s MediaShift blog, about an interesting situation involving an "embedded" student blogger at New York University, my alma mater. Because the case involves the intersection of new media (like blogs and Twittering) and classroom speech, I thought it would be useful to briefly examine… Read more

  • Cathy Young on SFSU and Censorship Masquerading as ‘Tolerance’

    April 10, 2007

    In Reason Online yesterday, the ever-reasonable Cathy Young discussed a string of FIRE cases involving students punished for expressing hostility toward Islam. Young notes that there is a disturbing trend afoot involving college administrators acting hastily, often with disciplinary action, against students who have been seen as blaspheming Islam. Of course there is the SFSU… Read more

  • NYU Student Blows the Whistle on Speech Codes

    March 6, 2007

    New York University’s (NYU’s) main student newspaper, the Washington Square Times, featured a great article today by Anthony Marek entitled “NYU’s red light: Why we need offensive speech, too.” Marek discusses NYU’s dismal “red light” speech code rating on FIRE’s Spotlight speech codes database, saying: It’s a rare soul that can traverse a university campus… Read more

  • Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee of Censorship Agree: We Hate FIRE!

    December 18, 2006

    Some say that you can judge a man by the enemies he makes. I don’t know if that holds true for organizations like FIRE, really, but if it does, I feel like we’re doing pretty well after reading this article from the December 12 New York Sun. The article, by Gabrielle Birkner, covers an “armchair… Read more

  • NYU President John Sexton: Free Speech Hypocrite

    December 11, 2006

    Inside Higher Ed carried a short blurb on Friday stating that NYU President John Sexton had been interviewed on the Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report.” FIRE had its own run-in with Sexton earlier this year, when NYU became the best-known college to censor a discussion of the Mohammed cartoons that roiled the world last… Read more

  • ‘Know Before You Go’

    September 7, 2006

    With students heading back to school, the busy season for FIRE has started once again. This year, FIRE has more resources than ever before to help students and professors combat censorship and oppression on college campuses. From an expanded Spotlight, to the Guides to Student Rights on Campus, to our individual rights defense work, FIRE… Read more

  • Correction to August 28, 2006 FIRE Update

    August 30, 2006

    In Monday’s FIRE Update, we erroneously stated that NYU President John Sexton had repeatedly denied FIRE’s claims that the NYU administration’s actions in the Mohammed cartoon controversy constituted censorship. While spokespeople for NYU had publicly defended the university’s actions, even going so far as to compare the cartoons to a live smallpox virus, President Sexton… Read more

  • NYU Continues to Defend Wrongdoing in Mohammed Cartoon Controversy

    August 29, 2006

    New York University President John Sexton has written FIRE to defend NYU’s decision to force its Objectivist Club not to show the controversial Danish Mohammed Cartoons at a discussion about those very cartoons. In response to FIRE’s letter to NYU’s Board of Trustees, Sexton claimed that the student organizers decided on their own not to… Read more

  • NYU Denies Any Wrongdoing

    August 25, 2006

    Over the past few months FIRE has been petitioning NYU to acknowledge that it was wrong to place a stranglehold on free speech during the Objectivist Club’s event on the Mohammed cartoons last April. You will remember that the Objectivist Club, supported by the Ayn Rand Institute, planned an event to show and discuss the… Read more

  • Silence Speaks Volumes at NYU

    May 24, 2006

    New York University prides itself on being a “private university in the public service,” but talk is cheap—that is, when it isn’t silenced altogether. Despite the lofty aspirations of the school’s motto, in late March NYU decided that certain types of speech on campus just aren’t entitled to the core First Amendment protections relied upon… Read more

  • FIRE Asks NYU to Repudiate Its Censorship of the Mohammed Cartoons

    April 18, 2006

    Yesterday we sent a letter asking NYU to repudiate its actions censoring the public display of the Mohammed cartoons at an event at which I was a panelist on March 29th. The letter opens: As you know, I participated in the NYU Objectivist Club’s March 29 panel discussion of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Two… Read more

  • South Park Mirrors Life

    April 13, 2006

    It’s official: Comedy Central prevented South Park from showing an image of Mohammed last night. For the uninitiated, part of the plot of last night’s show (continued from last week) included Fox attempting to air an episode of Family Guy including an image of Mohammed. One of the main characters of the show—Eric Cartman—pointed a… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at the University of Southern California

    April 10, 2006

    LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2006—The University of Southern California (USC) has publicly reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of speech and repudiated two instances of censorship. USC’s renewed embrace of liberty came after the intervention of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “We are impressed with USC’s response,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “While… Read more

  • Eugene Volokh on NYU and the Cartoon Shame

    April 4, 2006

    If you haven’t been keeping up, check out Eugene Volokh’s thoughts on the NYU Mohammed cartoon controversy over at the Volokh Conspiracy. As always, Eugene is as prolific as he is brilliant, with over half a dozen insightful posts on the topic so far. His post “NYU President Sexton on Academic Freedom” is perhaps my… Read more

  • ‘The Image of Hypocrisy’

    March 31, 2006

    Check out FIRE cofounder Harvey Silverglate’s recent column in the Boston Phoenix. Silverglate deftly calls into question the New York Times’ stated rationale for not publishing the infamous Danish Mohammed cartoons: The 8″-by-10″ photograph was hard to miss. Appearing on page A-3 of the Sunday New York Times on March 19, the black-and-white image of… Read more

  • Censors Win at NYU

    March 30, 2006

    As FIRE announced yesterday, administrators at New York University (NYU) were attempting to squelch a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Leaders of the NYU Objectivist Club, which organized the panel, were told to choose one of two unacceptable options. They could either exclude the over 150 off-campus guests who had registered to… Read more

  • NYU’s Shame

    March 29, 2006

    FIRE revealed in this morning’s press release the sorry state of affairs at New York University: Earlier this month, the NYU Objectivist Club decided to hold a panel discussion entitled “Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons,” at which the cartoons will be displayed. Similar events, sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), have taken place… Read more

  • NYU Surrenders to the Heckler’s Veto in Mohammed Cartoon Dispute

    March 29, 2006

    NEW YORK, March 29, 2006—In violation of its own policies, New York University (NYU) is refusing to allow a student group to show the Danish cartoons of Mohammed at a public event tonight. Even though the purpose of the event is to show and discuss the cartoons, an administrator has suddenly ordered the students either… Read more