You can take more than 18 credits, but you'll be charged a rate per additional credit beyond that. It's ill-advised though, especially freshman year. You'll be dealing with an insane adjustment curve anyway, complicating that by dealing with an even more challenging academic load isn't wise.
I have read that the LSP core requirements are easier in terms of grading. Which may mean a little less study time than the CAS core MAP requirements. This also helps in terms of getting that 3.65 GPA you need to be considered for the CAS IR major.
Still, 5 courses is a lot. That would be 20 credits and even 18 is a heavy load. Plus, you need to pay for two extra credits per semester. (Anything over 18 credits/ semester will be charged extra beyond the cost of the academic year's tuition and fees.)
Did you contact the IR dept. and determine that you have to take the prereqs. freshman year?
Sorry for your dilemma. Maybe you can contact the Admissions Office and see if you can be considered for a spot in CAS given your interest specifically in the IR major which is more stringent in its prereq requirements than other majors.
To apply for IR, I need International Politics done by my sophomore fall semester. That means I must have it done by Freshman year. I really want to take my language every year though. I did contact NYU and told them my problem, but they insist that they don't upgrade people to CAS. However, kids on this site say they have gotten letters this month saying they have been upgraded, and I generally trust my peers over college admins (in my experience, they care more about their precious prestige and admission rates than us students). Maybe I'll get lucky and they will upgrade me.
I don't understand the concern with 5 classes. Fordham and Columbia require 5-6 classes per semester, so does that mean all those kids are struggling? Why would NYU kids with 5 classes be struggling more than Columbia or Fordham kids with 6 classes? Also if its an indicator of the amount of work I can handle, I have straight As my senior year with 6 APs.
And if I couldn't do 5 classes, I was going to try to seek an outside teacher to teach me my target language anyway
You can do it, it's just that you'd have to pay more. Why they only let you take 18 paid credits max, I don't know.
I wonder why they placed you in LSP if you are taking 6 AP classes because I see your dilemma with the language and International Politics. Going for the IR major would not be as difficult as they have made it due to the differences in LSP requirements compared with CAS requirements.
It has been said that AP classes really are not as intensive as the actual college courses. So you may find that "6 AP" classes are not quite equivalent to 6 college classes.
I say that besides the extra cost, even a 18 credit semester would be a lot of work and is time intensive (with classes, homework, assignments, tests). You have a lot more readings for college work. People have come on here and stated 18 credit semesters are really time intensive and demanding. Now, if as Shadowzoid has stated, LSP core classes are only bs, then maybe he can handle the 18+ with no problem.
By the way, the graduation requirements for Columbia U. is 124 credits. The total is 128 credits for NYU CAS. So, Columbia students average 31 credits per academic year vs. NYU's 32 credits per academic year. If you look at it in terms of credits, they are comparable. Most of NYU's classes tend to be 4 credits each. Unless you have 3 credits for the Columbia classes, which then would explain the 5 classes (3 credits x 5 classes = 15 credits per semester). I read the language courses there are 4 credits (with a one hour lab) and P.E. (1 credit) may still be a requirement. So, I am not sure we are comparing equivalent courses between NYU and Columbia.
For what it is worth, S told me the program with the core requirements is generally effective for CAS. For instance, he is learning about things from Texts and Ideas that are helpful for him. Though some classes may be BS, he has not really encountered any yet.
I am not sure about LSP. I just know that the Writing, Social and Cultural Foundations courses may be called different things but may be similar in intent as the core at Columbia which deals with writing, literature, western and non-western civilization (the latter added to the core after protest by students over the focus on "dead western men" only). Yes, Columbia requires 3 semesters of science in their core, which is more than the science requirements for non-science majors at NYU CAS and LSP.
I have also read that some LSP students find the core classes more enriching than they expected and some of the LSP classes have really good teachers.
The quality of the LSP is a separate issue from the rigid freshman year schedule which makes it hard for LSP students to complete the prerequisites to be admitted to the IR major at NYU CAS.
I am sure students complain about bs classes in other schools/ universities. It also depends on the teacher and how the materials are taught.
By the way, college is a great time in life to develop yourself as a "total" person. Another reason to think carefully about overloading yourself academically is that you may not have time to just enjoy college life, partying, getting involved in clubs, organizations, networking, community service, etc.
I do not see how you are screwed. Please do not put yourself in a corner more than the reality has already. The language every year is not a requirement. It is something you want to do and that is worthwhile. I have read that students can attend language "labs" or informal get-togethers on a weekly basis to really learn the conversational aspects of a particular language they are interested in. This is free for NYU students.
Maybe you can take advantage of this service to NYU students and hold off the language for one year until Sophomore year when you will have a freer schedule.
Another thought also just came to me. You should call up LSP Advisement and ask if you can wait to take Expository Writing Sophomore year since you are very interested in taking a language every year and also want to apply for the IR major with its very specific time for fulfilling the prerequisite (International Politics).
The point is that you need to be a little flexible in your own thinking and coping even when the system is rigid. Sigh, this is lesson number one in life/ college. Do not give up or despair so readily. Otherwise, you have a very, very long road ahead of you.
If NYU is a choice that you do not "hate" as much as the other colleges you got into, then try your best to make it work out. The issues you pose are not insurmountable if you are willing to give up some thing (like language) or if you think about other ways to advocate for yourself (go to LSP Advisement to "petition" for a change in schedule for Freshman year or ask them for suggestions).
I really wish you well. Hate to hear someone be so "defeated" even before college has started (with all its stressors and demands, as well as REWARDS AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES in and out of the classroom).
If the match is there and you are a person who loves the city, NYC is one of the most exciting cities to be a part of (on a world wide scale). People at NYU have reported loving the life in NYC and the many unbelievable opportunities there. But you have to reach out and put time aside for your passions (even if they are related to your academic work, e.g. IR, there are opportunities to seek out like the UN and some cross-listings with schools like Columbia U.).
This is just a sampling of classes at Columbia and NYU:
Columbia has a reciprocal agreement with NYU to allow students to take whichever languages their own school does not offer at the other. In practice, this means there are a lot of options open to NYU students, and that Columbia students have the option to shuttle downtown if they ever want to take Gaelic or Cantonese."
To be honest, my own wish is to live in the heart of Manhattan, but alas, I am priced out of the size apartment I want to live in. NYU students get to live in a neighborhood of million dollar apartments. This may be your only chance for awhile unless you start making a lot of money in your field or inherit some serious money.
NYU is a strong academic institution in and of itself but NYU in NYC makes it so so worthwhile for the right type of student.
Also, I just read what you said about AP classes not being as intensive as those of college. Maybe that's true at some colleges, but for some it's not. My brother's college precalc class allowed the students to have a formula sheet. I had to memorize all the precalc formulas, and that wasn't even an AP class. Furthermore, in my AP Bio class, I covered more than my brother, including evolution, taxonomy, plant life cycles, ect.
Have you heard about the Speaking Freely program? You can take no-credit classes that meet once or twice a week and learn from 18 langauges. Maybe this is a way to study your language and still get your prereqs in, check it out.