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James Franco Teaching at NYU

Updated on November 8, 2011

Imagine an Oscar-nominated celebrity standing in the front of your classroom, waving around a piece of chalk and waiting expectantly for you to answer his question.

James Franco is currently teaching a graduate course called “Directing the Thesis I” at New York University in the heart of Manhattan. A famous teacher does not happen often, and curiously enough, seems to happen most often at NYU, as Spike Lee has also taught courses at the University. Franco has been offered a full time position at NYU, as well as a couple of other universities around the country, for the upcoming fall semester. As exciting as having James Franco as your teacher may be, students currently applying to colleges may be impacted more negatively than positively by his presence.

“I see students, females in particular, having a hard time getting past the fact that it is James Franco standing in front of them teaching their class. His fame as a distraction is a larger concern to me,” said Rachel Young, a senior applying to college at Guilderland High School.

Although he is currently part of the faculty at NYU, only a select few of students ever get to interact with him.

“He only teaches grad film students. And there’s only 12 people in his class, or so I heard,” said Emily Q., a film major at NYU. “I’d love to take his class; I’m personally passionate about filmmaking and I am a fan of his.”

For all of the seniors currently applying to college, one can only wonder if having Mr. Franco as a possible professor may sway where they choose to apply.

Having a celebrity as a professor, someone you see on a weekly basis, may be a deciding factor for some celebrity-crazed teens.

“I think that if students were unsure whether to apply or not, that James Franco’s arrival may be that extra push they need to apply,” said Rachel Young, a senior at Guilderland high school.

For all of those undergraduates who still hope to see James Franco around campus, you may be in luck.

“I have seen James once. I was getting back from a volleyball tournament, and it was like 1:00 AM and I saw him with a group of his friends while walking to my dorm from the gym,” said Tera Tolentino, a film major at NYU. “I honestly thought he was a homeless man and almost didn’t recognize him.”

The overall excitement for possibly having Mr. Franco teach at your possible university still overrides the very large chance that you may never have him as a teacher.

“People would apply just to see him,” said Nick Whitney, a senior currently applying to NYU at Columbia high school. “I told my mom and she said she was going back to college.”


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