NYU RETAINS TOP TWENTY RANKING NYU CEDA Debate ended last season ranked 10th in the nation by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA). This marks the 14th straight year that NYU has finished in the top 20 nationally in the CEDA/NDT sweepstakes. 

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APPEARANCE REQUESTS For interviews, political debate commentary or sponsorships, please contact Will Baker or email  

Education is the cornerstone of NYU CEDA's debate program.  NYU's holds the record for the most National Debate Scholars, the award that recognizes debate acumen and academic success.  The squad has won more NDS awards than Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth combined.  As a team, NYU represents a cross-section of majors and diverse interests.  We never place performance above the true mission of a university which is academic achievement.   

Collaborating with NYU Debate

New York City features excellent graduate schools at NYU, Columbia, Fordham and the New School, great job opportunities in investment banking, international relations, technology, academia, and law and one of the most powerful centers for nonprofit activism in all fields from civil rights to historical landmark preservation.  The result is that talented, former debaters flock to NYC to pursue careers, education and their dreams and sometimes miss debate.  NYU is the BEST volunteer coaching gig in the country.  The NYU team was founded with the support of dedicated volunteer coaches and it has remained a staple of the program for the past two decades.  

With dozens of talented, hard-working debaters, we always have needs and have been able to adapt effectively to the coaching desires of many urban professionals.  Since the officers and the directors handle virtually all of the administration, our volunteer coaches can set their own terms and schedules.   If you want to travel to two tournaments a year because one is where your relational partner goes to grad school and the other is your alma mater, we can accommodate that.  If weekend travel doesn't work because of your employment situation or your class load but you'd love to judge practice rounds and offer feedback, that works for us.,   If you are only interested in training novices because you were scarred by the NDT, we have bright, new debaters who are hungry for knowledge.  If you were a first-round, went deep into elims on the national circuit and enjoy brainstorming strategies with open debaters, we have space for you as well.  

Former Debaters Employed in NYC

When high school and middle school teachers, principals or parents consider starting a debate team or replacing a coach, they often contact the NYU CEDA debate team.   Our students have coached teams in NYC and the tri-state area resulting in national championships, Tournament of Champions bids, and revival of debate program interest even among a disenchanted student body.  Please consider these issues when contacting us:  

A) TIME--What are the current goals of the program?  How many active debaters would you like to have and how many different debate formats do you want them to participate in?   Are you just starting a team or are you looking to take the team to the next level and become a regional or national debate powerhouse?  Is there existing student leadership on the team? How many meetings would you like to have a week? NYU debaters have a rigorous course load along with their commitments to their own debate success.   The NYU CEDA program does not want to create unrealistic time commitments or expectations for either side leading to difficult trade offs.  Some situations are simply not the right fit and both the student and your program will suffer.


B) INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT-Is the principal on-board?  What is the team travel budget?  How much has been set aside to compensate coaches?  Mich like any other start-up endeavor, under-capitalization and mishandled bureaucracies paperwork plagues many efforts to build successful debate programs.   Despite their beliefs to the contrary, an 18-21 year is not prepared to serve as the Director of a travelling debate program.   There are legal liability concerns, education concerns and critical judgments that require an adult presence who understands the rules of the classroom and the culture of the specific institution. 

C)  IN-HOUSE OR EXTERNAL-  Many schools begin an external coaching search because their efforts to staff the program internally fell short.  The ideal situation for most schools would be to have current teachers express interest in debate and a willingness to coach.  However, many principals seek out teachers with current expertise in debate and come up empty.  All you really need is a teacher who loves kids and wants to watch their critical thinking skills grow before their eyes.    Before you settle on a traditional external coaching search, here are two models that the NYU team can assist with you which might serve you better than hiring a single individual as a coach:

         1) In-House Training Program--NYU is happy to develop partnerships with area middle schools and high schools to train teachers and parents how to be effective debate directors, coaches and judges.   We have customized, intensive summer program options available as well as initiatives during the school year.   In each case, the objectives  are  to create capacity within the school to sustain and administer an effective debate program,

         2) Revolving Coaches Fund-  Since many students have too many existing time commitments to oversee a debate program and  remain a highly-competitive CEDA debater, NYU can serve as a fee-for-service contractor and construct a rotation of talented debaters to assist with judging, coaching and team development in the nascent stages of your program.   Some schools find this arrangement better because it gives them a chance to "test-drive" a series of students instead of simply gambling on one and the program isn't sidelined if a particular student is ill or has an important exam that conflicts with a desired tournament.  It can also be much more budget friendly because it can be structured as an after-school class or program which gives the students structure and regular expectations.  

Contact Will Baker, the Director of Debate, via e-mail.   Include as much of the above information and preferences as possible.  When there is potential for us to help, you will receive an email back to schedule a meeting with the principal/head of school and the sender of the initial e-mail request. 

Area Middle and High Schools