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Graduate Admissions

To apply to a Tisch graduate program, you’ll need to submit the General Graduate Application to Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a department-specific portfolio or creative supplement. Each of these can be submitted online. The Office of Graduate Admissions manages the application process in close consultation with each department.

The Graduate Application will be available on or around September 1, 2015. 

Application Requirements

Each department has its own set of requirements, so we’ve provided a step-by-step guide to applying with portfolio requirements and links for more information.

Please note: Creative materials (including auditions, writing samples, and portfolios) should be submitted directly to the department, not to the Office of Student Affairs.  

Art & Public Policy

MA

Admission to the Master's program in Arts Politics is based on an evaluation of previous creative and academic achievements, a clear sense of critical direction, and compatibility with the aims and ideas of the program. Successful applicants may come from various backgrounds, including practicing artists, critical studies, or arts institutions. MA students begin their full-time enrollment in September.

You can submit all application materials to this program online. The résumé, personal statement, and writing sample should be uploaded with the online application.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, please prepare the following:

  1. A professional résumé including your creative and academic background; work experience; creative work; critical writing; civic, activist, and community-based engagements; and performances, installations, and published work.

  2. A statement of purpose (two to three double-spaced pages) that addresses:

    a) your critical, activist, and professional trajectory — specifically, the resources you have garnered and the constraints you have encountered;

    b) your reflections on key and pressing issues in arts politics generally;

    c) your expectations for how the program will affect your work and thought; and

    d) the project or intervention you would like to engage in during and after the program.

  3. A writing sample that reflects your ability to carry out sustained academic research and critical writing, and to successfully complete interdisciplinary graduate course work. A substantive essay is recommended, but longer samples are acceptable, e.g., samples or documentation of creative and critical work, or documentation or writings about activist, institutional, or organizational projects which you have initiated or taken a significant role in directing.

  4. Two letters of recommendation, submitted using the online system.

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Cinema Studies

MA

Admission to Graduate Cinema Studies is based on previous academic achievement, a personal statement, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.

NOTE: The GRE is only required for the Cinema Studies Ph.D. program. It is no longer required for the Cinema Studies MA program or the MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, please prepare the following:

  1. A professional résumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, language ability, etc.

  2. A statement of purpose (two to three double-spaced pages) outlining your academic and professional background, goals, and what you hope to gain from the program.

  3. A writing sample (15-20 double-spaced pages) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained critical, theoretical, and/or historical thinking on film, television, video, and/or new media. In the absence of a moving image–related topic, a piece of writing on a subject in the arts or humanities is acceptable.

Please attach the documents to the online application and gather all academic transcripts in one package and send to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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Dance

MFA

Your application to Graduate Dance at Tisch will include a written component and an audition.

The written application includes statement of purpose (one to two pages) detailing your academic and professional background, your goals, and what you hope to gain from the program. Please address your specific interest in the field of dance, why you are applying to this particular program, and how you feel that your academic, professional, and/or artistic background makes you an ideal candidate.

The audition consists of a condensed class in ballet technique and contemporary combinations, lasting approximately one and a half hours.

If you pass the first part of the audition, you’ll be asked to perform a short solo dance you’ve learned or choreographed — something you enjoy doing. A personal interview follows the solo performance.

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Design for Stage and Film

MFA

An interview and portfolio review are required for admission into the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Prior experience in theatre or film production is preferred but not required — MFA applicants from all disciplines of undergraduate study (not just theatre design) are equally welcomed.

Your portfolio should be as broad as possible, preferably containing materials displaying skills in areas beyond your immediate specialty. We are primarily interested in how you work and think as a designer. We’d like to see examples of your work that show the process, not just the finished product. Bring rough sketches and be prepared to talk about your work. Examples of your visual ability — i.e. drawings, paintings, sculpture, architecture — are also helpful.

Graduate candidate in design must submit the general Tisch Graduate Application, stating a particular field of interest. Final decisions of acceptance depend on completing both departmental portfolio requirements and NYUNew York University admissions requirements.

Admission is limited to full-time graduate students beginning in September only.

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Dramatic Writing

Applications for Graduate Dramatic Writing are due December 15.

In order to complete your application to Graduate Dramatic Writing, you must submit the general Tisch Graduate Application and a creative portfolio.

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Game Design

MFA

The ideal applicant for the Game Design MFA is passionate and talented, and may or may not have professional game experience. Our students come from a wide range of professional, personal, and educational backgrounds, and they demonstrate a high level of talent, creative spirit, and competence in one or more areas relating to game design, game production, and game scholarship. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required. The Game Design program is two years long — full-time study only.

There are two required components that you must submit in order to successfully complete your application for admission:

  1. The general Tisch Graduate Application

  2. A creative portfolio submitted via the Slideroom online application system

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Graduate Acting

MFA

In a typical year, the Graduate Acting Department will personally audition more than 800 students in order to select an ensemble of 16 actors. Ideally, each ensemble is diverse, both in cultural background and practical experience. Each actor’s story is unique and each brings something important to the ensemble.

In order to apply to the Graduate Acting program, you must complete the general Tisch Graduate Application online and schedule an in-person audition. For your audition, you’ll need four monologues of no more than two minutes each, and 16 bars of a song that you can perform a cappella.

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Graduate Film

MFA

The application and portfolio deadline for MFA in Filmmaking is December 1.

A filmmaking background is not a prerequisite for admission to the Tisch School of the Arts; when we evaluate the visual and written portion of your application, we’ll be looking for evidence of potential creative ability.

The application has two required components:

  1. The general Tisch Graduate Application, along with any required academic documentation, testing, recommendations, and supporting credentials.
  2. A five-part creative portfolio, which you’ll submit via Slideroom, the Department’s online application system. This portfolio includes both visual and written submissions.
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Graduate Musical Theatre Writing

MFA

  1. Departmental Application
    Complete the application here.

  2. A Professional Resumé
    Please note, all materials will be submitted electronically. Sound files should be in .mp3 format; text files should be in .pdf format. There are no exceptions to this rule!

  3. Creative Portfolio

    Composers & Lyricists

    A selection of no more than 20 minutes of material that you believe reflects your most skilled and innovative work.  The material you choose should clearly indicate your ability to work in song form. Excerpts from a musical theatre piece are preferred but not necessary. If available, provide a copy of the libretto for the musical.
  • A score, lyric sheets, charts, etc. relevant to the work on the CD
  • Samples of other work (your choice) with a description
  • Printed reviews of your work, if available

    Bookwriters & Playwrights
  • A script for a musical theatre piece (2 copies)
  • A standard size CD containing songs written for the same piece (if available) (2 copies)
  • Printed reviews of your work, if available (2 copies)

    Or, if you have not yet created a musical theatre piece, provide samples of your creative writing that demonstrate a sense of lyricism. You may send one or both of the following:

  • A script of a full-length play (or a collection of short plays) written for the theatre, film or television
  • A collection of poetry or prose essays
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ITP (Interactive Telecommunications)

MPS

A background in design or computer programming is not required for acceptance into ITP; we’re looking for applicants from a diverse range of educational and professional backgrounds who want to explore and create new forms of communication and expression using interactive multimedia technologies.

Acceptance into the program is competitive; enrollment is limited to full-time applicants who show exceptional promise and are interested in collaboration and experimentation. Admission for degree candidates is for the Fall semester only. All students entering the program must hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject matter. No entrance examination is required, but international students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. (IELTS results are accepted as well).

Once you’ve completed the general Tisch Graduate Application, you’ll prepare and submit a creative portfolio. This includes a personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, and all official transcripts.

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MBA/MFA Degree in Film Producing

MBA/MFA

In order to enroll in the MBA/MFA dual-degree program in Film Producing, students will need to be accepted by both Tisch and Stern. This involves two separate processes, one for each school. In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, applicants to the Tisch MFA Film Producing program will be required to submit a creative portfolio showcasing their work, featuring both visual and written submissions.

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Moving Image Archive and Preservation

MA

Applicants to the MA program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) should follow the same application instructions as applicants to the Cinema Studies programs (see above). In addition, MIAP applicants should demonstrate an interest in the history and preservation of the moving image. In their statement of purpose, MIAP applicants should clearly state and explain why they are interested in the program.

Applicants may also be interested in visiting the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) website for more information on fellowships and scholarships offered through the Association.

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Performance Studies MA

MA

Admission to the Master’s program in Performance Studies is based on an evaluation of previous academic achievements, presence of a clear scholarly focus, and compatibility with the philosophy of the program. Master’s students begin their full-time enrollment in June.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, we ask that you prepare the following:

  1. A statement of purpose (three to five double-spaced pages, maximum) that addresses:

    a.) your specific research interest in the field of Performance Studies

    b.) why you are applying to this program (and not a more traditional program such as anthropology, dance, or theatre)

    c.) how your academic, professional, and/or artistic background make you an ideal candidate for the program. 

  2. A writing sample (10-15 double-spaced pages, maximum) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained academic research and writing, preferably one that relates to the field of Performance Studies. (10- to 15 double-spaced pages, maximum.)

  3. Three letters of recommendation

  4. All academic transcripts

  5. A professional resumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, etc.

The resumé, statement of purpose, writing sample, and recommendations should be attached to your online application for admission. GREs are not required. Ideally, academic credentials will be uploaded as scanned documents along with the application for admission. They also may be transmitted electronically through a secure third-party service. Check with your school's records or credential-issuing office to see if this kind of service is available. You also can mail, or instruct your school to mail, one copy of your educational record to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10003

(Please note that you may upload transcripts or have them mailed in. You do not have to do both.)

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Performance Studies PhD

PhD

The PhD program in Performance Studies is small and rigorous. It offers intensive training for students who wish to become the new leaders of the field. The Tisch Performance Studies program accepts up to four new students a year. PhD students begin full-time enrollment in September.

A previously earned master’s degree is required for applicants wishing to enter directly into the doctoral program. MFA degrees are not accepted. Consult the department if you have earned another type of master’s degree and wish to be considered.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, we ask that you prepare the following:

  1. A statement of purpose (three to five double-spaced pages, maximum) that addresses

    a) your specific research interest in the field of Performance Studies,

    b) why you are applying to this program (and not a more traditional program such as anthropology, dance, or theatre), and

    c) how your academic, professional, and/or artistic background make you an ideal candidate for the program.

  2. A brief description of your proposed dissertation topic and how the department/faculty will help you achieve your academic goals.

  3. A writing sample (10-15 double-spaced pages, maximum) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained academic research and writing, preferably one that relates to the field of Performance Studies. (10- to 15 double-spaced pages, maximum.)

  4. Three letters of recommendation

  5. All academic transcripts

  6. A professional résumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, etc.

The resume, statement of purpose, writing sample, and recommendations should be attached to your online application for admission. GREs are not required. Ideally, academic credentials will be uploaded as scanned documents along with the application for admission. They also may be transmitted electronically through a secure third-party service. Check with your school's records or credential-issuing office to see if this service is available. You also can mail, or instruct your school to mail, one copy of your educational record to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10003

(Please note that you may upload transcripts or have them mailed in. You do not have to do both.)

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Application Deadlines

Applicants must complete the online application and submit relevant supporting materials by the following deadlines. If admitted, classes begin in September 2016.

Department Deadline Date
Cinema Studies Dec. 1
Dramatic Writing  
Dual Degree (MBA/MFA) Film Producing  
ITP  
Film Production  
Game Design  
Performance Studies  
   
Acting Jan. 1
Arts Politics  
Dance  
Design for Stage & Film  
   
Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Feb. 1

Notification of Decision

Notification of an admission decision cannot be made until all required supporting materials have been received and a full assessment of a candidate has been rendered by the departmental admission committee. A preliminary notification informing the candidate of his or her successful audition/interview may be sent directly by the Graduate Acting program, the Department of Dance, or the Department of Design for Stage and Film. However, a formal offer of admission can only be issued by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

The Kanbar Institute of Graduate Film and Television will notify candidates who have been selected as finalists for an interview. This does not constitute admission to the program.

For most departments, admission notification begins March 1 and continues through April 15. Performance Studies MA applicants will be informed in early February. Applicants to all programs are informed by  e-mail.

Orientation information and registration instructions are sent to accepted applicants after receipt of the tuition deposit.