International Applicant Requirements

In addition to the general application requirements, international students have other requirements they must fulfill in order to apply. 

English Language Proficiency Exam Scores

If English is not your native language you are required to submit a test score even if you have completed or are currently enrolled in a Bachelor's/Master's degree program in the United States or other English speaking country. We will accept one test score from any one of the following:  IELTS, PTE or TOEFL. Only test scores that are two years old or less will be accepted.  Minimum test scores for each area (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing) vary by Department and are used for internal review purposes only. We cannot tell you what minimum score we require in any area.

For TOEFL, please use institutional code 9633 and no departmental code to have your scores delivered to us. 

For IELTS, please use the following information when ordering scores:

Name of Person/Department – Office of Graduate Admissions

Name of Institution – NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Address – 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003

For the PTE, please consult their website for delivery options.

Waiver Policy

You may submit a waiver request form if you meet any of the following criteria:

Completion of a full four year bachelor’s degree program or continuous residency of no less than five years in the U.S. or English speaking country.

Completion of a bachelor’s degree in a country where English is the language of instruction for all Colleges and Universities (i.e. India, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria, Canada, etc.) even though it may be the common or official language used there.

We will also consider special or unusual circumstances, such as long time work in a company where English is used, extensive travel to an English speaking country, or living in a country where English is taught at an early age and dual proficiency in English and native language is fairly common (Germany, South Africa, The Netherlands, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc.).

Waiver procedures

Please download the Tisch English Language Waiver Request Form.

If your request form is approved a skype conversation will be arranged with the Director of Graduate Admissions or the administrator of the program you are applying to who handles admissions. If your waiver request form is not approved or if following the skype interview it is determined you do not meet the criteria for a waiver, you will be required to submit a test score.


Waivers are automatically granted if you are a U.S. Permanent Resident with at least five years residency in the U.S., if you are applying to the Department of Dramatic Writing, or if you are applying to the Graduate Acting Department.

Self-Reporting Test Scores on the Application for Admission

You can self-report IELTS, PTE or TOEFL test scores on the application. We ask that you also upload the official score if you have it.  In addition, the official hard copy score issued by IELTS, ETS or PTE must arrive at our office within 30 days of your admission application submission to Tisch.

Do not self-report or upload scores that are more than two years old.

Non U.S. Academic Credentials

Because you are applying to New York University as well as the Department where you wish to study, you need to make sure your College or University degree is equivalent to an American Bachelor’s degree.

General guidelines:

  • Degrees from Universities recognized by the State or the ministry of Education in your home country are typically three, four, or five years long, full time. Your bachelor’s degree should allow you to pursue any master’s degree in your home country.

  • ECTS (European Credit Transfer Accumulation System) credits all qualify if the plan of study is a minimum of three years full time and leads to the Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  Countries and institutions that follow ECTS are also known as signatories of the Bologna Accords. Typically, completion of 180 ECTS credits is needed except in the United Kingdom and other areas.  Check with your school.

  • Non-European countries using the former British Commonwealth system of Education may offer a three year “standard” bachelor’s degree or the four year “honors” degree. Tisch will consider a three year degree if you are applying to any of our M.F.A. or M.P.S. programs but will require the four year honors degree if you are applying to any of our M.A. programs.

  • Some institutions in former Soviet Bloc countries may still require a five-year bachelor’s degree. If that is the case, we would too.

  • If you are seeking admission to either of our two Ph.D. degree programs please contact our office regarding the minimum academic credentials we require.  Usually a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree are the only pre-requisites but there are exceptions, especially for former British Commonwealth Educational systems.

If you have any questions about academic credentials please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 212 998-1900 or

Financial Aid for International Students

Unless you note otherwise on your application, your department will consider you for Tisch based scholarships and financial aid in the same way they do for U.S. applicants if you are selected for admission. This does not necessarily mean you will receive aid.  Funding from these sources is limited, competitive, and merit-based, meaning students deemed the strongest from the accepted pool will in most cases receive the higher awards.  As a non-U.S. national you do not qualify to receive federal grants and loans.  This is why you cannot file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the U.S. Government.

If financial aid is an important aspect of your application you should research and seek funding from your home country, from your bank, from foundations and organizations in your home country, and from foundations that are internationally based, along with all possible personal, family, and local resources.