In a typical year, the Grad Acting Program 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; we place a high value on having actors from across all of life’s spectrum sharing their backgrounds with their classmates. Each actor’s story is unique and each brings something important to the ensemble.

At Grad Acting, we are acutely aware of the costs associated with a three-year graduate program and are humbled by the sacrifice that many students (and their families) make to come here.  Increasing our pool of financial aid is our Number One priority and we have numerous scholarships (including full tuition), funded aid awards, and work study packages to offer our incoming students.  Please don’t let concerns about finances keep you from applying or auditioning:  we strive to work with each individual student to make it possible for them to attend Grad Acting.

The Application Process

The process of applying to any graduate acting program can be intimidating and confusing. To help make this process as clear and as easy for you as possible, we suggest taking a tour of our website. Please begin with the steps below.

Before You Apply

To apply to the Grad Acting program you must:

  1. Have a bachelors degree or be in the process of completing one. All accepted candidates to NYU’s Graduate Acting MFA are expected to have completed an undergraduate degree before starting the program. Exceptions are rarely granted and require an appeal to the Dean of the school.
  2. Complete the general Tisch Graduate Application online. For more details on this application, visit the Tisch Graduate Admissions page.
  3. Audition.
  4. You may apply to the program a maximum of 3 times.

Grad Acting Information Sessions

The Office of Graduate Admissions at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the Grad Acting department will be holding a series of informational sessions that will cover the MFA Graduate Acting program and how to apply. All sessions will be moderated by members of the department & Graduate Admissions staff. 


Location: Grad Acting Department, 721 Broadway 5th Floor


Friday, September 21st at 1pm

Tuesday, October 16th at 2pm

Friday, November 16th at 1pm

Friday, December 14th at 1pm

How To Apply

Application Deadline: December 31, 2018 at Midnight

1 Submit your application online. Applications accepted starting September 15, 2017

2 In-person auditions are required, so when you receive your application acceptance, select and schedule your audition online.  

3 Prepare your audition.

For the audition you will need four monologues of no more than two minutes each: two classical and two contemporary, of comedic and dramatic material. We ask each auditioning applicant to present at least two monologues, one classical and one contemporary, of contrasting natures. It’s always helpful to embrace the idea of contrast: one serious, one comic; or anything that shows us you can be one kind of character and then another—show us that you have a range of transformational possibilities. We are looking for the whole variety of what you can bring to us. The remaining two monologues are backups, in the event we need to see additional material. Also prepare sixteen bars of a song that you can perform a cappella in case the auditors ask for additional material. It’s also important to demonstrate that you can embody the physicality of your character(s) as well and find an expressive way of showing us your physical skills.

Certain monologues are more overdone than others—you can guess what the usual Shakespearean suspects are—try to find something fresh, but not specious; discover something satisfying to you and give us the opportunity to discover it through you.

Also, if you are coming from a country outside the U.S., you may be asked to do a piece that demonstrates you are comfortable in an American idiom, setting, or dialect.

Auditions / Callbacks

New York City: January 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28

721 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Chicago: February 5 & 6

Hyatt Regency
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

San Francisco: February 9 & 10

30 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108

Audition dates and times are subject to change.

Arrive early at your audition and be prepared to stay for the full time for which you are called. We may run as much as an hour late, so it’s best to expect that. Please keep your schedule flexible.

What You Have to Bring

Prepare and bring with you:

1. Four monologues (two classical and two contemporary, both comedic and dramatic) and a song.

2. A full-face photograph (headshot).

3. A detailed résumé listing your prior acting experience (attached to the back of your photograph or on a separate sheet).

4. A personal statement in essay form (approximately 500 words or two pages, typed and double-spaced). Write freely and personally about yourself and your acting. It will not be seen as a sample of your literacy, or as a test of your character. Tell us why you are applying here to NYU’s Graduate Acting Program (as opposed to a general interest in graduate school), what you expect the experience to be like, and what you would like to accomplish. Write about your life, past and present; how you get along with people, the world; likes, dislikes (in theatre, literature, golf, anything). The personal statement will be instrumental in helping the auditors make a final decision about your professional abilities. It will be read only by the chair and designated faculty in strict confidence.

Your headshot, résumé, and personal statement are needed at your audition.

Do not send your headshot/résumé or personal statement to the Office of Graduate Admissions or attach them to your online application.


Approximately 60 applicants from the first round of nationwide auditions will be asked to come to New York for two of three available days: Saturday, March 9; Sunday, March 10; and Monday, March 11, 2019 for the final callback round. The entering class of 16 students will be selected from the March callback.

If you are called back, you will be given specific instructions as to how to prepare for your callback “weekend.”


International Students

Applying for International Students

If you are an applicant who lives outside the United States, you may upload your audition on YouTube in place of auditioning in person for the first round. After you submit your online application by the December 31st deadline, please e-mail your headshot, resume and personal statement as well as a link to your YouTube video to the address we send to you. Your video must include a brief introduction, four monologues (no longer than 2 minutes apiece) and an a cappella song. If you cannot access YouTube, you may submit a DVD, (which must be playable on an American system, Region 1 NTSC,) as well as a copy of your headshot, resume and personal statement to the address in the e-mail.

All materials must be received by January 31, 2018.

If you are under consideration for March Callbacks, we will need to see you in-person a week before and will be in touch with you to schedule your audition.

Note: International applicants need to speak fluent English, as we are an American institution primarily training actors for American theater, film and television.

Tuition & Financial Aid


Grad Acting assesses the need and merit of every applicant. A full range of scholarships covering some to most of tuition costs could be offered. Every applicant will have a clear picture of their scholarship offer if they are offered admission to the program.


We ask that all applicants to the Graduate Acting Program do a realistic assessment of their financial situation and consider how they will budget their resources wisely so that their cost of training isn’t a burden to their career. We want our graduates to fulfill their dreams rather than have them deferred because of unmanageable debt.

It is essential that you (or you, in consultation with your family) have a clear financial picture of what lies ahead. We can and will supply as much information as we can, but, ultimately the decision about applying (and the consequences of admission to a three-year program) is a personal one. Please don’t portray your finances inaccurately if you think it will help you gain admission. We look for talent, above all, so your chances are not necessarily improved by giving us (or yourself) a financial prognosis you cannot sustain.



TUITION*                      $54,282

FEES*                            $2,522




Room and board:             $25,170

Transportation:                $2,044

Personal Expenses:           $3,500

Total annual cost of attendance (Fall & Spring) $90,215

*Figures subject to change.

The following links provide information about borrowing, budgeting and paying back loans:

For the general guidelines and information about Tisch School of the Arts financial aid and scholarships, go to: Tisch School of the Arts Financial Aid Page.

For the cost of tuition and fees, which do not include living expenses, go to: Tisch School of the Arts Costs.

For instructions on the Financial Aid process, see: How to Be Considered for Financial Aid.

For valuable advice on Federal loans and managing your debt, go to the government handbook by clicking on: Advice on Federal Loans and Debt.


The Tisch School of the Arts offers a limited number of tuition scholarships. Tuition scholarships are funds applied toward the cost of tuition. There is no separate application for them, and all students are automatically considered after you apply for admission and indicate your interest in financial aid on the admission application.

Awards are made on the basis of academic excellence, demonstrated ability, professional promise, and financial need. Evaluations are made by the Graduate Acting Program and by the NYU Office of Financial Aid.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Tisch Application for Graduate Admission contain all the information needed for scholarship determination. Please keep in mind that requesting financial aid will have no effect on the admission decision.

Federal Aid and the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)

Need-based federal financial assistance in the form of loans and student employment is available to qualified students through the federal government. It is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Graduate students may qualify for the Federal Subsidized Stafford Student Loan or the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan programs. Students may also qualify for student employment through the Federal Work-Study Program.

To be considered for this federal and/or state aid, you MUST file the FAFSA. Tisch School of the Arts encourages all U.S. citizens and permanent residents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submitting your Tisch application, we strongly encourage you to go online and complete your FAFSA on the Web at: FAFSA Online.

The FAFSA application is available beginning January 1 and should be submitted by February 15. Make sure that you give permission on the FAFSA form for your data to be forwarded to New York University: federal school code number 002785.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

When your online FAFSA application information has been processed (approximately 1-2 weeks), you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education. (If you do not receive your SAR, call 800-4-FED-AID or 800-433-3243.) Review it for accuracy and make changes or corrections if necessary. You may also view your SAR record on the FAFSA Web site and make changes there (see the “FAFSA Follow-up” area). Once the federal processor receives the corrections, you will be mailed a final SAR.

Please mail or e-mail a copy of your SAR to:

John Brown

Office of Graduate Admissions

Tisch School of the Arts

New York University

726 Broadway, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10003

Special Financial Circumstances

Applicants can provide to the Office of Graduate Admissions any special financial circumstances they feel would be grounds to be considered for more or less aid. Please provide a separate statement of any details you consider would be useful to us in determining your eligibility for scholarship funding.

Special Note For International Applicants

Tuition scholarships for international students (F-1 and J-1 visas) are extremely limited in number. In general, international applicants are urged to seek aid from outside sources and the government of their home country.

More detailed information on financial aid for international students can be found at Tisch Financial Aid for International Students