International Applicant Requirements

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

Note: We ask that copies of all materials be uploaded directly to the application in the appropriate sections or sent via email to 

English Language Proficiency Exam Scores

If English is not your native language you are required to submit a test score We will accept one test score from any one of the following:  Duolingo English Test, 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.

For the Duolingo English Test, please consult their website for delivery options.

For TOEFL, we will accept iBT as well as MyBest (Superscore) TOEFL test results. Please use institutional code 9633 and no departmental code 99 to have your scores delivered to us electronically. 

For IELTS, please upload a copy of your student report to the appropriate section of the online application or send it to us via email at We will verify these unofficial scores using the IELTS TRF verification system. DO NOT have physical copies mailed to Graduate Admissions. 

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

Waiver Policy

Candidates may be waived from this requirement if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

If English is not your native language you are required to submit a test score. You are eligible for a waiver if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Completed a four year Bachelor’s degree in the United States.
  • Completed 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.).
  • Currently enrolled in or graduated from a Masters or PhD program at a University in the United States or where English is the primary language of instruction.

Other Exemptions

Waivers are automatically granted if:

  • you are a U.S. Permanent Resident with at least five continuous years residency in the U.S.
  • you are applying to the Department of Dramatic Writing.
  • you are applying to the Graduate Acting Department.

Candidates under these circumstances should ignore all references to the need for a language test.

If you do not fall under one of the waiver requirements mentioned above but feel that you are still eligible for a waiver, please send a waiver request to listing your full name, program(s) you are applying to, and a detailed explanation as to why you feel you qualify for a waiver. Your request will be reviewed by our admissions staff and we will reach out after we have made our determination. 

Self-Reporting Test Scores on the Application for Admission

Candidates that do not qualify for a waiver or are denied a waiver can self-report Duolingo, IELTS, PTE or TOEFL test scores on the application. We ask that you also upload the unofficial score report if you have it.  Whichever way this information is presented, TOEFL, IELTS and PTE test takers need to make sure the official score report is received by our office within 30 days after you file the application for admission. 

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 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 it is the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree), only if you are applying to any of our M.F.A. or M.P.S. programs. We require the four-year honors degree if you are applying to any of our M.A. programs except Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP).
  • 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, notably the former British Commonwealth Educational systems such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

If you have already received an evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) [i.e World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)], you should upload a copy of your course-by-course credential evaluation.

Note:If an evaluation from a NACES member is not submitted The Office of Graduate Admissions retains the right to require a transcript evaluation if deemed necessary.

In all cases, the Office of Graduate Admissions requires transcripts which list grades and all course work completed. Diplomas alone, without accompanying transcripts will not fulfill the necessary requirement.

If you have any questions about academic credentials please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 212 998-1918 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.