International Applicant Requirements

International applicants should review the sections below on English language proficiency requirements, international academic credentials, and financial aid before starting their applications to ensure they are prepared to submit a successful application.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 212 998-1918 or

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

English language proficiency requirements


Proof of English language proficiency is NOT required from applicants who meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Native English speakers (regardless of citizenship status)
  • Applicants to the Grad Acting or Dramatic Writing programs. These programs do not require proof of English language proficiency from any applicants.
  • Applicants who have earned or are currently earning a higher education degree (undergraduate or graduate) in a country where English is the language of instruction for ALL universities (e.g. US, UK, Canada, Singapore, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Nigeria, etc)
  • Applicants who have earned or are earning a bachelor's degree from NYU Shanghai or NYU Abu Dhabi
  • Applicants who are US permanent residents with at least 5 years continuous residency in the USA

If you meet one of these requirements and fill out the appropriate section of the online application, then you will not need to submit test scores. You do not need to contact our office to request the exemption as long as you have filled out the appropriate section of the online application. 

If you earned or are currently earning your bachelor's degree from NYU Abu Dhabi or NYU Shanghai, please indicate on your application that you completed a four year bachelor's degree in the United States. Because these campuses are part of a United States university, you meet the requirements for the exemption.


If you do not meet one of the requirements for English language proficiency test score exemption as listed above but feel that you may be 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. 


If you do not meet the requirements for an exemption or waiver, you are required to submit proof of English language proficiency to be considered for admission to a Tisch graduate program. We accept test scores from the following:

  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test).  We will accept results from the in-person version or the iBT Home Edition.
  • Duolingo English Test
  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic)

We do not accept results from the IELTS Indicator, the TOEFL ITP Plus for China, or TOEFL Essentials.

Only test scores that are two years old or less will be accepted. We do not have a minimum language test score requirement; the admissions committee takes a holistic approach to the review process, considering all parts of your application together to come to an admissions decision. That said, because all students must be effective communicators in English to be successful in the program, competitive applicants will submit very high test scores.

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 look up our institution using the following information:

Account Name: New York University Tisch School of the Arts

Address: 726 Broadway 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

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


Applicants 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. Even if you self-report your score, applicants MUST 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.

International Academic Credentials


Master’s degree applicants are required to have earned the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree by the time they would enroll at Tisch to be eligible for admission; PhD applicants are required to have earned the equivalent of a US master’s degree.

Before starting an application, please check our US Bachelor Equivalency page to ensure the international undergraduate degree you earned will make you eligible for admission to a Tisch graduate program.

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 prerequisites but there are exceptions, notably the former British Commonwealth Educational systems such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


Applicants should directly upload unofficial transcripts listing all courses taken and marks earned for every higher education institution from which you earned/are earning a degree, or that you attended for at least 2 years. Diplomas alone, without accompanying transcripts, will not fulfill the necessary requirement.

Transcripts must be uploaded in English. If your transcript is not originally in English, please upload a copy of your transcript in its original language along with an English translation. Translations may be provided by:

  • Your university

  • A certified translator

  • A NACES member

You may NOT provide your own translation.


Transcript evaluations are NOT required as part of your application UNLESS:

  • Your undergraduate education does not meet the equivalency requirements of a US bachelor's degree as listed on our US Bachelor Equivalency page but you think your education may still be the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree. If you receive a credential evaluation that finds your education to be the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree, we will accept the evaluation and you will be considered for graduate admission.
  • Specifically requested by the Office of Graduate Admissions. The Office of Graduate Admissions retains the right to require a transcript evaluation if deemed necessary.

If a credential evaluation is necessary as part of your application, you should receive your evaluation from a from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), including:

If you have already received a credential evaluation and wish to upload it, you should upload a copy of your course-by-course credential evaluation to your Academic History section.

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.