Application Requirements

Are you a self-starter? Are you a forward-thinking leader? Do you have a deep intellectual curiosity? Do you thrive on collaboration?

How We Define Creative Entrepreneur: A passionate self-starter who draws on his/her innovative vision and business acumen – often with unconventional flair – to launch a successful, unique enterprise. It's our mission at The Clive Davis Institute to provide a training ground for future music industry leaders, so we're looking for aspiring producers, performers, executives, journalists, songwriters and tech visionaries with a strong potential to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in a constantly changing business.

Creative Portfolio Submission

There are two required steps to successfully complete your application for admission:

  1. Complete the Common App - with the NYU Supplement - and submit to Undergraduate Admissions (this academic requirement is different for NYU internal transfers).

  2. Prepare a creative portfolio and submit via Slideroom (you will be charged a $10 fee to use this service, payable with credit or debit card).

You must clearly label and upload the following Creative Portfolio components to Slideroom:

Statement of Intent

At the Clive Davis Institute, we're looking for self-starters aiming to launch unique creative enterprises. Review our holistic curriculum and our examples of creative entrepreneurship. Based on your experiences so far, what kinds of skills do you possess - or have the potential to develop - that will allow you to succeed in the music industry when you graduate? 

We would also like you to identify why the Clive Davis Institute is the right fit for you: how does our holistic curriculum help you develop toward your educational and career goals? What do you, in turn, expect to contribute to the culture of the Clive Davis Institute and NYU as a whole?

 2 pages, double-spaced, .pdf format

Creative Sample

All applicants are required to submit a creative sample that demonstrates evidence of the skills you possess - or evidence of your potential to develop the skills - that will allow you to achieve your career goals as a creative entrepreneur outlined in your Statement of Intent.

Your submission may be one sample or multiple samples that together total five minutes of review. You have 5 minutes of our attention, so please curate the use of that time. Your sample could include audio, video, a sample of articles you’ve written or published, a business plan you’d like to implement, designs for a home studio, flyers or promotional materials you’ve designed, evidence of live event production, evidence of experience with new media or online entrepreneurship, films you’ve scored, etc. The sample(s) you submit for your Creative Portfolio should show your potential to be a creative entrepreneur.

If you’re applying with heavily produced songs that feature your voice we'd like to hear you without those production elements. This may be as simple as you sitting in front of your computer camera and performing for 30-90 seconds.

In all cases, the material submitted must show evidence of your original work and you must be the primary contributor to or creator of the work. Work that involves sampling or previously copyrighted material may be submitted only if your creativity is displayed through the use of the sampled material.

Detailed Statements about the creative sample

We'd like to know more about your creative process. To that end, each applicant is also required to submit a brief WRITTEN statement as well as record and submit an equally brief VIDEO statement that explains the following:

  1. WRITTEN: HOW you made the work - identify the full extent of your creative involvement, and, if necessary, all credits due to other contributors. You must provide, as applicable, the name of the composition, composer, producer, engineer, mixer, arranger, programmer, location of recording, date of recording, full list of performers, and software used. (1 page or less, .pdf format)

  2. VIDEO: WHY you made the work - identify your creative process, your artistic influences, your inspiration. Using a webcam or mobile camera to record yourself, describe your behind-the-scenes process in putting together your creative sample. What inspired you to create the sample or submit the specific samples that you selected? Quality is not important, as long as we can see and hear you clearly. Just keep it simple, and talk to us about you and your sample - show us your personality. (2 minutes)

Artistic Resume

Please list your previous creative and entrepreneurial experience. Experience may include promotional activities, internships, volunteer work experience, musical skills, church choir, school chorus, band involvement, and amateur or professional performances. It may also include formal training on an instrument, voice training, technology (such as MIDI), or technical skills in music performance and recording, such as arranging and composition, DJ-ing, and producing. Please include instructors, courses taken, and the duration of study or engagement.

1-2 pages, .pdf format

Current Personal Photograph

Please include one photo that best represents your aesthetic as your selected type of entrepreneur, or best represents who you are.

.jpg format

Critical Essay

You have been selected by NASA to join a one-way mission to Mars aboard Galaxy One. There is only room for ten songs per colonist on the onboard computer. What ten songs are you bringing? Organize those songs into a customized, accessible playlist via any suitable streaming service (i.e. Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, etc.) of your choosing. Paste the playlist link and then write about any one of those songs or artists. Explain why you've chosen that song or artist and specifically address aspects of the recording that strike you in terms of production, artistry/performance, marketing, or promotion.

2 pages, double-spaced, .pdf format

Letter of Recommendation

This letter must be from someone who knows you well and can speak of not only your creativity and innate talent, but also your potential to succeed as a leader in the music industry. Your recommender should speak to the following qualities - entrepreneurial ambition, leadership, confidence, maturity, self-initiative, drive/hustle, innovativeness, ability to collaborate, star quality/charisma, and passion. It is advisable for recommenders to provide specific examples and anecdotes that speak to the aforementioned qualities.

In preparing your Creative Portfolio, please note that you do not necessarily need to have experience in the music industry, nor do you need to have access to resources, to demonstrate your vision, creativity and passion, and your potential for success in the music industry. Have fun, and be creative.


The Clive Davis Institute Slideroom application becomes available for Fall 2020 applicants on September 1. Once the application is live, you are invited to register and upload your Creative Portfolio until the deadline. Once you’ve registered, you may step away and come back at any time until the final deadline. Once you click submit, you may no longer edit your creative portfolio.


Please note that for artistic programs such as those at Tisch, NYU requests that you submit your Common Application one month before the deadline.  While we do not recommend waiting till the last minute, there is no penalty to your application so long as you submit your materials before the deadlines below. 

  • Early Decision I - due November 1
  • Early Decision II - due January 1
  • Regular Decision - due January 1
  • Internal Transfer - due March 1
  • External Transfer - due April 1
"Our students have boundless amounts of musical creativity, business acumen and are technologically savvy. In recruiting students for the Clive Davis Institute, we look for applicants who are driven, passionate, forward-thinking, self-motivated and well-rounded. Like the great music moguls past and present, our students must have a strong sense of self and a creative ability to imagine how they might one day transform the music industry for the better."
– Jason King, Associate Professor