MFA/MA Graduate Application Requirements

The Tisch Dance graduate program expands the experience of contemporary dance technically, artistically, and intellectually.  In addition to performing and creating artistic works, students participate in sophisticated discussions on dance and its cultural impact. The ideal MFA candidates have had professional experience as performers, teachers and/or choreographers. They are seeking to broaden and deepen their knowledge, anchor their inquiries in the foundation of dance history, and to connect the physical and intellectual challenges of dance as an art. The MFA/MA program is an excellent preparation for future college instructors. 

Foreign students must have a strong enough command of the English language to participate fully in all aspects of the MFA program. This includes critiques in composition workshops as well as the rigorous intellectual discussions that are the heart of the MFA seminars.

Admission is limited to full-time students beginning in September only. A student matriculating in the Tisch School of the Arts must be admitted at two levels: as a student within a department of specialization or major, and as a student of New York University. Admission standards that pertain to the University in general can be found in the NYU-TSOA Bulletin and should be read in conjunction with the department's standards.


Graduate candidates need to submit an application to the Tisch Office of Graduate Admissions by February 1st.  The application for graduate students requires A statement of purpose (one to two pages) that includes your academic and professional background, your goals, and what you hope to gain from the program. Please address your specific interest in the field of dance, why you are applying to this particular program, and how you feel that your academic, professional, and/or artistic background makes you an ideal candidate.

Audition Information

An audition is required for the Department of Dance. The audition consists of a condensed class in ballet technique (ballet barre and adagio) and contemporary combinations, lasting approximately 1-1/2 hours. If the dancer passes the first part of the audition, they will be asked to perform a short (no longer than 3 minutes) solo dance they have learned or choreographed—something they enjoy doing. Music used for solos should be playable from an iPod or similar device.

A personal interview follows the solo performance. As we need to be able to see applicants' bodies in order to realistically evaluate technical level and physical potential, we ask that applicants wear clothing that does not obscure body lines. Everyone should bring regular ballet shoes; pointe shoes are only necessary if the applicant intends to do a solo en pointe.

To schedule a graduate audition please contact the department at 212-998-1984.

Auditions will be held in New York City, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Audition slots are limited. We strongly recommend applicants submit their application no later than December 15th if they intend on auditioning in Chicago, IL or Los Angeles, CA.

 Be sure to bring the following items to the audition:

  • Proper clothing.
  • A full-length body photograph in dancewear, no specific pose required, preferably 8" x 10".
  • A detailed résumé listing prior dance experience, including types of training, names of teachers and schools, years studied, and the numbers of lessons per week (attached to the back of the photograph or on a separate sheet).
  • Because you will be taking the above to the audition, applicants should not send a résumé to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

International Students, Digital Audition Policy

Digital auditions will be accepted for international students and MFA applicants who are on tour professionally.  Such applicants must obtain permission from the department in order to submit a digital audition. Please contact the Dance Office at or by calling 212.998.1984. 

Notification of admissions decision: Beginning April 1st

If you are unable to audition in person, you’re welcome to submit a link to your digital files. After you submit the NYU Tisch Graduate Application, please email to confirm that you intend to audition digitally and understand the submission guidelines and materials explained below: 

Digital Submission: 

1) Please be sure to clearly identify your name on the files. Full Name_Contemporary (example) 

An abbreviated ballet barre, adagio, and contemporary technique movement traveling across the floor (approximately 20 minutes total), and a brief solo (2-3 minutes) in the dance form of your preference. 

2) Include a brief verbal presentation describing your dance background and interest in NYU Tisch Dance. 

3) 8”x10” full-body photo and dance résumé. 

4) Completed, double-sided Audition Form and email Please complete this form up to the FOR DEPARTMENT USE section on the back side.  Email with Subject Heading: NYU TISCH DANCE DIGITAL AUDITION.  

5) We prefer links to your digital audition.  Kindly use YouTube, Vimeo, DropBox, or Google Drive and send us the password with your submission email. If necessary, all materials should be mailed to the Tisch Dance Department at:

Attn: Audition Application
TSOA/ Department of Dance
New York University
111 Second Avenue, Room 304
New York, NY 10003 

All digital audition materials must be received at the Tisch Dance Department by
February 1st.  

Candidate's intent to register Reply Date:

May 1st - Some candidates may be placed on a waiting list for admission and will be notified of a decision after admitted applicants have submitted their decisions.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.


NYU does not grant deferrals to students admitted to the Department of Dance in the Tisch School of the Arts. If you do not choose to enroll for semester to which you were accepted, you will need to re-apply and re-audition for the following fall semester. Admitted students who update their application are, however,
not guaranteed readmission to Tisch Dance for the next year. 

  • You may update your Application by contacting
    Graduate Admissions Department at 212 998-1918
  • You do not need to resubmit official final standardized test scores; however, final results will be required if you initially applied with predicted examination results. 
  • A school official should submit a final transcript. 
  • Additional teacher or instructor evaluations are not necessary.
  • Students should provide a brief update about how they plan to spend their time away from NYU. 
  • Students will also need to re-audition. Details regarding the audition are updated each summer, and available online by early September.