B.A. Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts! 

The B.A. program in Performance Studies is a very exciting, innovative, and interdisciplinary liberal arts major that trains students to think and write critically and creatively about “performance” – across media, genre, or platform. We study performance in the arts as well as culture more broadly – “on the page, stage, and street” – and we train students to understand, write about, and analyze it.

We’re looking for smart, curious students with strong writing and critical thinking skills, who are interested in performance as an object of study: this might include students who have done performance (theater, dance, music, etc.) but it also includes students who enjoy thinking and writing about performance as well. 

We are not a performing arts department – we don’t train students to do performance – but we welcome students who are excited about analyzing and understanding it in an interdisciplinary context that includes anthropology, ethnic and gender studies, religious studies, philosophy, etc. 



Undergraduate applicants must complete the NYU Common Application online, and a Written Supplement ("Portfolio") submitted via SlideRoom.  All materials should be received by the dates listed below.

Early Decision 1 November 1
November 1
Early Decision 2 January 1 January 1
Regular Decision January 1 January 1
Spring Transfer November 1 November 1
Summer/Fall Internal March 1 March 1
Summer/Fall External April 1 April 1

Performance Studies Portfolio

To apply to the Department of Performance Studies, applicants must complete both the New York University common application online, and submit a  a two-part portfolio, which is accessible through the Common Application.

PART 1: Performance Studies is an academic field that examines the histories and impacts of all the arts (Theater, Dance, Music, Visual Arts) on the social world, while also giving students a strong foundation in the humanities. The program allows students to pursue their academic interests and encourages students to connect their studies to their outside artistic practices.  

For the Portfolio, please submit a 750-1000 word statement that addresses your interest in performance studies:

How might your academic background and passion for the arts be guided further by Performance Studies? 
How might the strengths of our program across scholarly fields help you to realize your academic and professional goals?  You will notice from our website that we are especially conversant in gender and sexuality, queer theory, race and ethnicity, philosophy, Black Studies, Dance Studies, Media Studies, Sound and Music, Latina/x and Latin American Studies, Asian and Asian-American Studies, Visual Arts and Curation.

*We are not a conservatory program in acting, dance, or music.  If you are interested in applying to such programs please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

PART 2: Please submit a three to five page academic essay on a performance of your choice.  It can be from any genre, medium, or historical period.  We are looking for a detailed analysis of the performance, strong writing and critical thinking skills, and a well-developed argument as to how the performance impacts the here-and-now.