Students in Photography & Imaging are passionate and committed to creating and studying images, are curious about the world, and have a desire to push personal and social boundaries.

To apply to the Department of Photography & Imaging, applicants must complete both the NYU Common Application and a creative portfolio.  Students who do not complete both components will not be considered for admission.

1. The Common Application is required for students applying as new freshman and external transfer students. Information about the application may be obtained from the NYU Undergraduate Admissions website. Please note that the application is slightly different for internal transfers (current NYU students).

2. After completing the NYU Common Application, students are invited to register with Slideroom and upload their creative portfolios. Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Early Decision I - Due Nov 1, 2024
  • Early Decision II - Due Jan 1, 2025
  • Regular Decision - Due Jan 5, 2025
  • Internal Transfer (Spring start)- Due Nov 1, 2024 / Decision Nov - Jan
  • Internal Transfer (Sum/Fall start)- Due Mar 1, 2025 / Decision Apr - May
  • External Transfer - Due Apr 1, 2025 / Decision May - June

Applicants must submit their creative materials online at The artistic review includes a portfolio of images and short essays and is due on the same date as the Common Application (see above). 

Students should use their given legal name to complete both the common application and to register in SlideRoom to complete the artistic portfolio. Preferred names or pseudonyms may be added to the application. If you use a different name in SlideRoom than on the Common Application, we will not be able to properly identify you.

Portfolio Requirements for Fall 2024 Applicants

PORTFOLIO: Submit 15 - 20 images via

At least 10 images should be on a single theme. Title or caption each of your images. Include a brief description with the medium/format (analog, digital, etc.) and indicate which 10 images are within the single theme. You will be asked to explain your chosen series in your written statement.


Sequence your work to effectively communicate your ideas. Your portfolio should be a cohesive body of work that reveals your passion, effort, and most importantly your point of view. We look for diversity in student thinking, experience, and media presentation. Effective development of meaningful content is of particular importance. The portfolio assignment requests images on a single theme, but this should not limit you to submitting work from a single photo shoot or a single roll of film. Take time to review our suggestions for generating portfolio content and consider the myriad ways you can approach your submission.


We also accept submission of new and interactive media based work, sound and video art. If appropriate, include link in the caption. You may include up to 5 non-photo based images (painting, sculpture, collage, installation, drawing, etc.), but if you choose to do so, you must submit a total of 20 images.


1. List the photography, digital imaging, art and art history courses, if any, that you have taken.

2. Briefly list your photography and imaging skills.

3. Do you have any other experience related to your image-making work that you would like to share?

5. If you have a website or social media you would like to share, please include the url/link.

6. Outside of photography, what other academic subjects or activities are most important to you?

Short Essays

Please provide responses, 150 words or less per question, to the following:

  1. Introduce yourself:
    Who are you? What interests you about our program?
    You may write something or include the link to a video introduction of 30 seconds or less.

  2. Project Statement:
    Write a brief statement about your submitted work. Discuss the ideas you are exploring in the single theme portion of your portfolio and include what motivated you to create the project. What role would you like to see your images play in the world at large?

  3. Photograph or Photographer:
    Describe a photograph or photographer that you consistently return to view and explain how this photograph or image engages you. How do you see your role as a photographer changing or different from those photographers whom you have admired in the past?

  4. Photo/image-based art in the world today:
    What does it mean to make photo/image-based art now, in the 21st Century? What platforms and modes of circulation for images do you find most interesting, problematic, or challenging?

  5. What academic subject(s) interest you?
    Tell us more about your background, family life, interests (acdemic and otherwise) and goals.

Tips For Developing a Portfolio


  • Avoid compiling a disjointed group of images that is intended to be considered individually. A large variety of photographs that show a sampling of every genre and technique often appear incoherent or lacking in vision.

  • When selecting the content for your portfolio, include images that expand on the same theme (or a series of themes and ideas) rather than images that are thematically unrelated.

  • Sequence your work so that the images flow and relate to one another conceptually and visually. Consider what the work tells the viewer about you. The Department does not have access to your common application and will never get to read your personal essay. How you can convey this information through your image submissions? Your portfolio is an opportunity to share your opinions, passion for ideas, and personal vision of the world.



Suggestions for Generating Portfolio Content


  • Create from your passion and embrace the fact that personal passion is subjective. You may find inspiration exploring something you absolutely love or you may feel driven to create work in response to something you find unjust, unpleasant or reprehensible. Any theme can be worthy of exploration. Show us what evokes your excitement to create images.

  • For inspiration, see photography/art exhibitions, and movies. Read literature, poetry. In short, seek out media that excites your creativity. Try to understand what makes this work engaging and coherent.

  • Keep a journal of ideas for image-making.

  • Ask yourself what elements to add to the images so that other possibilities can be explored and developed, expanding the boundaries of your idea.

  • Ask others for feedback and learn how others read your images.

  • Accept critical feedback.





“To study photography in New York City is to be at the center of a metropolis where the photo lens becomes your insight into visual experience, including neighborhoods such as fashion, financial or meatpacking districts; galleries and museums; individuals; urban life; nightlife, theatre; and Central Park. Students explore photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression.” 

- Deborah Willis, Ph.D., University Professor and Chair,
  Department of Photography & Imaging