Spring at Tisch Application Requirements

Come to New York City and be inspired.

Come to be you.

Please read the following admissions information before starting your online application. You can find important dates on the Tisch Special Programs Admissions Calendar.

How do I apply?

  • Step 1 - Requirements and Eligibility
  • Step 2 - Online Application
  • Step 3 - Verification
  • Step 4 - Notification
  • Step 5 - Confirmation


  • You must be a full-time matriculated undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior during this academic year and be in good academic standing. If you are a current second semester freshman, you are eligible to apply.
  • Students who have already participated in the Spring at Tisch program are not eligible to re-apply.
  • NYU undergraduate students are ineligble to apply. If you are a current NYU student interested in taking Tisch courses, we encourage you to register for Courses for NYU Non-Majors.
  • You must have a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.
  • You must not be on academic or disciplinary probation.
  • Students who are on a leave of absence at the time of their application must have a representative of their school (e.g. an academic advisor) state via email to tisch.special.admissions@nyu.edu that they are presently on good academic and disciplinary standing with their school.
  • Students taking a gap year in-between high school and college are not eligible.
  • If you are interested in Cinema Studies, Dramatic Writing, Film Production, Games, and Recorded Music, no prior coursework is required in these disciplines, as classes offered are beginner level. It is not necessary that your field of study be arts-related; in fact, most students do not come from an arts background.
  • Photography and Imaging - You must have taken at least two semesters of college-level foundation courses, including Photography I and Photography II.
  • Theatre Production and Design - You must have some prior coursework/experience (Fundamental Technical Theatre, Design, or Stage Management coursework or equivalent); experience in painting, drawing and/or drafting; or college level production experience.


You must submit the following items:

  • Online application form (remember to use your name exactly as it appears on your birth certificate/passport in your application and supporting documents)
  • Personal statement
  • Creative résumé
  • Passport (non-US citizens only)
  • English language proficiency test results (non-native English-speaking applicants)
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Official university transcript(s)
  • Additional documents - program specific
  • $10 Slideshare fee for portfolio submission (Photography students only)
  • $75 non-refundable application fee


Type or copy and paste your statement in the Personal Statement section within the online application

Your complete personal statement should total 500-1500 words. You may not re-submit the same statement from another Tisch Special Programs application.

  • Cinema Studies, Dramatic Writing, Film Production, Games, Theatre Production and Design:
    • What New York-centric artwork (film, TV show, play, photograph, etc.) have you found influential in your craft? How has it informed your worldview? We leave it to you to define what constitutes "New York-centric".
  • Recorded Music: 

    • Based on your experiences so far, what kinds of skills do you possess - or do you hope to develop - while spending your semester in Recorded Music?

  •  Photography and Imaging:
    • Introduce yourself and address the following:

      • List the Photography, Art and Art History courses, if any, that you have taken.

      • Do you have any other experience relating to your photo-based work that you would like to share?

      • If you have a website or blog you would like to share, please include the URL.

    • Write a brief statement about your submitted work. Discuss the primary issue that you want to address in your images and include what drives you to make your work.

    • Describe a photograph or photographer that you consistently return to view and explain how this photograph or photographer's work engages you.

    • In your opinion, what does it mean to make photo/image-based art in the 21st century?


In the Documents section of the online application, upload your creative résumé. Your creative résumé should highlight creative and artistic work accomplished, activities, and relevant employment. Your résumé should also include:

  • Your full name and contact information

  • Any extra-curricular activities or work in your community

  • Additional information such as awards, hobbies, and interests


In the Documents section of the online application, upload a clear, fully legible copy of the identity page of your passport.

  • If you have more than one passport, upload both.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past the end of the program you are applying to.
  • Your passport should contain at least two adjacent blank pages.

Further information and application requirements may be found here.


In the Documents section of the online application, non-native English speaking applicants are required to upload copies of one of the following English language proficiency examinations:


Exemption from English language proficiency testing will be given:

  • If your native language is English.

  • You already completed (at the time of application submission) at least 3 or more consecutive, full academic years at a school/university where the primary language of instruction was English.


Exams should be completed before the application deadline, and results cannot be more than 2 years old. While we will consider scores received after the application deadline, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to wait for those scores to arrive before making an admissions decision.


We don’t have minimum score requirements, but competitive applicants will receive: 100 and above on the TOEFL iBT, 7.5 and above on the IELTS, 70 and above on the PTE Academic, or 191 and above on the Cambridge English Scale.



Within the online application, please enter the names and email addresses of your recommenders. One recommendation must be from a college/university representative and the second can be from another academic representative, a community group leader, a mentor, or a coach, etc. Ideally both recommendations should be from people who are familiar with your interest in the performing or media arts. Recommendations from friends or family members will not be accepted.


Register your recommenders early! You should allow your recommenders 1-2 weeks to complete the recommendations. Recommendations must be received by the application deadline.


Once you submit the recommenders' information, they are emailed instructions on how to submit their online recommendations. If your recommenders have trouble completing their online recommendations please have them contact our office. You will be emailed confirmation that the recommendation has been received. 


Request your transcripts early. You should allow at least 2-4 weeks for processing and delivery to Tisch Special Programs. Your official transcripts must be received (not postmarked) in our office by the application deadline. If we have not received your official transcripts by the application deadline, your application will not be considered for admission.

We must receive your official transcripts sent from your college/university by the application deadline, via one of the following methods:

  • Email: This is our preferred delivery method.
    • Emailed transcripts must come from a school representative or an official transcript service on behalf of your school.

    • Our email address is tisch.special.admissions@nyu.edu.
  • Mail: Mailed transcripts must be sealed and issued directly from your school to:
    • New York University
      Tisch Office of Special Programs Admissions
      721 Broadway, Rm 1248
      New York, NY 10003

Need to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale? Try CollegeBoard’s GPA Calculator.

Non-US/Non-English transcripts: Please note that you are required to submit both the official transcript and its English translation. If the institution you attend does not provide an English translation with the official transcript, you must obtain a certified English translation. Following these steps will ensure the validity of your transcript:

  • Secure an official transcript from your institution in a sealed envelope.

  • Submit your unopened official transcript to the translator.

  • Ask the translator to prepare an official English translation.

  • Ask the translator to provide you with one sealed envelope containing both your original transcript and its English translation. The back of the envelope must contain the translator's signature to reflect the unaltered, true contents.


Photography and Imaging Portfolio Requirements

Up to five images can be non photo-based. We encourage submission of sound, video art, and other “new media” based work. The Photography and Imaging deparment is committed to photography’s contemporary directions, yet anchored in the medium’s rich history. We are excited about quality work where content and craft are developed. We look for diversity in student thinking, experience, and media presentation.


Recorded Music Portfolio Requirements

Upload your portfolio in the media section of the online application. Any video and audio samples should be included as links within your document.

1. A CREATIVE SAMPLE that can be evaluated in approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Your creative sample should demonstrate evidence of the skills you possess—or evidence of your potential to develop those skills. Your submission may be one sample that totals three to five minutes of review or multiple samples that together total three to five minutes of review. You may submit links to audio, video, and/or a sample of articles you have written or published, a business plan you would like to implement, flyers or promotional materials you have designed, etc.

Examples of past creative sample submissions have included:

  • A business plan you would like to implement, or have already implemented

  • Evidence of experience with Internet/new media, music marketing, promotions, A&R, management, merchandising, Internet entrepreneurship as well as work on a street team or as a music stylist

  • Audio recordings of music you have either composed, produced, arranged, engineered, or performed on, and may also include multimedia recordings, music videos, or lyrics written

  • Promotional materials you’ve created showing your graphic design such as logos on a t-shirt, band or event flyers, and ads

  • Evidence of live events, concert production, and promotion

  • Articles you have published on music, music photography, evidence of music blogging

  • Designs you have done for a home or school studio and technology including construction and implementation of the studio with reasons for the choices made

  • Films you have scored, soundtracks, or sound design

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.

2. A written DETAILED STATEMENT about your creative sample. We would like to know more about your creative process. To that end, each applicant is also required to submit a brief written statement (1 page or less) that describes TWO things:

  • 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.

  • WHY you made the work - identify your creative process, your artistic influences, your inspiration. Describe your behind-the-scenes process in putting together your creative sample, i.e. what inspired you to create the sample or submit the specific samples that you selected.


Theatre Production and Design Portfolio Requirements

Please present a digital portfolio of the theater (and art) work you have done. Upload your portfolio in the media section of the online application.

  • If you are a scenery, lighting or costume designer this portfolio should showcase three or four theater projects of which you are especially proud.  Please indicate with these images your job on the production and where it was produced.  If possible, please include the design drawings, drafting, renderings, and sketches along with photos of the finished production.  If you have taken other art classes – drawing, painting, 3D artwork, photography, etc., please include examples of that work as well.

  • If you are a sound designer, please include audio files along with descriptions of how those sounds were incorporated into a show.

  • If you are a stage manager, please create a .pdf version of a prompt book from one of your shows – you do not need to include every page from every section, just representative selections.


Within your creative résumé, please include your theater work including the name of the show, performance dates, presenting organization and what job you did on the production.


Email is our primary method of communication; therefore, please make sure to allow emails from tisch.special.admissions@nyu.edu to be viewed.  

Enrollment for Spring at Tisch Programs is limited. Acceptance is based on:

  • Your academic record
  • Satisfaction of the prerequisites, including a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA requirement
  • Recommendations
  • Personal statement
  • Interview or advisement appointment (if applicable; we reserve the right to interview all applicants as necessary)
  • Readiness for living and studying in New York City
  • How well your interests match the training we offer



  • Final status notifications will be sent on the dates listed in the Tisch Special Programs Admissions Calendar.

  • Notifications are communicated only by email, and only to the primary email address given in the application.


If accepted, you will be required to confirm your participation via the confirmation form.  Confirmation forms must be received by the confirmation deadline found in your acceptance email.  

  • A non-refundable and non-transferable $550 deposit is required with confirmation.
  • It is important that you review and understand the Tisch Special Programs Cancellation Policy prior to submitting your confirmation form.  Details can be found on the Tisch Special Programs Cancellation Policy page.

If you are having difficulty with the online application, please contact us at (212) 998-1512.