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.



  • You must be full time matriculated undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior during the 2016-2017 academic year and be in good academic standing. If you are a current second semester freshman, you are eligible to apply.
  • NYU undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Acting track only (offered on a space-available basis; contact our office for information on applying).
  • 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 e-mail to tisch.special.admissions@nyu.edu that they are presently on good academic and disciplinary standing with their school.
  • 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 beginning level. It is not necessary that your field of study is arts-related; in fact, most students do not come from an arts background. Contact the Tisch Office of Special Programs for possibilities of intermediate to advanced-level courses in these areas.
  • Acting - You should have a minimum of one year acting training or equivalent.
  • 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
  • Personal statement
  • Creative résumé
  • Passport (non-US citizens only)
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic results (non-native English speaking applicants)
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Official university transcript(s)
  • $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Additional Documents - Program Specific
    • $10 Slideshare fee for portfolio submission (Photography students only)

Your essay must be a minimum of 500 words / maximum of 1500 words. Type or copy and paste your essay in the "Personal Statement" section within the online application.

Cinema Studies, Dramatic Writing, Film Production, Games, Theatre Production and Design:  Respond to this quote in essay form: "No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky." — E.B. White, Here is New York, 1948

Photography and Imaging:  
Introduce yourself and address the following:

  • List the Photography, Art and Art History courses, if any, that you have taken at your High School.
  • Do you have any other experience relating to your photo-based work that you’d 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 discuss 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 image engages you.
  • In your opinion, what does it mean to make photo/image-based art in the 21st Century?

Recorded Music:
Please read “Institute Notes On Entrepreneurship” on the department's website and clearly identify which of these seven entrepreneur types most interest you.  

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?

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, clubs, and activities.

In the Documents section of the online application, upload a clear, fully legible copy of your photo and biographical information page from your passport.

If you have more than one passport upload both.

US Permanent Residents: please upload a copy of your US Permanent Resident card.

In the Documents section of the online application, non-native English speaking applicants are required to upload copies of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or PTE Academic (Pearsons Test of English Academic) results, which have been issued within the past two years.

Exemption from English language proficiency testing will be given:

  • If you are a current NYU student;
  • If your native language is English;
  • If you have been studying in a college/university where the language of instruction is English for at least three years AND you submit SAT, ACT, AP or IB testing;
  • If your education has been completed entirely in schools/colleges/universities where the language of instruction is English.

We do not have any minimum test score requirements, but our most competitive applicants score above 100 on the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) and 7.5 or above on the IELTS. Information about the TOEFL may be secured by visiting the TOEFL website and information on the IELTS is available on the IELTS website.  

Within the online application, please enter the names and email addresses of your recommenders. One recommendation must be from a high school representative and the second can be from a personal acquaintance (not a relative) or another academic representative, a member of the clergy, community group leader or coach. Ideally both recommendations should be from people who are familiar with your interest in the performing or media arts.

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 recommenders' information, they are emailed instructions on how to submit their online recommendations. If a recommender has trouble completing his/her online recommendation please have him/her contact our office. You will be emailed confirmation that the recommendation has been received. The subject of the confirmation email is “Tisch Application Reference Submission”.

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.

Official transcripts must be issued directly from the high school to Tisch Special Programs and should be sent via one of the following methods:

  • Email: This is our preferred delivery method.
  • Emailed transcripts must come from your school's email address or an official transcript service on behalf of your school. Our email address is tisch.special.admissions@nyu.edu.
  • Fax: Our fax number is 212-995-4578
    a cover page from school;
    student’s name
    student’s cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Mail: Mailed transcripts must be sealed and issued directly from your school to:
    Tisch Office of Special Programs
    New York University
    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
Please submit your portfolio (a total of 15-20 images) through tischphoto.slideroom.com. 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 department 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.

All components of your portfolio must be submitted through tischphoto.slideroom.com.  A slideroom.com account is free; however, the submission fee is $10. Our online portal offers additional instruction for submitting work. For technical assistance, please contactsupport@slideroom.com.

Recorded Music Portfolio Requirements
Upload your portfolio in the Documents section of the online application under the category "Additional Documents." 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, but are not limited to:

  • 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 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'd 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 Documents section of the online application under the category "Additional Documents."

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 both design drawings, drafting, renderings, sketches along with photos of the finished production. If you have taken other art classes – drawing, painting, 3D, 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.

For 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 Semester at Tisch Programs is limited. Acceptance is based on the following:

  • Your academic record
  • Satisfaction of the prerequisites, including a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA requirement
  • Recommendations
  • Personal statement
  • Interview (if applicable)
  • Audition (if applicable)
  • Readiness for living and studying in New York City
  • How well your interests match the training we offer

We reserve the right to interview all applicants as necessary.

Auditions are required for all Acting track applicants. If you are not in New York City or cannot attend the audition in person, you will be able to audition via Skype. More information about this will be in the email sent from Tisch Special Programs regarding scheduling your audition.


Final status notifications will only be sent via email to the primary email address given on the application. Please reference the Tisch Special Programs Admissions Calendar for dates of notification.


  • If accepted, you will be required to confirm your participation via the confirmation form.  
  • Your registration in this program is as a non-matriculated student at New York University. Enrolled students who have successfully completed the courses in Spring at Tisch will receive NYU college credit. These credits are transferable, however, it is your responsibility to communicate with your home college/university to determine if your home school will accept the transfer credits and how the transfer credits will be applied to your degree program. It is best to determine this prior to confirming participation in Spring at Tisch. 
  • Confirmation forms must be received by the confirmation deadline found on the 2016-2017 Tisch Special Programs Admissions Calendar.  
    You should confirm as soon as possible, as space is limited. If the program reaches capacity before we receive your confirmation, you will be placed on a waitlist.
  • 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.