A diverse group of seven people, dressed casually in white t-shirts and jeans, engage in various artistic activities such as painting, photography, writing, music, and dance in a bright studio with large windows overlooking a cityscape.

If you dream of a career in the arts, NYU is a great place to be. No university in New York City has a stronger reputation for fostering successful artists than NYU. With dozens of Oscar-, Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winning alumni, aspiring artists thrive at NYU. What’s more, NYU offers state-of-the-art facilities and seemingly unlimited access to prestigious faculty and visiting artists. Students in all arts programs receive a solid liberal arts curriculum alongside intensive, conservatory-style training in their medium. Additionally, they have access to all the city’s artistic resources.

This is the first of a three-part series about exploring the arts at NYU. Interested in tech or writing arts majors? Check out “Part 2.” Want to learn more about education or multidisciplinary arts studies? Check out “Part 3.”

A still life arrangement featuring a variety of fruits, bagels, and books on a purple cloth, alongside a vintage camera and a video game controller. A person’s hand adjusts the cloth from the right side.

If the Visual Arts Are Your Calling…

NYU offers myriad options for artistic expression in the visual arts. For example, at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Studio Art majors study many different kinds of visual art forms, like drawing fundamentals, photography, design, metalworking, and woodworking. “NYU has made a huge impact on my development as an artist. Studio Art gave me the opportunity to explore new mediums like glass and further develop my comics craft,” says Studio Art major Eli Kan.

Students who hope to apply visual arts skills to world-building fields on film or the stage might be interested in a Theatre major with a design track or a Film and Television major at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In each major industry experts drawn from New York City’s extensive pool of entertainment talent lead students in practical trainings.

At NYU Abu Dhabi, students in the Film and New Media major gain critical thinking skills alongside technical prowess. There, they learn from industry experts on state-of-the-art equipment. Also at NYU Abu Dhabi, Art and Art History majors study different mediums and artistic techniques while tackling critical questions regarding art’s impact and power across cultures. The major culminates with a Capstone Project. This project includes an advanced piece of work developed in consultation with a faculty adviser that represents the student’s time and progress in the program.

“NYU has made a huge impact on my development as an artist.”

—Eli Kan, Studio Art

Two students sit close together, one plays an electric guitar while the other holds a telephone receiver, during a production of “Rent.”

If You’re Drawn to the Stage…

New York City is undeniably the capital of theatre in the United States. So NYU’s location is great for aspiring actors. The Drama program at NYU Tisch prepares actors for the stage via intensive professional training programs. Each student is placed in one of eight professional studios to learn their craft and gain foundational stage skills. “Studying drama is a blessing and privilege, since it lets me explore my creativity,” says Tino Ngorima. He’s a rising senior Drama major with minors in Producing and Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology.

At NYU Abu Dhabi, Theatre majors study the art and impact of theatre in a rich cultural hub that attracts international artists-in-residence. So students from around the world come together to perform main stage productions and complete apprenticeships with visiting artists. Then, they examine both classic drama and groundbreaking contemporary works in a rigorous, scholarly setting. “I wanted to go to a school where I could make theatre with people from all over the world,” says Arianna Gayle Stucki, an NYU Abu Dhabi Theatre alum. “I found that here.”

At NYU Steinhardt, Instrumental Performance majors gain intensive conservatory training as part of their curriculum. What’s more, they have access to exceptional performance and recording facilities. And they frequently have opportunities to perform in ensembles on and off campus, building strong relationships with local musicians in the process.

Students in the NYU Tisch Dance program undergo rigorous training in both ballet and contemporary dance. Equal opportunities to perform and choreograph are woven throughout the curriculum too. The intensive program, comprising three academic years and two summers, culminates in professional stage experience: students perform as ensemble members in Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company.

A river in Berlin with a pedestrian path along it, where two people are riding bicycles.

Keep in Mind…

Studying the Arts Away
A semester abroad doesn’t have to interrupt your artistic studies. Most of NYU’s 15 additional global sites offer coursework that allow arts students to continue fulfilling their major requirements. At NYU Berlin, for instance, studio art students take experimental interdisciplinary classes in one of Europe’s most exciting artistic capitals. Instrumental performance students continue their study with courses taught by renowned local musicians at NYU Prague. Similarly, drama students at NYU London perfect their craft in a unique partnership with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Applying to the Arts
If you’re interested in applying to arts programs at NYU, you may need to submit additional application materials. For visual arts mediums, a portfolio of work that best reflects your talent and areas of interest may be required alongside the Common Application. For performing arts applicants, an artistic review audition is required prior to admissions. So check the website of your preferred school or college for detailed application instructions and important dates and deadlines.