The Journey of an Artistic Application

Here's what to expect as an artistic applicant to NYU

At NYU, students majoring in the arts have access to world-class artistic and academic opportunities. We offer over 20 unique artistic programs across the Tisch School of the Arts and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Whether you are an aspiring actor, musician, dancer, or producer, we recognize that there is more to you than your craft. That’s why we collaborate closely with our faculty in Tisch and Steinhardt. We want to make sure you will thrive in academic coursework and your artistic practice alike. But it can be confusing to know what to submit and what we pay attention to during the review process. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what happens once you hit submit on both the Common App and your portfolio.

The Artistic Review

A ballet class with a group of students following the professor’s instruction at the front.

We require a portfolio or audition for all of our artistic programs, with the exception of Educational Theatre. If you’ve applied to an artistic program and you’re reading this thinking, “I never submitted a portfolio or scheduled an audition,” double check your NYU applicant portal!

Each academic department manages the creative submission process differently, so it is always best to connect with the department if you have any questions about what they expect. You can find the department websites for Steinhardt here and for Tisch here. Research your department’s specific requirements so you know exactly what they need for your file.

You will still submit the Common Application as normal. 1-2 days after submission, we will reach out to you with instructions on how to schedule your audition or upload necessary materials. We always recommend submitting your Common App a week or two before your intended deadline. This gives our offices time to make sure all of your materials were uploaded successfully. It will also give you some peace of mind. Not all artistic programs are flexible with late submissions, so plan ahead!

These artistic supplements are then reviewed directly by the artistic department before they connect with us in admissions to finalize our decisions. Every portfolio, pre-screen, or audition gets an application review. Make sure to put your best foot forward (and get it in on time!).

SlideRoom, Acceptd, or Neither?

Students submit their artistic review or schedule their auditions through SlideRoom, Acceptd, or directly through our NYU applicant portal. We will give instructions after you apply, but familiarize yourself with these websites now to know what to expect later.

If you are applying to Cinema Studies, Film & Television, Photography & Imaging, Recorded Music, or Studio Art, then SlideRoom will be for you.

Acceptd is for Instrumental Performance, Piano Studies, Music Business, Music Education, Music Theory & Composition, and Vocal Performance.

All other programs will submit their materials directly through their NYU applicant portal after submitting the Common App.

The Academic Review

Girl sitting at a desk, surrounded by bookshelves.

While the department is reviewing your artistic work, we make sure we have everything else we need. No matter how talented you are on stage or behind the camera, we still need your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the essays and activities that you’ll tell us about in the Common App. We’re admitting artist-scholars, so we want students who will succeed at NYU as both artists and students.

One thing to remember: if you are required to submit a portfolio or audition, we are test optional.

That means that we will focus on your transcript, the Common App, and your artistic review to make a decision. You’re devoting so much time and effort to your art, so we decided that asking you to submit test scores too didn’t make sense. You can let us know that you won’t be sending testing in the Common App.

When we get your artistic review back from Tisch or Steinhardt, we group up into committees to review your application. We review every application. We’ll consider your passions, your academic work, and your artistic strength to make our final decision about your admission to NYU.

Then What?

Once we’ve reviewed your artistic and academic work, we’re ready to give you an admissions decision. Your decision is based on a combination of your artistic work and your academics. Generally speaking, a flawless audition won’t make up for a weak high school career. In turn, a brilliant transcript won’t always help if the department doesn’t deem you to be a good fit artistically. In any case, there will be several people looking at your application to get a full sense of who you are and what you will bring to campus.

NYU gives you the best of both worlds: outstanding conservatory-style training with the rigorous academics of a liberal arts college. That’s why we conduct such a thorough review. We’re looking for students who are excited to excel on stage and in the classroom. Doing your research ahead of time (like you are doing now!) will make this process a lot less stressful than it needs to be. Break a leg!