NYU’s Common Application Questions

Here’s what to expect when you add NYU to your My Colleges list

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So, you’ve decided to add NYU to your My Colleges list and are looking for some guidance once you get to the application. Before you begin your application, here’s what you can expect.

NYU doesn’t have a supplement. However, there are a few prompts built into our first-year Common Application member section that are necessary for us to evaluate your application. They’re grouped into four sections: General, Academics, Contacts, and Family. This article focuses on the first two.

General Section

If you’re applying as a first-year applicant, the first thing you’ll need to decide is when you’d like to begin your studies at NYU. Once you do that, you’ll tell us which of our three degree-granting campuses you’re interested in. We have campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai.

If you have your heart set on one campus, you can select it and move on. However, we give you the option to rank all three of our campuses in order of preference. We’ll consider your application for all campuses you list there, but you’ll only receive one offer of admission.

Next, you’ll let us know if you’re interested in applying for financial aid and housing. If you’re interested in being considered for either, you’ll need to take additional steps to complete the processes by their deadlines.

Academics Section

It is very important to do some research before you start this section of NYU’s Common Application. While every aspect of your application tells us more about you, this section helps guide which committees review your application based on your academic interests. You’ll not only list the academic programs you’re applying to in this section, you’ll also complete your “Why NYU?” short answer.

Programs of Interest

The prompts you’ll see in this part of NYU’s Common Application will depend on which campuses you selected in the General section. 

Students applying to Shanghai or Abu Dhabi are able to choose from a list of majors to indicate what they may be interested in studying. The major you list here isn’t binding; admitted students declare their major sophomore year. However, indicating a major you might want to study can help paint a better picture of your interests in conjunction with your academics, extracurriculars, and essays.

Students who list New York City as their campus of interest will have to select one of our 10 schools and colleges as well as a major within that college as their primary program of interest. Just like NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, the major you select on your application helps us understand your interests and can be changed once you’re on campus. For all undergraduate schools at our New York City campus, you’ll begin taking classes related to your identified major as early as your first semester, so it’s important you have an interest in that subject.  

After you select your primary program for New York, you’ll have the option to list up to 10 alternate majors across the other schools and colleges in New York – with the exception of our artistic programs that require an audition or portfolio. If you’re interested in being considered for an artistic program, it should be your primary selection for New York. NYU is launching several new majors this year: Data and Computer Science within the College of Arts and Science; Business, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in the Stern School of Business; and Bioengineering at NYU Abu Dhabi, pending approval.

Another great opportunity is that when you select Liberal Studies—either as a primary or alternate option—you’ll access a list of first-year study away sites. You can rank, in order of preference, one or all of our first-year sites: New York City, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, and Washington, DC. Only list first-year sites where you’re genuinely interested in spending your first year at NYU. Most Liberal Studies students begin their studies at NYU in one of their top-two choices.

Standardized Testing

Here, you’ll let us know what form of testing you’d like to use. NYU has one of the most flexible standardized testing policies that allows students to submit any number of exams to meet our requirements, including many international examinations. However, with the challenges of COVID-19, we recognize that it might not be flexible enough for the upcoming cycle. While NYU welcomes applicants for the class of 2025 to submit test scores in line with our policy, we will not require it. If you do not submit test scores, you will not be disadvantaged during the application review process for 2020-21. This updated testing policy is only for students who will be applying to NYU in the coming application cycle. 

For artistic majors within Steinhardt and Tisch that require an audition or a portfolio, the audition or portfolio will satisfy our standardized testing requirement. If you are applying to one of these programs exclusively, you can opt-out of sending additional standardized testing, and doing so will not impact your application.

This exemption does not apply to our English language testing, which we may require for students whose native language is not English. You can read more about our policy on our English language testing website.

Why NYU?

The last prompt within this section of NYU’s Common Application is our short-answer question, “Why NYU?” This is your chance to tell us what appeals to you about your intended course of study. My colleague recently wrote an article on this subject, and several of our admissions counselors talk about their philosophy in this inside admissions video. I encourage you to use these as resources as you prepare your short answer.

 

As You Begin This Process

One thing I often mention when speaking with students is that the college search process is about finding the right match. As you consider what schools you add to your My Colleges list, think about what you want most from your college experience and make sure that those universities can provide it.

You can always reach us at 212-998-4500 or admissions@nyu.edu, attend one of our virtual events, or follow us on social media @MeetNYU as you explore if NYU is the right match for you.