New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts has established itself as one of the most prestigious and sought-after schools for students interested in pursuing theater, film, and related careers.
Founded in 1965, the school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees plus doctorates, and many of its students have gone on to fame on stage and screen as well as behind the scenes.
Tisch offers numerous programs spanning the artistic spectrum at its three institutes: the Institute of Performing Arts, the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, and the Institute of Emerging Media.
Students interested in the performing arts can choose from focuses like dance, drama, and performance studies. Those who would rather focus on screen-based careers can choose from cinema studies, undergraduate film and television, and dramatic writing.
On the visual arts side, Tisch offers programs in interactive media arts as well as photography.
The school is also home to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. People interested in designing and developing games and others drawn to gaming can study at the NYU Game Center.
The school embraces diversity and has students from 48 states and 39 countries who receive hands-on training in the heart of New York City.
Tisch’s faculty includes professionals still working in their field who can give students a unique and current perspective on their fields. And according to the school, faculty members follow students’ careers and serve as an essential resource for them even after they graduate.
Here, we’ll break down what it takes to get admitted to Tisch, what you can study once you get there, and much more.
NYU Tisch Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate at NYU Tisch is approximately 15%, according to Careergigo.
U.S. News & World Report considers NYU to be a “most selective” school.
NYU, including all of its constituent schools, recorded its lowest acceptance rate ever this past spring when it admitted just 12.8% of the applicants for the class of 2025 at its New York campus.
The university also noted that three of its undergraduate colleges, which it didn’t identify, recorded acceptance rates in the single digits. The percentage has dropped drastically in the last decade; in 2013, the university admitted 35% of applicants.
The class of 2025 broke other records as well, as the university received more than 100,000 applications for its three campuses for the first time. NYU also noted that the class of 2025 had a record high median SAT score, at 1540 out of 1600.
In a recent admissions cycle, when the overall acceptance rate was 21%, the middle 50% of those admitted scored between 1370 and 1540 on the SAT and from 31 to 34 on the ACT. According to the Princeton Review, out of 80,210 applicants in a recent year, the average high school GPA was 3.71.
The group admitted to the New York campus’ class of 2025 reached new levels of diversity, with 20% of those admitted being first-generation college students and 19% coming from 102 foreign countries.
NYU Tisch Alumni
Tisch’s alumni network includes some of the most powerful names in Hollywood and beyond. They’re regularly nominated for Tonys, Emmys, and other major awards, and alumni often return to Tisch to mentor and share their knowledge with current students.
The school and alumni even team up for “labs,” in which students get to work on a piece they could present outside of school and make professional connections.
Among the A-listers on Tisch’s alumni roster are Lady Gaga, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Bell, but they’re not the only actors who have found big-screen success after Tisch.
Elizabeth Olsen graduated from the school in 2013, following fellow Marvel film and TV star Clark Gregg, who earned his degree in 1986.
Other notable movie stars who attended the school are comedian Adam Sandler, “Jurassic World” actress Bryce Dallas Howard, and late “Hunger Games” star Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Alumni have found success on the small screen as well, such as Jesse L. Martin, who’s starred in “Law & Order” and “The Flash,” and CW leading ladies Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez.
Other Tisch alumni have shone brightly not far from campus, joining the cast of top Broadway shows.
They include Matthew Morrison, who has appeared in musicals including “Finding Neverland” and “The Light in the Piazza” and played the teacher in the Fox television show “Glee,” and Michael Longoria, who originated the role of Joey in the smash “Jersey Boys.”
Two original stars of “Rent” who’ve achieved loads both on stage and screen, Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp, also attended Tisch.
NYU Tisch Tuition
Getting a great education and having an impressive name on their diplomas does come at a high cost for students.
For two full-time semesters of undergraduate study, students pay $62,062 in tuition and mandatory fees in addition to $19,682 in room and board.
Tisch also estimates that these students pay nearly $4,700 in indirect costs that include books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. This amounts to a total cost of more than $86,400 for the school year.
Tisch estimates full-time undergraduate commuter students pay far less than students living on-campus. It puts their costs at $2,580 for room and board and $0 for transportation. Those numbers likely differ vastly depending on where the student commutes from, however. Students living off-campus are able to buy university meal plans.
Depending on what they study, students can expect to encounter other fees and expenses, such as drafting tables and art supplies for design students.
Those involved in film production have to pay to use the laboratory and equipment insurance, which amounts to almost $900 each semester. Student directors may need to pay thousands to use equipment beyond what the school supplies to make films.
The university’s bursar office has several payment options available, including allowing students to pay in installments. Students interested in being considered for scholarships should be sure to fill out the FAFSA or file a CSS Profile.
How to Get Into NYU Tisch?
Getting into Tisch as an undergraduate involves what the university describes as “the most rigorous admissions process” of any of its schools.
Prospective students should expect to provide NYU with plenty of examples of their work and skills, which can include portfolios of writing samples or images as well as performances. Admissions officers also consider applicants’ essays and their academic records.
NYU accepts the Common Application. All prospective Tisch students must submit a portfolio or audition as part of the admissions process. The university recommends that they send in their application a month in advance to give themselves time to get their portfolio ready or prepare for their audition.
Applicants also must provide contact information for their high school counselor as well as one or two teachers to submit a Teacher Evaluation form. A letter of recommendation also is required. Students applying during the 2021-22 admissions cycle do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores, although they can if they wish.
High school sophomores and juniors can get an early taste for the Tisch life by participating in the Tisch Summer High School Program.
Participants in this in-person program earn four to six college credits they can then transfer to whatever college or university they end up attending. They choose to study one of several artistic tracks, such as Dance, Drama, and Recorded Music. There also is a Filmmaking track, which is open to high school juniors only.
Students interested in the summer program must submit an application that includes a personal statement and a creative resume. They do not need to audition or submit a portfolio, but they can submit links to performances, photos, or whatever their specialty is in their resume.
Prospective students also must have a GPA of at least 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale.
Should You Attend NYU Tisch?
Thanks to its long history of producing top-quality talent, Tisch has become a much-desired choice for high-schoolers hoping to pursue a career in the arts. They can choose to begin their studies early through the on-campus summer program or join online programs to develop their skills before they head off to college.
Undergraduates, meanwhile, can pick from a wide variety of majors not just in the performing arts but also different types of visual arts. They can add to their studies with one of the minors Tisch offers, such as art and public policy, documentary, and producing.
A few other minors are available for students in specific programs, such as the minor in applied theater available to drama students and the comedy writing minor open to dramatic writing students. Tisch also has teamed up with NYU’s Stern School of Business to offer a cross-school minor in business of entertainment, media, and technology.
Master’s and doctoral students can also turn to Tisch to further hone their skills in acting, musical theater writing, and stage and film design.
While studying in New York is a major advantage because of its inspiring setting and proximity to significant performing and visual arts, students also have opportunities to study abroad.
NYU has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai as well as academic centers in major cities across several continents, including London, Buenos Aires, and Tel Aviv.
Or, students can take classes closer to home, at the academic center in Washington, D.C.
Summary of NYU Tisch
Students looking to study in a major city full of diverse opportunities and earn a degree from a world-renowned university can find that at NYU. And within Tisch, the chances to learn from working professionals and alumni who have gone on to do great things are even greater.
Getting into Tisch might be challenging, but students who have put together impressive portfolios or aced an audition, as well as high marks in high school and on standardized tests, can put themselves in a strong position for gaining acceptance into the school.
Once on campus, Tisch students learn a wide variety of crafts through the school’s different institutes, but they also get a chance to turn New York City into their classroom, whether it be by checking out new art exhibits at major museums or filming a student production on Manhattan streets.
And the campus population is just as diverse as the city, with a large number of international students as well as others who come from all over the United States. Tisch also has made a concerted effort to make the school more inclusive.
And while Tisch might be considered pricey, it gives students a leg up in the world. Courses and special events provide them with real-world experience and connections, and once they graduate, they join an alumni network that consists of over 35,000 people working in and around the arts throughout the world.