How to Get Into NYU

Picture of three students walking together in front of an NYU building
June 6, 2022
About NYUHow Hard Is It To Get Into NYURequirements and How To ApplyFAQs: How to Get Into NYU


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/13/22

Considering studying at New York University? Here is your definitive guide on how to get into NYU. We’ll discuss how hard it is to get into NYU, and applying for undergraduate studies.

Since it was established in 1831, New York University (NYU) continues to be one of the leading schools in the country. NYU has a QS ranking of #42 globally and has received five QS stars, the maximum amount. 

Statistically, NYU graduates go on to achieve great success in their future endeavors. Forbes recently honored 19 NYU alumni in their 2022 ‘30 under 30’ list across different industries. Acclaim such as this leaves many undergraduate hopefuls wondering how to get into NYU. 

With this level of prestige in mind, it’s no wonder NYU attracts thousands of eager and competitive applicants every year. Submitting applications to esteemed schools such as NYU can be a daunting, extensive process. Every applicant is keen to know how to get into NYU. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about NYU and its admission requirements. We’ll walk you through the whole process so you can approach your applications with confidence. Want to know how hard it is to get into NYU? We’ll address acceptance rates, requirements, test scores, and much more!

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About NYU 

Located in beautiful New York City, NYU is one of the largest universities in the US. Those familiar with the city will recognize it is positioned directly beside Washington Square Park, and there is even a second campus in Brooklyn. 

Outside of New York, NYU has 11 study-away campuses throughout the world. These campuses have over 50,000 students enrolled, a number that is steadily increasing as remote learning is becoming more common. 

NYU is a private four-year university with 19 schools and colleges. NYU is a research university, venturing $1 billion in research each year. It also has over 350 master’s and doctoral degree programs, making it an excellent place for continued study. 

The NYU Stern School of Business is ranked one of the best globally. NYU also offers a JD/MBA dual-degree program that allows you to graduate in as little as four years. Program offerings such as these should be taken into account when considering how hard it is to get into NYU. 

Given that NYU is a top research university, it attracts brilliant faculty members. In 2021, NYU faculty made Clarivate Analytics’ list of Highly Cited Researchers. Twenty-four NYU professors were in the top 1% of citations for their papers. NYU students have an opportunity to learn from and interact with the best and the brightest. Having a high-quality faculty is an excellent feature that appeals to any ambitious student.   

NYU is a very international school with three campuses globally. In 2019 it was ranked number 1 in the annual Open Doors survey by the Institute of International Education for the number of NYU students studying abroad. Take a look at this snapshot highlighting NYU’s global community: 

Screenshot outlining the number of NYU students studying abroad, how many states and countries are represented at NYU, and the percentage of first-year students who are the first in their families to attend college
Source: NYU

 The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSC) at NYU list the school values as the following: 

These values are to be followed by all students, faculty, and administration at NYU. Attributes such as these can leave many candidates wondering, how hard is it to get into NYU?

How Hard Is It to Get Into NYU 

Despite its large student population, NYU is selective in its admissions. When considering how hard it is to get into NYU, we can look to the class of 2025, which will have its lowest acceptance rate at 12.8%. For reference, the average GPA of NYU’s admitted students is 3.7, so it may be a 3.5 GPA reach school.

For comparison, in 2013, the acceptance rate was 35%. The incoming first-year class in 2021 comprises 6,700 students across all campuses, including the degree-granting Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses. 

NYU has made it clear that diversity is a priority for the school. They offer such a variety of programs, and they understand that there is no one profile for an ideal applicant. The incoming undergraduate class of 2023 will be the most diverse in history. According to NYU, no single ethnic group constitutes more than 22% of the class population.  

Screenshot outlining the diversity and seld-identified backgrounds of NYU's 2023 undergraduate class

It is important to note that NYU Admissions does not have a specific cap on the number of students they can admit each year. They say that “there are no formulas to making admission decisions.” How to get into NYU with this in mind? Focus on your application. This makes it more necessary for applicants to submit an application that stands out. How can you do this? Start by reviewing the admission requirements below.

Requirements and How to Apply 

Now that you know how hard it is to get into NYU, you will need a plan. Preparation and planning are critical in the application process. It is vital that applicants know what is expected from them; whether documentation, test scores, extracurricular activities, etc. Keep in mind, NYU technically has 3-degree granting campuses. You will need to review all to decide which is the best for you.  

Furthermore, the New York campus has 11 schools and colleges. The school/college that you apply to will depend on your area of study. It would be best to prepare for any extra steps required in the application process for your specific school or college. However, every undergraduate applicant will need first to submit a General Application. 

NYU Common Application 

The Common Application is required for all applicants for any campus, school, or college. The Common Application will allow you to indicate which program of study or campus you are interested in. It is the first step to get into NYU undergraduate study. 

This application also gathers supporting documentation such as standardized test scores, proof of proficiency in English (if applicable), high school transcripts, recommendations from teachers and counselors, and a record of all college credits you may have already received.  

Once you submit your Common Application, you will receive access to the applicant portal. Any additional materials can be submitted through this portal. You can also write an email to an admissions counselor.  

Additional Program Requirements 

Depending on the school/college you are applying to, you may also need to submit supp

orting documentation. For example, the Tisch School of Arts requires applicants to submit an artistic portfolio or audition. 

A program like The Gallatin School of Individualized Study will not require any additional documentation to get into NYU. However, the Common Application writing supplement section, extracurricular activities, and work experience sections will be where admissions will look in making their decision.

In this program, the writing supplement will be how you get into NYU. The writing supplement should include information about the area of study you are interested in and why. 

NYU Additional Program Requirements

Table outlining the additional admissions requirements to get into NYU's Tandon School of Engineering, Stern School of Business, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education & Human Development, and Tisch School of Arts
Source: Tandon School of Engineering, Stern School of Business, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education & Human Development, and Tisch School of Arts

Standardized Tests 

NYU considers itself to have ‘one of the most flexible testing policies of any college or university.’ They are extending their Test-Optional policy into 2022.

When it comes to determining how hard it is to get into NYU, many applicants worry about test scores. However, this policy allows first-year and transfer applicants to apply without standardized test results. NYU introduced the policy during the pandemic because of the difficulty students had in standardized testing. 

The list of standardized tests that NYU accepts is as follows and can be found on their website: 

SAT and ACT Scores 

Although NYU claims that they look at each applicant as a whole and do not have minimum requirements, US News reports that “half the applicants admitted to NYU have an SAT score between 1370 and 1540 or an ACT score of 31 and 34.” 

Take a look at this snapshot highlighting how successful candidates performed in standardized tests in previous years:

Screenshot outlining the middle 50% range of ACT and SAT scores achieved by NYU's admitted students
Source: NYU

When it comes to submitting SAT scores, you can submit your highest result if you took the test more than once. On the other hand, you can submit multiple tests for the ACT, and NYU will create what is called a superscore from the highest scores of each section of all the tests you submit. This superscore is not an option for the SATs. 

Admissions Essay 

Applicants to NYU must submit two college admission essays in the General Application. The first is for the General App, and applicants have a choice of 6 questions. The other is specific to NYU. 

NYU Essay Prompt: 
“We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/ or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand-Why NYU?” (400-word limit). 

This essay prompt should be something you begin to reflect on before you even begin your application. Remember, NYU does not have a cap on the number of students it can accept but has recently reached its lowest acceptance rate. This essay is a chance to give them an idea of who you are, your experiences, ambitions and create a sense of how NYU aligns with that.  

FAQs: How to Get Into NYU 

Still curious about how to get into NYU? You may not be alone, explore our answers to common frequently asked questions below.

1. I Took the SATs, but I Haven’t Got the Scores Back. Can I Still Apply? 

Yes, you can! NYU is following a test-optional policy for the time being. They also allow a brief window to submit test scores. They will notify you before the window closes. 

2. Will NYU Allow Me to Have a Double Major if I Am Interested in More Than One Program? 

NYU has such a variety of programs it’s hard not to be interested in more than one. Students can double major or do a cross-school minor in another of NYU’s undergraduate schools.  

3. Does Not Having Work Experience Hurt My Application? 

Not at all! Any volunteer or extracurricular experience you’ve had is valuable. It is not necessary to have had work experience for an undergraduate program.  

4. How Hard is it to Get into NYU?

NYU is quite selective with its admissions; for the class of 2025 NYU accepted only 12.8% of applicants. 

5. How Many Applicants Does NYU Get in a Year?

In January 2022, NYU announced that they received a record-breaking 105,000 applicants for first-year undergraduate admissions for the class of 2026. 

Final Thoughts 

NYU is one of the largest and highest-ranked universities in the world. Although applicants should not worry themselves with how hard it is to get into NYU. NYU is quite competitive, although it regularly admits many driven and capable students. 

To make sure you’re one of them, it is critical to stand out in your application. According to NYU, “admissions officers personally review every application.” Applicants should focus on showcasing their passion and individuality in their application and making a lasting impression on the admissions committee. Good luck!

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