How to Get Into NYU

Picture of three students walking together in front of an NYU building
December 27, 2022
About NYUNYU Acceptance RateNYU Admission RequirementsNYU Application Process and DeadlinesNYU EssaysTips to Get Into NYUFAQs: Getting Into NYU


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/13/22

Considering studying at NYU? Here’s your definitive guide on how to get into NYU. We’ll discuss New York University requirements and what you can do to help your application shine. 


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 #39 globally, and Forbes recently honored 19 NYU alumni in their 2022 “30 under 30” list across different industries. 

With this level of prestige in mind, it’s no wonder NYU attracts thousands of eager and competitive applicants annually. This article will cover everything you need to know about how to get into NYU and its admission requirements. We’ll walk you through the process so you can confidently navigate your NYU application. 

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About NYU 

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

Outside of New York, NYU has 11 study-away campuses globally. These campuses have over 50,000 students enrolled. NYU is a private four-year university with 19 schools and colleges. NYU is a research university, venturing $1 billion into research each year. 

picture of the entrance of a NYU building
Source: 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 can learn from and interact with the best and the brightest.  

NYU is a very international school with three campuses globally. In 2019, it was ranked #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.

NYU Acceptance Rate

Despite its large student population, NYU is selective in its admissions. Recent class data shows that NYU received over 105,000 applications, a 5% increase from the previous year. New York University’s acceptance rate is 12.2%

Three undergraduate schools accepted less than 10% of applicants: 

NYU has made it clear that diversity is a priority for the school. NYU understands that there is no one profile for an ideal applicant. The incoming undergraduate class of 2023 is 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 self-identified backgrounds of NYU's 2023 undergraduate class
Source: NYU

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.” 

This makes it more necessary for applicants to submit an outstanding application. How can you do this? Start by reviewing the admission requirements below. 

NYU Admission Requirements

Preparation and planning are critical in the application process. Applicants must know what’s expected from them; test scores, extracurricular activities, etc. Remember that NYU technically has three degree-granting campuses. You’ll need to review all their offerings to decide which is the best for you. 

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

Standardized Tests 

NYU considers itself to have a flexible testing strategy with its test-optional policy. 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: 

Optional testing means you can decide whether or not to share your SAT/ACT scores based on whether or not you feel your score would add or detract from your application’s strength. 

NYU SAT Requirements 

NYU doesn’t set a minimum SAT score requirement. However, analyzing class data can help you decide whether you’d like to share your scores with NYU when applying. Here's a snapshot of how successful candidates performed on the SAT: 

table outlining the SAT scores to get into NYU
Source: NYU Facts

If you choose to submit SAT scores, you can submit your highest result if you took the test more than once.

NYU ACT Requirements 

Similar to the SAT, there is no ACT score cutoff to apply to NYU. Although it’s challenging to ascertain New York University’s average ACT score, the middle 50% range of scores from admitted students is 31 to 35

You can submit multiple tests for the ACT, and NYU will create what’s called a “superscore” from the highest scores of each section of all tests you submit. This superscore isn’t an option for the SATs. 

NYU GPA Requirements

While there’s no set GPA requirement, most admitted NYU students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class. A 3.7 unweighted GPA is typical for most admitted first-years. 

Additional Program Requirements 

Depending on the school/college you’re applying to, you may also need to submit supporting 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 doesn’t require any additional documentation to get into NYU. However, your supplemental essays, 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’re interested in and why. Here are some additional program requirements you should be mindful of at NYU: 

table outlining additional program requirements at NYU
Source: Tandon School of Engineering | Stern School of Business | Steinhardt School of Culture, Education & Human Development| and Tisch School of Arts 

NYU Application Process and Deadlines

The Common Application is required for all applicants. The Common Application allows you to indicate which program of study or campus you’re interested in. This application also gathers:

Once you submit your Common Application, you’ll 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.  

These are the NYU application deadlines: 

NYU Application Deadlines

NYU Essays

Applicants to NYU must submit two college admission essays in the general application. The first is your personal statement, which you’ll submit to every school you apply to. The other is specific to NYU. 

NYU Essay Prompt

This is NYU’s most recent essay prompt, although this may change depending on the application cycle: 

“NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.
We would like to better understand how your experiences would help  us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.”

This prompt blends the “Why us?” prompt with a classic diversity essay. Due to the tight word limit, you may want to stick to describing only one identity. No matter what identities or backgrounds you belong to, ensure you’re circling back to how you’ll contribute to NYU. 

Tips to Get Into NYU

Wondering how to make the most of your NYU application? Read on for expert tips to get in! 

Consider Applying Through Early Decision 

Early Decision applicants at any college often enjoy higher acceptance rates than their Regular Decision peers, although other factors may explain these data trends. However, you should consider applying through NYU’s early decision program if: 

NYU is pretty tight-lipped about its early decision acceptance rate, but data trends indicate it’s likely substantially higher than regular decision. Although many regular decision applicants are admitted each cycle, applying through early decision can show your passion and interest in NYU. Don’t forget about this option! 

Dedicate Time and Care to Your Essays

The chances are that most applicants won’t be invited to interview, meaning you have one shot to “speak” to the admissions committee. Your personal statement is crucial to your success in all college applications, but your supplemental essay is where you can get school-specific. 

Although the NYU essay is only 250 words, strive to make each count. Spend ample time brainstorming your story and considering all angles of your experiences and background before writing. 

Consider an Admission Consultant’s Guidance

Unfortunately, not all high school resources are created equal. Maybe you’ve been struggling to speak to a guidance counselor or feel you just need a little bit more support as you navigate this new and exciting process. This wouldn’t be unusual since the average counselor-to-student ratio in NYC high schools alone is 1:215.

One surefire way to boost your chances of admission is by partnering up with a talented admissions consultant. These experts can provide a fresh perspective on your application, help you strategically position yourself as the best candidate possible, and more! 

FAQs: Getting Into NYU

Still curious about how to get into NYU? Explore our answers to common frequently asked questions below!

1. What Kind of Students Does NYU Look for?

Although NYU doesn’t explicitly state what it’s looking for in students, you should consider that NYU heavily emphasizes global understanding, diversity, and celebrating a wide range of perspectives. To stand out, strive for competitive test scores and GPAs and show your community spirit and cultural/global understanding. 

2. What GPA Do You Need for NYU?

There are no GPA cutoffs at NYU, meaning your GPA won’t immediately disqualify you. The average GPA of admitted students is 3.7, so a GPA above that can help you become a more competitive applicant. However, you can offset a lower GPA with higher test scores, varied extracurriculars, and strong essays! 

3. What Major is NYU Known for?

NYU is particularly well known for its performing arts and business programs. 

4. Is NYU an Ivy League?

No, NYU isn’t an Ivy League school. 

5. Does NYU Require an Interview?

Interviews aren’t required at NYU and are only available for a small number of students applying to certain programs/schools, such as NYU’s Opportunity Programs. Otherwise, NYU doesn’t typically offer undergrad interviews. 

6. Can I Apply to NYU Without SAT/ACT Scores? 

Yes, you can! NYU is a test-optional school for the time being. However, if you achieved high scores and want them considered, you can still submit them.

7. Can I Double Major at NYU? 

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 NYU undergraduate school.  

8. How Hard is it to Get into NYU?

NYU is quite selective with its admissions; recent acceptance rate data shows that 12.2% of applicants were accepted. 

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

NYU announced that it received a record-breaking 105,000 applicants for first-year undergraduate admissions in a recent cycle. 

Final Thoughts 

NYU is one of the largest and highest-ranked universities in the world. NYU is quite competitive, although it regularly admits many driven and capable students. 

To make sure you’re one of them, it’s 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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