What is NYU’s Acceptance Rate & Admissions Requirements?

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NYU’s acceptance rate is 19%. What does it take to get in?


Located primarily in New York’s Greenwich Village and hosting international campuses such as those in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, New York University provides ample opportunities for its students—to learn, work, create, and engage.


While the New York location doesn’t have an established campus, students can easily take advantage of the arts and culture of the city. Most school buildings are situated in an area with plenty of theaters, restaurants, coffee shops, comedy clubs, jazz clubs, and more.


NYU offers undergraduate degrees in 10 schools:


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Nursing
  • Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
  • Gallatin School of Individualized Study
  • Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  • Tandon School of Engineering; Silver School of Social Work
  • School of Professional Studies
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Tisch School of the Arts


Wondering how you can score a spot at this popular Manhattan university? Read on to find out.


Applying to NYU: A Quick Review


In order to apply to NYU, you must submit the following:


  • The Common App
  • NYU supplement
  • Official transcript and school report, filled out by your guidance counselor
  • One teacher recommendation letter (or two, maximum)
  • Mid-year report
  • Standardized test results*
  • Audition or portfolio (for Steinhardt and Tisch only; testing is optional and an audition or portfolio may be submitted in its place)
  • $80 application fee or fee waiver
  • Additional materials may be required for specific programs


* Tests that fulfill NYU’s testing requirement include:

  • SAT (writing and essay optional)
  • ACT (writing optional)
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests (1 from Literature & Humanities, 1 Math, and 1 additional)
  • 3 AP or IB higher-level exams (1 Literature & Humanities, 1 Math & Science, 1 additional)
  • IB Diploma (only if available prior to the application deadline)
  • Other international examinations


Note that individual schools may have additional testing requirements.


If you’re applying Early Decision I, you must submit your application by November 1 for a decision notification by December 15. For Early Decision II and Regular Decision, deadlines are January 1. Early Decision II applicants will be notified by February 15 of their admissions results, and Regular Decision applicants will be notified by April 1.


NYU Acceptance Rate: How Difficult is it to Get In?


For the class of 2022, NYU accepted a record-breaking low 19% of 75,000 applicants. This represents a 9% drop from the previous year. Of those accepted, 6,133 students enrolled. Waitlist information is unavailable, although the admissions office closed waitlist admissions on June 29, a month in advance of the stated August 1 deadline.


Wondering what sort of test scores you’ll need to get in? Here are the middle 50% SAT score ranges, from the old SAT:

SAT Composite: 1920-2160

SAT Critical Reading: 620-720

SAT Writing: 630-730

SAT Math: 630-760


Standardized test scores may appear lower than other comparably selective colleges and universities, but keep in mind that many programs and schools, such as Tisch, have additional requirements and evaluate candidates based on other qualities; in the case of Tisch, an audition is crucial in the admissions process. If you are applying for schools at NYU that emphasize your academic record more heavily, such as Engineering or Arts and Sciences, your scores should fall at the upper end of the 50% range, or above it.


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So, How Does One Get Into NYU?


NYU prides itself on its diversity. It has the highest number of international students of all American universities with 83 countries represented and a student body that includes 20% non-U.S. citizens, as well as 20% first-generation students. Whether or not you are an international, minority, or first-generation student, your diverse experiences should play a role in your application. You might, for instance, describe an interesting facet of your heritage or focus on a unique talent you have in your essay.


It’s also important to apply to the right school. NYU’s schools celebrate different interests and talents, and your passions and strengths should correlate to the one you select. For example, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study is for independent learners who want to design their own course of study, and you should apply if you have shown that you are self-motivated and creative. If you wish to study the performing arts and have a strong background in them, Tisch is likely the school for you. Meanwhile, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a more traditional program with general education requirements.


NYU also seeks students who want to expand their horizons. The university boasts sending more students abroad than any other American university and offers more than 230 areas of study to undergraduates. This means you should demonstrate your passion for learning and going beyond the curriculum. For example, perhaps you can describe meaningful work you did abroad.


Whether or not you plan to study abroad, you must demonstrate that you are curious and passionate. Perhaps this manifests in volunteer work, such as tutoring in your community, or taking on an independent project. Whatever it is, make sure to emphasize that you seek out challenges and are a creative learner and thinker.


Of course, need to have a strong academic and extracurricular profile, as is true of any top-tier college, and demonstrate that you’re committed to engaging and growing. Mentoring is a big part of the NYU culture, so your desire to grow should be evident in your application.


You should stress your interest in NYU in particular. You have the opportunity to demonstrate this in the NYU essay, which is a classic “Why us?” prompt. For advice on responding to the prompt, read How to Write the New York University Application Essays 2018-2019.


What If You Get Rejected?


Before you apply, make sure your final list is well-balanced among safety, target, and reach colleges. This will increase your chances of being admitted to a good-fit school.


Being denied admission is disappointing, but it’s a tough reality in college admissions. It’s important to take a step back and regroup. If you get rejected from NYU, here’s what you can do:


  • Take a gap year or apply as a transfer.


If you had your heart set on NYU or received bad news from the other colleges on your list, one option is to take a gap year and reapply next admissions cycle. Keep in mind that this is risky, and it’s often better to accept a spot at another college and take a gap year there. If you do decide to take a gap year, make sure you have a productive plan for the year. You might undertake a research project, volunteer, study to improve your SAT scores, or take classes non-matriculated at a local college.


You can also consider transferring after you’ve matriculated elsewhere, although transferring is still competitive at NYU, with acceptance rates ranging from 20-30%. Settle into the school that you do ultimately commit to, and see how you feel in a year or so. If you still want to transfer and have a strong academic record at your current school, then your odds might be more favorable.


  • Keep it in perspective.


Even if NYU was your top choice, chances are, you’ll find a way to make a college that did accept you work. College really is what you make of it, and if you put effort into adjusting to another school by joining clubs, working hard in your classes, and cultivating a social life, you’ll likely find that you can make a fulfilling college experience for yourself, even if you end up at a college that wasn’t your top choice.


To learn more about applying to and attending NYU, read:


For more personalized expertise on getting into NYU, consider CollegeVine’s College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully pair you with an admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal application specialist will help you with branding, essays, and interviews, and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.