New York University was founded in 1831 with an intentional global focus. That focus persists today — the NYU student body is one of the most diverse of any university in the world.
The school has three campuses that award degrees in different countries: one in New York, another in Shanghai, and the third in Abu Dhabi. In addition, NYU has 10 smaller locations worldwide in cities that include Paris, Madrid, Prague, and Sydney.
Current students hail from more than 100 different countries, and there are 11 study-away sites for students interested in studying abroad. In fact, 60% of students participate in study abroad experiences as undergrads, visiting locations that include:
- The U.K.
- Czech Republic
Every day, NYU students studying in different countries receive the same top level of education — they are all connected through the NYU community. Thanks to this universal high-quality education, 95% of NYU graduates are either enrolled in grad school or employed within six months of earning their undergraduate degree.
NYU Admission Help: What Does New York University Seek in Applicants?
This leading research university attracts innovative, creative, and expressive students. The competition to get into NYU, where the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, is increasingly fierce.
If you want to spend your college days at this national research university, you’ll need to put forth a good effort to learn all you can about how to get accepted into NYU.
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about how to get into NYU, along with vital information that will help you boost your chances of admission success.
NYU considers five factors to be “very important” in its admissions application decisions:
- Talent and ability
- Class rank
- Standardized test scores
- Rigor of high school courses
Most applicants who are offered a spot in the incoming freshmen class at NYU graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes.
How to Get Accepted into NYU: What Is the Acceptance Rate?
The class of 2026 broke NYU records by submitting more than 105,000 applications for admission — among the highest number of applications received by any university in the country.
The university received over 19,000 Early Decision applications, over 12% more than it received for the 2021 admission round. The class of 2026 represents 49 states and 107 countries in addition to Washington, D.C.
Overall, just 12,810 applicants were invited to join the class of 2026, giving the school an overall acceptance rate of 12.2%. This represents the fifth straight year that the acceptance rate at NYU has fallen. For the class of 2025, the acceptance rate was 12.8%.
Three of its undergrad colleges had acceptance rates lower than 10%. These were the Stern School of Business (7%), the College of Arts and Science (7%), and the Rory Meyers College of Nursing (3%).
As you can see, to have the best chance at becoming an NYU student, you will have to earn an almost perfect GPA and achieve very high standardized test scores.
You’ll also need to show the admissions staff that you’re a well-rounded student who participates in extracurricular activities and searches out leadership roles. You will have to submit a stellar application and knock the application essay out of the park. You’ll also need to find the very best experts in NYU application help to work with you.
What GPA and Test Scores Do You Need to Get into NYU?
NYU operates with a holistic admission procedure, which means that the admissions staff doesn’t consider just one or a few criteria for admission but instead looks at many.
There is no “magic” GPA that New York University requires for admission; however, the average GPA of its accepted incoming freshmen is 3.7. Therefore, you’ll need to maintain a GPA that falls within the 3.5–3.7 range if you want to make a good impression on the admissions faculty.
If your GPA isn’t quite up to snuff, you’ll need a strong showing in other categories, such as your standardized test scores or application essay.
It’s important that you take the most challenging courses available at your high school instead of opting for the less rigorous ones. If you have IB or AP courses available, make sure to take them.
A more difficult course load shows NYU that you are ready for college-level courses and that you welcome a good challenge. Like most of the other esteemed universities, NYU looks more favorably on a B grade in an AP class than an A in a standard counterpart class.
SAT and ACT Scores
NYU currently has a standardized test score policy that is “test-optional” following the COVID-19 pandemic. That policy will continue at least through the 2023–2024 application round.
With that being said, for students of the class of 2026 who did submit their test scores as part of their admission packets, the median SAT score was 1550 and the average ACT score was 33.
Specifically, the average percentile scores for the school are as follows:
- The 25th percentile score for the SAT is 1350
- The 75th percentile score for the SAT is 1530
- The 25th percentile score for the ACT is 31
- The 75th percentile score for the ACT is 35
This means that 50% of students scored between 1350 and 1530 on the SAT, with a quarter of students scoring lower than that and another quarter scoring higher. Likewise, half of the students submitting ACT scores have a score between 31 and 35, with 25% scoring below that and 25% scoring above.
When submitting scores is optional for admissions, it’s recommended that you take the tests and submit your results if you do well. You can take each test multiple times if you wish, and NYU will superscore your test results.
NYU Application Help: Does NYU Accept Other Standardized Test Results?
Yes! New York University accepts results from several different U.S. and international examinations, including:
- GCE Advanced Level (A-Level)
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Exams
- 3 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
- Several additional international exams
If you will be submitting international exams, visit the university’s International Qualifications Tool to see what is accepted at NYU as standardized testing.
Note that if you submit results in a language other than English, those results must be accompanied by an official English translation. This official translation may be provided by an accredited translation agency or by an accredited school official.
What Classes Should You Take in High School to Prepare for NYU?
Applicants take an enormous variety of courses during high school since the university has students from many different countries. NYU states that students are best prepared to join the campus if they have taken the following courses in high school:
- Four years of English/writing
- At least three years of history/social studies
- At least three years of math
- Three or four years of laboratory sciences
- Three or four years of a foreign language
While NYU expects students to take the most rigorous courses available to them, the admissions staff understands that not everyone is granted the same opportunities.
Therefore, if you are not able to take higher-level courses or complete the above recommendations because you didn’t have the option to do so, your application will not be at any disadvantage.
Does NYU Require Alumni Interviews?
No, New York University does not require alumni interviews as part of its admissions process. In fact, interviews are not even offered to applicants at NYU, in contrast to the policies of many other institutions that offer optional interviews.
NYU offers interviews only to students who will be applying to the Tisch School of the Arts. These interviews are held in person in New York.
Does New York University Consider Demonstrated Interest?
Many universities and colleges do not track or consider the demonstrated interest a student has shown. However, NYU is different — it does consider the demonstrated interest of students.
Therefore, it’s extremely valuable to your application and your chances of being admitted to NYU if you show interest in the school. Some ways you can do this include:
- Taking a virtual tour of the campus
- Visiting the campus in-person
- Participating in recruitment events
- Making contact with alumni
- Reaching out to the admissions office
You should also connect through social media and make sure that you visit New York University representatives at college fairs in your area.
NYU Admission Help: When Should You Apply?
New York University offers three application rounds: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision.
The application deadlines and decision dates for each of these are as follows:
- Early Decision I has a deadline of November 1 and a decision date of December 15
- Early Decision II has a deadline of January 1 and a decision date of February 15
- Regular Decision has a deadline of January 5 and a decision date of April 1
If you are 100% sure you would attend NYU if offered the chance, you may consider applying for either of the Early Decision options. Remember that if you go with either Early Decision option and are accepted, you are expected to enroll at NYU and withdraw all applications from other schools.
If you apply for Early Decision and are not offered admission, you cannot apply for Regular Decision. If you are offered admission with Early Decision and you withdraw your binding agreement with the school, this will be treated as you declining admission.
NYU Application Help: Required Documents
Once you have an idea of when you’d like to apply and what the school is looking for in prospective students, you’ll need to gather all the necessary documents to submit them. The university has put together the following list for you to keep track of what is needed:
- Standardized test scores (check whether testing is optional or required)
- Self-reported academic record (you’ll get an invitation to complete this following application submission)
- Records of any college courses you’ve completed
- The Common Application Mid-Year Report
- Mid-year grades if available
- English language testing if required
- A portfolio or audition if you are applying to the school of music
- A portfolio for Studio Art applicants
- An audition or portfolio if you are applying to Tisch School of the Arts
Submitting test scores is not required for Steinhardt and Tisch applicants. In other words, the required audition or portfolio can be used instead of SAT or ACT scores.
In addition, NYU strongly recommends that any portfolios and auditions be submitted at least one month in advance of the deadline.
NYU accepts unofficial and official transcripts and test scores, which you can email or submit through your applicant portal. Your applicant portal will become available to you following your submission of the Common Application.
What Do You Need to Know About the Application Essays for NYU?
While many schools give several essay prompts that must be answered, NYU often has only one. It is, however, a big one:
It may seem like a simple prompt at first, but you need to do your research before answering. This essay has a maximum word limit of 400. You should include what motivated you to apply, why you’re interested in a particular program, major, or area of study, and why you want to attend NYU.
The admissions committee is looking for students who fit the university personally and academically, so make sure you also include information about you as a person and why you are a great fit for NYU. Discuss what you can bring to the table and why NYU would benefit by having you among its incoming class of freshmen.
Don’t use the essay as a time to repeat information already clearly stated elsewhere on the application. The essay is your time to get personal, get real, and get serious about relaying your passion for NYU to those who will be reading your essay.
By getting an early start learning how to get into NYU and retaining the best NYU admission help available, you’ll boost your chances of being able to join the next incoming class at New York University.