New York University


If you stroll through Washington Square Park—the heart of Greenwich Village and unofficial quad of the New York University campus—on any weekday morning, it’s impossible to miss the hundreds of bright-eyed, energetic college students headed to their first class of the day. NYU definitely offers a collegiate experience, but there is nothing typical about it. And students don’t want it to be.

This is a private research university set in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The school was founded in 1831 by a group of citizens attempting to fashion New York in the likeness of London, the proclaimed cultural epicenter of the time. They knew, even then, that the way to maintain a steadily evolving modern society was through higher education. The university has kept that tradition alive by offering more than 160 innovative and unique programs of study at its ten different schools, colleges, and programs, which include The College of Arts and Science, The Global Liberal Studies Program, The Liberal Studies Program, The Stern School of Business, The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, The Tisch School of the Arts, The Gallatin School of Individualized Study, The College of Nursing, The Silver School of Social Work, and The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. Each one offers major courses of study in distinctive subject areas. The benefit of having such a wide range of programs to choose from is that students are allowed and encouraged to pursue seemingly disparate interests across the seven colleges.

The strength of each program attracts very driven and ambitious students to each discipline, which makes for an interesting and diverse student body. The academic, research, study abroad, and internship possibilities are endless. The social life is exciting and varied. Graduates are extremely successful. Taken alone, these facts somehow overlook the true essence of what NYU is really about. Is it important to know that you will receive a top-notch education? Yes. Should you be aware that your degree will help land you a great job or acceptance into a graduate program? Yes. But there is so much more to the school that can only be discovered once you set foot on campus.


Information Summary

Ranks 21st in New York and 214th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 92.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $73,566
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 34 / 1510
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 14 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 94% / 61%
Enrollment Total (all students) 51,847


The academic environment varies widely depending on which school, college, or program of the university students attend. While this is the case, all students share one common experience—the work is intense. Whether a student is perfecting moves in a dance studio, teaching inner-city youth at a public school, or researching the genetic makeup of mutant worms, they are engaged in a rigorous learning environment for most of their waking hours. The amazing thing is that the students would not have it any other way. These fiercely independent students crave new ideas and constantly push themselves further. They want to learn in order to be successful, more informed people who are not afraid to put in the hard work it takes to achieve their goals.

Walk through the Tisch School of the Arts at night, and you’ll find a surprisingly large number of students tucked away in studios, individually honing their craft. Stand in the atrium of Bobst Library and you’ll notice twelve stories of students studying. Because their education means so much more to them than a letter grade ascribed to their work, NYU students are ambitious scholars, scientists, teachers, and artists of their own accord.

Core Curriculum

Regardless of school, college, or program affiliations, most students at the university participate in the core curriculum called the Morse Academic Plan (MAP). Each college within the university uses this core a bit differently, but the structure that it provides is universal. While the aim of MAP is to provide a strong, liberal arts foundation, it also allows students the freedom to tailor their program to their individual interests—to experiment with and investigate what truly fascinates them. Requirements for the MAP program are broken down into specific subject areas. To fulfill the Expressive Culture requirement, for instance, students may choose from a variety of classes ranging from courses that deal with anything from Jewish culture, to political culture, or artistic culture. Here, students are encouraged to explore many different academic pursuits while laying a foundation for more complicated and specific coursework that accompanies their chosen major.


Internships play a huge role in the life of an undergraduate. Although few programs at the university actually require an internship to graduate, all programs do encourage and recommend them as an excellent way to preview a variety of professions. Nearly ninety percent of students hold an average of three distinct internships by the time they graduate. The Wasserman Center for Career Development manages CareerNet, a database of more than 8,000 internships available exclusively students and alumni. These internships are quality positions that offer real-world work experience, not simply making copies and getting coffee. Wasserman has forged relationships with major businesses, theaters, schools, community organizations, museums, and hospitals in order to make these opportunities accessible to students. Many of these organizations have a long list of past interns from the school and they keep coming back for more.

Most Popular Fields of Study


building :: New York University
building :: New York University


Applicants often seek definitive numbers and statistics to quantify an acceptable NYU student, but no such absolute profile exists. The school aims to create a holistic application review process, learning as much as possible about a person from several simple pieces of paper. That being said, this is still a highly competitive institution. Even well-rounded, three-dimensional students must be at the top of their high school class while enrolled in a challenging curriculum composed of honors, AP, and/or IB courses. Solid performance on the SAT or ACT is a must for all applicants, and two SAT Subject Tests are required except for applicants who must submit a portfolio or audition as part of their admissions requirements. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

With just under 37,000 applications for a recent academic year, there certainly wasn’t a shortage of qualified students. Many applicants are academically talented, so Admissions Officers must rely on personal characteristics to distinguish students within the applicant pool. They want to see hard evidence of leadership, commitment, and drive in how you choose to spend your free time. It does not matter if your preferred activity is ballet or a part-time job, the committee would like to see applicants who have been seriously involved in extracurricular activities while in high school. Stellar letters of recommendation, responses to several short-answer questions, and a thoughtful, personal essay that showcases a meaningful aspect of the applicant will also help set you apart from the crowd.


Two application processes for prospective students are offered: Early Decision and Regular Decision. Students who know that this is their first choice school may want to consider Early Decision. It is a binding agreement, which means that if you are admitted to the university, you will withdraw all other applications and accept their offer of admission.

Students interested in applying Early Decision must submit all necessary materials to the Undergraduate Admissions office by November 1 and can expect to hear of their decision beginning in the middle of December. Regular Decision requires applications to be submitted by January 1, and notification of acceptance will arrive on or around April 1.

Certain programs at the University have unique components to their admissions process that other programs may not. Some require the submission of supplementary information, an essay, a portfolio or even an audition, so please read through your application instructions carefully. The goal of the admissions process is to succeed in choosing students who will thrive here. Obviously, the best students start with the best applicants; those who submit a complete, correct, and intelligent application on time will make a favorable impression where it counts the most.

Financial Aid

No doubt everyone knows that New York City is an expensive place to live and study. It should come as no surprise that tuition for one academic year (including room, board, fees, etc.) is around $50,000. Fortunately, the university understands that spending this amount of money on higher education is a major financial commitment. Therefore, the financial aid policy is quite simple: If students find that this is the best institution to meet their educational needs and interests, the Office of Financial Aid will work with students and their families to help make it an affordable option. In fact, over seventy-four percent of full-time undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

Students seeking financial aid should apply for assistance by submitting one form: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA via the Internet, which is the fastest and easiest method of applying for financial aid. With the information you provide on the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education uses a federally mandated formula to assess a family’s financial status and determine the amount of money the government feels each can contribute to higher education. The Office of Financial Aid then creates an individual financial aid package based upon the amount of financial need estimated by the government. Packages can include need- and/or merit-based scholarships, state and/or federal grants, work-study, and student loans.

The school gives hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to undergraduates each year. A large percentage of this aid comes to students in the form of grants and scholarships. All admitted students are automatically considered for every scholarship they qualify for—there is no separate application process. NYU participates in a variety of payment plans. They range from interest-free prepayment plans to extensive loan programs that allow families the option to finance the cost of an education over many years.

When it comes to financial aid, the bottom line is that the school really makes a conscious effort to help individuals and families offset the cost of higher education in any way possible. The staff at the Office of Financial Aid is friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and always willing to provide sound financial options.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2507th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


Social Life and Activities

There is always something to do at NYU. This is not an overstatement in the least; in fact, it may be an understatement. The campus resides in and is part of Greenwich Village, the most hip, vibrant, young, eclectic, bohemian neighborhood in all of New York City. Being a college student in this creatively charged neighborhood, in the city that never sleeps, is a win-win situation. Students here are never bored; they never grapple with the age-old question, “What should I do tonight?” Instead, they are faced with the challenge of juggling a social life with schoolwork. The catch phrase here is time management—students choose and create a social hierarchy, attempting to fulfill their overwhelming number of commitments by the end of the night.

A Typical College Experience

Students who yearn for the typical college experience can still find it here. There is an on-campus Greek system that, because of the high premium placed on real estate in the city, operates from designated floors in NYU residence halls. Greek letters adorn sheets hung from windows in otherwise innocuous-looking buildings as opposed to being firmly mounted on the front porch of an Animal House-style frat house.

Although Greek life does not dominate, university clubs and organizations are hugely popular. The Office of Student Activities boasts a roster of over 400 student-run clubs ranging from the more serious breed, such as community service organizations, religious clubs, and political activism communities, to the light-hearted and fun, including the yo-yo club, and the soap opera watchers club.

NYU also has sports. In fact, it has twenty-one intercollegiate teams that compete in the NCAA Division III. Throughout the year, the Violets compete against other private, research universities such as Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, and Emory. Students interested in sports may join the competitive level for maximum commitment or can choose from more than 275 recreational, intramural, and club sports for some exercise and fun. For a good workout, students can take advantage of their membership to the Coles Sports Center and the brand-new Palladium Fitness complex, which are premier recreation centers.

As well, many students, not just drama majors at Tisch, are interested in the performing arts. There are literally hundreds of opportunities for non-drama majors to be involved in theatrical productions. The College of Arts and Science has CAST, a theater group that is open to talented students within the college who, in addition to their studies, want to perform in a production. The Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development invites students to join their a cappella groups and jazz bands, and there is an all-university gospel choir. If you want to be involved in something extracurricular, as most students are, there are plenty of outlets to do so.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Graduates are doing some great things out there in the real world. The university’s Wasserman Center for Career Development reports that approximately ninety-five percent of the class are employed in full-time positions or enrolled in graduate programs upon graduation—a statistic that speaks volumes about the type of preparation NYU provides to its students.

A large percentage of grads enter medical, law, or dental school, and with acceptance rates of eighty percent, they are obviously ready to attend some of the top schools in the country. Stern School of Business students often work on Wall Street and Madison Avenue for Fortune 500 companies. Tisch School of the Arts is stocking Broadway with many recent grads and current students who perform in major roles on the stage. Every year Los Angeles receives a high influx of film grads working on major motion pictures or television shows. The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development offers New York schools accomplished grammar, high school, and special education teachers. Hospitals nationwide are staffed by graduates of the College of Nursing. These are just some examples of the kinds of futures graduates are pursuing when they leave the university. No matter what your specific interest is, you’ll learn what you want and how to get it.

Attaining these desirable positions and acceptances to top graduate programs are not simple tasks. For example, the preprofessional advising center in the College of Arts and Science helps to prepare future lawyers and doctors. Advisors meet with students throughout their four years here, in order to help them secure positions in their graduate program of choice.

The Wasserman Center lends a helping hand to students interested in pursuing a career upon graduation. The staff at Wasserman believes that preparation for a career or an advanced degree does not begin during spring semester senior year, but starts as early as freshman year. Students get a taste of their field and how it functions in the real world through internships, which also allows them to network and make important connections with potential employers. Often, these internships lead to full-time positions after graduation. Wasserman also offers résumé building and interviewing workshops and hosts massive recruitment fairs on campus twice a year. They also maintain CareerNet, a database of more than 10,000 available on- and off-campus jobs. Wasserman really does as much as it can to prepare students for whatever path they may choose after graduation. It is common for students to drop by Wasserman and ask a counselor for help to secure a political position in Washington D.C. or a seat in the entering class of NYU School of Law. Without hesitation, students always receive valuable words of advice and a “let’s do it” attitude.

Prominent Grads

  • Carol Bellamy, Former executive director, UNICEF
  • Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan, Justice, Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Clive Davis, Founder and director, Arista Records
  • Alec Baldwin, Actor
  • Maria Bartiromo, Business news anchor, interviewer, and columnist
  • Alan Greenspan, Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
  • Spike Lee, Emmy-winning and Oscar nominated filmmaker
  • Dr. Jonas E. Salk, Late scientist, discover of the polio vaccine, and AIDS researcher
  • Cynthia Ozick, Author and literary critic
  • Alan Menken, Broadway and Academy


Primarily a research university, the university attracts many prominent scholars and researchers in any given academic pursuit. Among them you’ll find CEOs and Fulbright Scholars, as well as Nobel and Pulitzer Prize recipients and Oscar and Emmy Award winners. They are revolutionary scholars, experts, and working professionals who are very much immersed in their fields. These are the leaders who teach undergraduates. All faculty members teach at least one undergraduate course per year.

In the classroom, it’s easy to recognize the faculty’s commitment to their individual fields. They are enthusiastic while introducing new material and show a genuine interest in fostering class dialogue. They want to learn from their undergraduates and will often cite their students as a source of inspiration for a new article or project. It is not uncommon to hear a professor say, “I had never thought of it that way” during a round-table discussion with his students. Together, students and professors engage in the material very seriously, which always makes class a worthwhile, and sometimes breathtaking, experience. While there may be lectures that students must take at the introductory level, the preferred method of instruction at is the seminar, where a small group of students and a faculty member exchange thoughtful discourse.

Students are also members of a distinctive global network, giving them unparalleled opportunities to study abroad. They can choose to study at one or more of the university’s ten international academic centers—in Accra, Ghana; Berlin, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Florence, Italy; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Shanghai, China; and Tel Aviv, Israel or in any of the many exchange programs the university has established with outstanding urban research universities around the world.

Undergraduate Research

NYU has so many faculty members doing postgraduate research right on campus that undergraduates wanted in on the action. For example, the College of Arts and Science created the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund (DURF), a program that lets undergraduates pitch research ideas to the DURF committee, and if the proposal is considered worthwhile, receive funding for the project. Research projects may be individual or done in conjunction with a faculty member. CAS students’ research projects really run the gamut— they range from studying Irish Literature in Belfast or tracing neurons of rat amygdala, to an analysis of the stained glass art of John La Farge or the development of contour detection and how it affects our visual world. Students who are granted funding must write a paper on their findings, present it at the annual research symposium held on campus each spring, and publish their abstracts in Inquiry, the NYU research journal.

This website and its associated pages are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by this school. has no official or unofficial affiliation with New York University.