The Tisch Dance graduate program expands the experience of contemporary dance technically, artistically, and intellectually. In addition to performing and creating artistic works, students participate in sophisticated discussions on dance and its cultural impact. The ideal MFA candidates have had professional experience as performers, teachers and/or choreographers. They are seeking to broaden and deepen their knowledge, anchor their inquiries in the foundation of dance history, and to connect the physical and intellectual challenges of dance as an art. The MFA program is an excellent preparation for future college instructors.
Foreign students must have a strong enough command of the English language to participate fully in all aspects of the MFA program. This includes critiques in composition workshops as well as the rigorous intellectual discussions that are the heart of the MFA seminars.
Admission is limited to full-time students beginning in September only. A student matriculating in the Tisch School of the Arts must be admitted at two levels: as a student within a department of specialization or major, and as a student of New York University. Admission standards that pertain to the University in general can be found in the NYU-TSOA Bulletin and should be read in conjunction with the department's standards.
Graduate candidates need to submit an application to the Tisch Office of Graduate Admissions by February 1st. The application for graduate students requires A statement of purpose (one to two pages) that includes your academic and professional background, your goals, and what you hope to gain from the program. Please address your specific interest in the field of dance, why you are applying to this particular program, and how you feel that your academic, professional, and/or artistic background makes you an ideal candidate.
An audition is required for the Department of Dance. The audition consists of a condensed class in ballet technique (ballet barre and adagio) and contemporary combinations, lasting approximately 1-1/2 hours. If the dancer passes the ﬁrst part of the audition, they will be asked to perform a short (no longer than 3 minutes) solo dance they have learned or choreographed—something they enjoy doing. Music used for solos should be playable from an iPod or similar device.
A personal interview follows the solo performance. As we need to be able to see applicants' bodies in order to realistically evaluate technical level and physical potential, we ask that applicants wear clothing that does not obscure body lines. Everyone should bring regular ballet shoes; pointe shoes are only necessary if the applicant intends to do a solo en pointe.
To schedule a graduate audition please contact the department.
Auditions will be held in New York City, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Choose the preferred site, date, and time from the Dance Audition Schedule page and mark the application accordingly. Audition slots are limited. We strongly recommend applicants submit their application no later than December 15th if they intend on auditioning in Chicago or Los Angeles.
Be sure to bring the following items to the audition:
- Proper clothing.
- A full-length body photograph in dancewear, no speciﬁc pose required, preferably 8" x 10".
- A detailed résumé listing prior dance experience, including types of training, names of teachers and schools, years studied, and the numbers of lessons per week (attached to the back of the photograph or on a separate sheet).
- Because you will be taking the above to the audition, applicants should not send a résumé to the Ofﬁce of Graduate Admissions.
International Students, Digital Audition Policy
Digital auditions will be accepted for international students and M.F.A. applicants who are on tour professionally. Such applicants must obtain permission from the department in order to submit a digital audition. Please contact the Dance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 212.998.1984.
Notification of admissions decision: Beginning April 1st
If you are unable to audition in person, you’re welcome to submit a link to your digital file. After you submit the NYU Online Application, please email email@example.com to confirm that you intend to audition digitally and understand the submission guidelines and materials explained below:
1) Please be sure to clearly identify yourself so that the Admissions Committee can easily follow you on the link. Your digital link should include the following components, in this order:
An abbreviated ballet barre, adagio, and contemporary technique movement traveling across the floor (approximately 20 minutes total), and a brief solo (2-3 minutes) in the dance form of your preference.
2) Include a brief verbal presentation describing your dance background and interest in Tisch Dance.
3) 8”x10” full-body photo and dance résumé.
4) Completed, double-sided Audition Information Form (email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy). Please complete this form up to the For Department Use section on the second side.
5) Do not send DVD Audition materials to the Office of Admissions. All materials should be mailed to the Tisch Dance Department at:
Attn: Audition Application
TSOA/ Department of Dance
New York University
111 Second Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
All DVD Audition materials must be received at the Tisch Dance Department by February 1, 2017. You can send the files via email.
Candidate's intent to register Reply Date:
May 1st - Some candidates may be placed on a waiting list for admission and will be notified of a decision after admitted applicants have submitted their decisions.
Please note that this schedule is subject to change.
NYU does not grant deferrals to students admitted to the Department of Dance in the Tisch School of the Arts. If you do not choose to enroll for semester to which you were accepted, you will need to re-apply and re-audition for the following fall semester. Admitted students who update their application are, however,
not guaranteed readmission to Tisch Dance for the next year.
- You may update your Common Application by contacting
Jennie Lee, Assistant Director of Operations,
- You do not need to resubmit official final standardized test scores; however, final results will be required if you initially applied with predicted examination results.
- A school official should submit a final high school transcript.
- Additional teacher or instructor evaluations are not necessary.
- Students should provide a brief update about how they plan to spend their time away from NYU.
- Students will also need to re-audition. Details regarding the audition are updated each summer, and available online by early September.