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09/04/2019

NYU Film (Tisch School of the arts)?

QUESTION
NYU Film (Tisch School of the arts)?
OK, if you went to NYU film for a MFA, from personal experience was it really hard to get in? I know it’s one of the top film schools in the country. What should I expect for admissions? Will I need to write an intense essay, or would I just need a portfolio? And what should be in my portfolio? I know it’s a lot to ask, but anything that could help would be appreciated. I have two years before I would apply but I would like to know what I should be doing now. Thanks!

ANSWER
It is very hard to get in, but it is doable.

If you’re considering NYU, also look at UCLA, USC, Vancouver Film, N. Carolina School of the Arts, American Film Institute, and California Institute of the Arts. I also like Columbia and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. These, with NYU, are the very top of the top film schools in N. America.

As for getting in, a significant weight will be placed upon your portfolio. Essays are also important, because they tell the school why you want to be in film, why you want NYU, and why you’re a good fit. You’ll also need relevant work experience – that can be while in school, and it can be unpaid, but ideally, it’s at a professional level, as (drumroll, please…) shown in your portfolio.

So make sure you’re doing as much film work as you can, as an undergrad. During summers and etc., see if you can’t work on student and “underground” films – check the listings in Backstage for possible jobs (most of them, again, unpaid, but good for the portfolio.)

Check out the graduate admissions page for AFI. They go into some detail re: the essay and other materials, and serve as a good example.