How to get into New York University as a UK student

New York University is a sought-after and popular choice among students. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t aim for a highly acclaimed institution like New York University. Here at The Profs, we’ve helped countless students get into top-tier US universities. University admissions are our thing, so you’ve come to the right place.

As a UK student, you may feel unsure about what you can do to get an offer from New York University. Well, no need to worry. This article breaks down the application process and shines a light on how to make your application to New York University stand out. 

If you’re in need of bespoke guidance, just reach out to our expert US admissions team. 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities! 

Don’t forget to check out our main article on getting into US universities as a UK student. We’ve also got articles on how to get into Harvard and Cornell.


What are New York University’s entry requirements?

The New York University typically expects students to have a GPA between 3.5 and 4. NYU’s typical unweighted GPA of most first year’s is 3.7. Hence, you should aim for A’s and B’s, with mostly A’s. New York University welcomes UK qualifications like A levels and IB. 

New York University is a competitive and prestigious university, so generally speaking, you want to ensure that your academic track record is as impressive as possible so that you can stand out amongst your peers. 

You can check specific requirements for your discipline here.

Beyond demonstrating academic excellence, there are a number of other factors that will determine the success of your application. All of these will be broken down in this article.

What is New York University’s acceptance rate?

New York University’s acceptance rate for international students

New York University released statistics for its class of 2023 admissions. There were 84,481 applicants and 12,307 were offered admission. NYU’s acceptance rate is just 16%. 

NYU is proud to say that 88 countries are represented within these numbers. Moreover, NYU is the university with the highest number of international students in the US! So, as an international applicant, you’ve set your sights on the right US university.

New York University’s acceptance rate for different schools

It’s also worth noting that NYU’s acceptance rates can vary between schools. For example, NYU’s College of Arts & Science and the Stern School of Business have much lower acceptance rates (below 10%) than most other schools. Rory Meyers College of Nursing has the lowest (below 5%)! Consider the competitiveness of the school you’re applying to and ensure that you check the average standard of applicants to your discipline and exceed this.

Do I have to apply for a student visa?

You’ll be glad to know that you need only deal with this step once/if you are admitted to New York University. Hence, applying for a student visa is not part of the application process. You need only do so if you receive an offer and accept it. Please note that you will need your admission letter from New York University University.

About the student visa

There are generally two visa categories for studying in the United States: the F-1 student visa and the J-1 student visa. Both require full-time personal study in the US.

Most admitted full-time international students at New York University are eligible for the F-1 visa. Only some students are eligible for the J-1 student visa. Check out the table below:

F-1 Student VisaJ-1 Student Visa
All students who have accepted offers to study a course full-time, on-campus are eligible for the F-1 visa.Students eligible for the J-1 student visa must be receiving 50% of their tuition funding from a government agency, official scholarship or an employer (student or personal loans do not qualify) OR they must have a government scholarship (hence the government requires that they use the J-1 visa) OR their visa must be sponsored by an agency such as Fulbright, USAID, or AMIDEAST.

Please note: Students who are eligible for both the F-1 student visa and the J-1 student visa must indicate which visa category they wish to use. 

Also note: NYU offers sponsorship for students with an F-1 or J-1 visa.

If you need more information on US visas, check out this page.

5 tips to get into New York University 

Before embarking on the application journey, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and prepare yourself for the rigorous admission process. Here are some key steps to follow:

1. Build your foundation blocks

Before you get to the point of filling out your application, you need to be prepared. Have you got an appropriate profile? Are you a suitable candidate? If you’re unsure, consider the factors below. 

The earlier you get started on your New York University application, the more time you have to check off the following pointers!

Get to know New York University’s requirements:

First thing first, familiarise yourself with NYU’s admission criteria, including academic requirements. As previously mentioned, you should be aiming for mostly A’s with little to no B’s in your A levels (or equivalent) for your best possible chance at receiving an offer. Calculate your current grades and predicted grades and convert them into a GPA to ensure that it hits 3.7, but preferably it will be higher.

Have you got a strong academic profile?

As already mentioned, focus on achieving excellent grades throughout your high school (secondary school) years. Even consider improving any weak GCSE grades, especially if they are in your chosen discipline, or in Maths or English.

Take challenging courses that demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and passion for learning. Ensure that your subject combinations complement your chosen course at New York University. If not, pursue related activities and projects outside of school.

Consider taking the SAT or ACT

NYU practises a test-optional policy, meaning that it welcomes students to submit SAT and ACT scores as part of their application, however, it is not a requirement. Hence, opting not to submit a test score should not disadvantage your application. 

NYU’s reason for this flexibility is equality and accessibility. They do not want to exclude students who have not had the opportunity to practise for these tests or sit them. Consequently, if you are choosing not to submit a SAT or ACT score it could be a good idea to have one of your referees mention why this is or do so yourself in your statement of purpose. 

NYU also welcomes a large number of other national exams and other alternatives, so it is recommended that you provide scores of alternative tests to the SAT or ACT if you are choosing not to take one of them. See here for more information.

Basically, if you can take the SAT or ACT and achieve highly then you should as this could maximise your chances of getting an offer. If you want to stand out amongst your peers, this could be how. However, if you can’t, you should boost your application by explaining why and/or providing an alternative. Ultimately, NYU is very competitive so it’s best that you do everything in your power to show that you’re a hard worker with academic aptitude.

More information on NYU’s test-optional policy is available here.

If you want to impress New York University, you should aim for 1470-1570 in the SAT, and 33-35 in the ACT. 

Unsure whether you should take a test or worried that you might not achieve a decent grade? Contact our admissions team for further advice, or our talented SAT and ACT tutors for expert help. We even have articles on how to prepare for the SAT and ACT.

Note: NYU’s requirements could change. So, keep up to date with the information available and check your course page on New York University’s website.

Consider taking the GRE/GMAT

New York University does not accept the GRE/GMAT as part of its undergraduate application process. 

They may require or advise candidates to complete one of these tests to strengthen their postgraduate application, depending on the course in question. NYU Stern also accepts the Executive Assessment (EA) and offers waivers, more information on this is available here.

If so, submitting a GRE of 161-168 or a GMAT score of 740-760 could really maximise your chances of obtaining an offer. This is especially the case if you are applying for a quantitative degree.

Unsure whether you should take the GRE/GMAT or worried that you might not achieve a decent score? Contact our admissions team for further advice, or our talented GRE and GMAT tutors for expert help. We even have articles on how to prepare for the GRE and GMAT.

Say yes to extracurricular activities:

Do not underestimate extracurricular activities, especially if you intend to apply to a US university! 

Participate actively in extracurricular activities that align with your discipline or demonstrate relevant skills and showcase your leadership, teamwork, and passion. Consider pursuing internships, volunteering, or joining clubs and organisations related to your intended field of study. 

It’s also a good idea to get work experience that’s related to your interests. NYU is career-driven, so talk about what steps you have already taken to pursue your career as well as your specific, ambitious and realistic goals for the future.

Always check the application page and entry requirements for your chosen course as there might be helpful suggestions or examples on there that spark your interest or inspire you. 

Remember that wider reading is an extracurricular activity and it’s great if you mention what materials you have a passion for. The more niche, the better. NYU values intellectual experiences, so it’s great if you can demonstrate academic curiosity or talk about a supplementary academic project you’ve participated in. 

Creativity is another appraised characteristic of NYU, so be sure to mention anything that exhibits this quality e.g. upcycling clothes, creative writing or choreography.

Whilst it’s ideal for your extracurriculars and work experience to be as relevant to your discipline as possible, they are still valuable if not. Unlike UK universities, US universities tend to value seemingly irrelevant activities and student jobs because US applications are more personal and focused on applicants’ individual character and experiences. 

NYU values cultural experiences and global perspectives. Diversity is mentioned in its mission statement, plus it has numerous international partnerships such as its campus in London, Shanghai and Dubai. Consequently, mentioning extracurricular activities that demonstrate an interest in and understanding of multiculturalism is important. For instance, you might have gone backpacking across southeast Asia, worked for an EFL programme in Ethiopia, grown up in a household that travels, or have parents who migrated from their home country. Any example could be a good way of showing that you align with NYU’s mission statement. NYU especially favours students with a knack for languages, so if you speak multiple languages this is certainly something to highlight!

When it comes to the statement of purpose, mention anything that you are proud of. What have achieved? What is a large part of your life, or has shaped you to be who you are? Choose from the heart and write with purpose.

Watch out for deadlines

Note down your deadlines in advance so that you can work towards an organised timeline of goals. Again, the earlier you start preparing, the better. Be sure not to miss any deadlines or find yourself rushing at the last moment. The best way to do this is by checking the deadline for your chosen course on New York University’s website for your intended year of admission.

New York University has two deadlines for UK applicants: ‘early decision I’ in November, ‘early decision II’ in January, and ‘regular decision’ in January. 

  • Regular decision refers to the standard deadline for submitting your application to US universities. You may apply to as many universities as you choose by this deadline. 
  • Early decision I and II refer to an early deadline that allows you to pursue your favourite university earlier than the others. If you choose this route, you are expected to accept NYU’s offer if you receive one and you cannot apply to other universities. You also cannot apply through regular decision if you don’t get an offer. The only difference between early decision I and II is the difference in deadline and response date.

There is no guaranteed advantage or disadvantage to either of the above routes of application. However, New York University might interpret your early application to mean that they are your top choice and as a result, might favour your application. But you should also consider the standard of your peers in each cycle as you will be competing against them.

Please note: NYU recommends that you submit your application one month in advance for courses that require an audition or portfolio to ensure ample time to prepare.

New York University also has a transfer application option which international students are eligible for.

You can check on the deadlines for UK applicants here.

Does New York University offer scholarships?

Yes, New York University University offers a range of scholarships and grants. These include competitive, merit-based and need-based scholarships. However, NYU does not offer any sports scholarships. You can read up on financial support services here.

You can apply for funds by submitting all required financial aid applications by their deadlines (including the FAFSA). So, ensure that you find the relevant applications to you and take note of their deadlines.

If NYU does not offer you sufficient financial aid, you might explore other affordable options. For instance, you could study in the UK and apply for a semester or full 12 months at New York University. More information on this is available here. NYU also has a campus in London, Bloomsbury so you could even ask to stay in the UK entirely or complete part of your degree in the UK. 

Please note: There is a $80 application fee to apply to New York University but you can request an application fee waiver, as discussed here

2. Craft your application

Once you have laid the foundation, it’s time to focus on creating a compelling application that highlights your unique strengths and experiences. 

First, New York University requires all its applicants (including those from the UK) to apply via the application forms on Common Application. Hence, UCAS is not used as is the norm for undergraduate applications to UK universities. As an undergraduate applicant, you will not be able to apply to New York University directly.

Next, prepare the following aspects:

  • Choose the right course for you. Research the specific programme or field of study that you are interested in and ensure it aligns with your academic and career goals. Check out all the courses available at New York University here.
  • Gather your academic transcripts, including records of all college work that you have received academic credit for. Also note: applicants will be invited to complete a Self Reported Academic Record (SRAR) after submitting their application. Later down the line, you will also have to fill in the Common Application Mid-Year Report with your updated academic record if your mid-year grades are available.
  • Collect any extra materials e.g. portfolio or audition tape. 
  • Gather your standardised test scores, if applicable.
  • Collect one to three references from a teacher, counsellor, coach, supervisor, or anyone else in a position of authority. NYU requires one reference minimum and three maximum, it claims that your number of references will not advantage or disadvantage your application. However, if you’re able to provide three varied references then this could give you the best chance to cover all your bases.
  • Enter your English language proficiency score if applicable. Please see FAQ for more information.
  • Complete your statement of purpose.
  • Complete your (optional) supplementary essay question.

Further details of New York University’s application requirements can be found here.

Don’t underestimate your letters of recommendation:

It goes without saying that you should select teachers who know you and can vouch for you. You want them to convince NYU that you’re an exceptional student who aligns well with your chosen course and New York University itself. 

You also want your referee to boast for you: what are your achievements and talents, and how do your extracurriculars demonstrate your drive and/or leadership skills?

It’s ideal if one of your referees teaches your chosen subject or something related to it, but the most important thing is that they know you well and can speak in depth about your academic aptitude, personality, and potential. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have any teachers who know you well enough, it’s not too late to build this bond. Ask your teachers to grab coffee at break time or to meet with them over lunch. Get to know your referees so that they can get to know you!

An employer could also be a good referee. Since you’re allowed three referees, it could be a good idea to have two academic and one professional, or similar mix.

Invest time in this step as it’s not to be overlooked. New York University takes your references very seriously and cares a lot about who you are as a person. 

If there are things you’d like your referees to mention, then tell them about these things and politely ask them to reference them for you e.g. achievements and goals.

Make it personal:

In the US, your personal statement is referred to as a ‘statement of purpose’. It’s also different from a personal statement, which is very specific and academically focused. 

In the UK, our statements are supposed to demonstrate why we are a good student and the perfect match for X course. In the US, that matters too but the discussion is more broad. The statement of purpose is supposed to be an introduction, where New York University meets you, the real you. Show who you are as a person and why you deserve to be at NYU.

Craft a well-written and authentic personal statement that showcases your personality, motivations, and aspirations. Mention your future ambitions and highlight your achievements and wins. You should especially not shy away from personal factors that are relevant to who you are and your experiences. 

All that said, it’s great if you can touch upon why you are the best candidate for your chosen subject at New York University. Why are you suited to the overarching discipline mentioned? How would you fit in with the college, school and/or department relevant to your course of study? Why would the programme benefit by bringing you in?

Don’t tell New York University about your passion, demonstrate it. Highlight any research, projects or clubs that you participated in – especially if they’re relevant to your degree. And it’s even better if you have any closely related achievements. 

New York University wants to know if you would be a good member of their institution and what you offer them. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and how you can contribute to the NYU community.

Key qualities that NYU values are talent, drive and ambition. So, demonstrate this in your grades as well as your statement of purpose. Prove your skill and work ethic. Talk about your academic and professional goals.

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of this step! Your statement of purpose is key to NYU and can sometimes hold more weight than your GPA. NYU’s core college curriculum for all freshmen includes a module on expository writing, hence your writing skills will be closely looked at.

Turn your weaknesses into strengths

If you have a weak area that you must declare or that NYU will find out about, ensure that you confront it and spin it in your favour. 

If you did not get the opportunity to complete a standardised test or participate in extracurriculars due to your individual circumstances,  where you live or something that happened to you, you could potentially talk about this in your statement of purpose. How has this shaped you as a person? How has this instilled drive or resilience in you? What special qualities have your hardships helped you to develop?

One successful NYU applicant had a criminal record so they centred their statement of purpose around this and talked about how they had learned from this, and how it had inspired them to become a criminal defence lawyer.

Prepare for the hot seat

New York University has a 250-word supplementary writing task after the statement of purpose, to be completed on the common app application. It is a totally optional step, hence NYU claims that it won’t disadvantage your application to not complete it. However, it’s an opportunity to stand out to NYU and demonstrate genuine passion so we highly recommend that you complete this step to boost your application.

This year, the prompt for the writing task was: “We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you, or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.” Accordingly, students could choose between 5 quotes or opt to find their own quote to respond to it. You can view the quotes, as well as read more information about the supplementary essay task, here.

Also, note the prompt itself. NYU is telling you exactly what kind of student they want to enrol. Show that you align with this vision!

You can check out our previous article on personal statements which can offer some helpful tips for this step, however, as the guidelines and goals are different for both of New York University’s writing tasks, we recommend chatting with our US admissions team. We can match you with expert coaches who specialise in US university admissions, we also have professionals on our team who have graduated from New York University! 

Worried about your writing skills, or fretting over what to say? We know how to help! Here, at The Profs, we have excellent writing tutors with plenty of experience who can help you craft a compelling body of work. If you need any assistance, just reach out.

3. Stand out from the Crowd:

New York University is extremely competitive, hence the students who apply there are of high calibre. Meaning, it is tough to stand out. A polished academic track record and glowing references are a must, but they’re not enough as many of your peers will also have this. You need to offer more.


As previously mentioned, highlight your extracurriculars and/or work experience. But try to go beyond this. Anything that colours who you are as a person, or shows tenacity or heart could help you to stand out. Think, how are you different?

Identify unique experiences, perspectives, or talents that set you apart from other applicants. If you could do with a little more to mention, consider pursuing independent research, starting an entrepreneurial project, or engaging in impactful community service.

This is why it’s great to start thinking about your application as early as possible. If you’re in year 11 or 12 you have time to focus on what you have accomplished and think about what aspects of yourself you’d like to highlight or develop. Remember, this doesn’t have to be at school or even during term time. 

Showcase your achievements:

The advice for the personal statement in the UK typically encourages students not to mention ALL their achievements. For the personal statement, the aim is precision and your constant topic should be your chosen course, thus it’s recommended that you only mention achievements relevant to it. 

However, US colleges and universities want to hear about all your achievements. NYU is thrilled to find students who’ve managed to balance getting a grade 8 in piano whilst maintaining straight A’s and completing the World Challenge. So, highlight your academic accomplishments, awards, research projects, or significant contributions to your community.

Create a comprehensive CV that reflects your experiences and achievements and then check it off whilst writing your statement of purpose.

Does New York University conduct interviews?

Typically, interviews are not part of New York University’s undergraduate application process. However, applicants for the Tisch School of Arts and Prehealth will be required to attend a one-to-one interview. Opportunity programme applicants must participate in group interviews. 

If you think you might be interviewed, reach out to our expert interview coaches who know exactly how you can smash this step and impress NYU! We also have a video and article on how to prepare for a university interview.

Always check the specific application steps for your course via the NYU website to be sure of whether you’re expected to attend an interview or not. However, as mentioned, most undergraduate NYU applicants will not be interviewed.

On the one hand, no interview is great because it means you don’t need to worry about preparing for an extra step in the application process. You get to avoid interview practice and nerves. 

On the other hand, you don’t get the chance to impress New York University with your communication skills and charisma or make a personal connection with them. 

All-in-all, not having the opportunity to perform well in an interview means that your online application needs to be polished to perfection. It is crucial that your grades, written components, and references are of the best possible quality because you will not have the chance to win anyone over in person. 

Want to ensure that your application has no weak areas? Put your absolute best foot forward by speaking to our expert US admissions team who can assess your application and improve it. Your academic future is not something to leave to chance.

4. Connect with New York University:

It’s important that you connect with New York University. Your application should not appear generic and the best way to do that is to build a bond with New York University itself. 

You can do this by:

  • Attending information sessions, webinars, or virtual tours offered by New York University to gain firsthand knowledge about the university.
  • Reaching out to current students or alumni to learn more about their experiences and seek advice.
  • Attending open days and virtual days – see here for more information.
  • Researching your course and department at New York University: what research do they carry out, what achievements and awards have they received, and what activities do they get involved with on campus or within the student community?
  • Researching what societies and sports New York University offers so that you can plan (and demonstrate) intentions to get involved.
  • Researching the opportunities and vibe in Manhatten, New York City (otherwise known as the Big Apple). This city is famous worldwide and has countless opportunities! As an international applicant, it could be good to show your enthusiasm to live in New York. You might also want to research North America in general.
  • Reaching out to people by calling/emailing your department (or during the open days or via LinkedIn) to network and ask questions. If this goes well, you might even have some names that you can note down in your application, or should you need any help.

Following the steps above will boost the quality of your application as you will be able to demonstrate alignment with New York University. However, these steps should also serve you in your quest to be sure that NYU is a good fit for you.

Please note that it’s important to refer to the official New York University website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

5. Seek Guidance:

Consider working with one of our experienced US university admissions tutors who can offer you bespoke guidance, an application review, and help polish your essays. 

We have a track record of success in applying to top universities like NYU, Cornell, Harvard, and Oxbridge. In fact, 95% of our students receive offers to their first and second-choice universities. If New York University is your dream, take every step to make it happen and reach out to our expert team.

How we can help

Gaining admission to New York University University as a UK student requires dedication, hard work, and careful preparation. By seeking guidance from our experienced and accomplished admissions team, you can maximise your chances of achieving your dream of studying at New York University. 

We offer a talented team of tutors, including specialists in:

We are here for every step of the process. Call us for a New York University application review and a bespoke plan of action. There’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed! Just reach out to join our winning team.


How much does it cost to study at New York University?

The average cost is estimated to be $79,746 before financial aid and $39,565 after average financial aid. For international students, the cost is estimated to vary from $45,763 to $93,511. Check out NYU’s undergraduate expenses page for international students for more information.

Don’t be intimidated by finances. Check out New York University’s financial aid page.

Does NYU require international students to submit English language proficiency test scores?

Yes, NYU requires international students whose native language is not English to submit English language proficiency test scores. You can complete tests like the TOEFL, IELTS or even Duolingo to prove your English language proficiency. More information regarding this step is available here.

You could be exempt from this if you have attended high school in a country where English is an official language for three years prior to your application. Other exemptions may also apply.

What are the admission requirements for UK students applying to NYU?

UK students applying to NYU need to meet the general admission requirements, which include having a good academic track record (evidenced by submitting secondary school transcripts and an optional SAT or ACT score), excellent letters of recommendation, and  compelling statement of purpose and a supplementary essay question. It’s important to demonstrate strong academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and a genuine passion for the chosen field of study. Specific tips on how to get into NYU are available in this article.

Are there any specific scholarships or financial aid options available for UK students at NYU?

Yes, NYU offers various scholarships and financial aid options for both domestic and international students. UK students can explore opportunities such as merit-based scholarships, need-based aid, and specific scholarships for international students. It’s important to review the university’s financial aid website and contact the Office of Financial Aid for detailed information and application procedures. See here for more details.

When is the start date for an undergraduate course at NYU?

NYU functions on a semester-based academic calendar. NYU offers fall and spring starts. Typically freshmen orientation begins at the end of August. However, you should check your course start date, class dates, holidays, and any other calendar dates via your specific NYU course page.