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Applicant Statements

In your application, you will have the opportunity to tell us about yourself in two ways: 

The Statement of Academic Purpose (required), which describes your academic plans. Some programs may request specific details.

The Personal History Statement (optional), which gives information on your background.

Each statement is short — no more than two double-spaced pages, unless a maximum word count is specified. No updates or revisions are accepted after submission, so please proofread each statement carefully.

The Ph.D. program in Social Psychology is requiring a Statement on Quantitative and Programming Skills Preparation  in lieu of the general test of the GRE.

Once you begin your online application, please review the instructions in the Applicant Statements section for the most up-to-date information.

Statement of Academic Purpose

Animal studies, anthropology.

  • Anthropology / French Studies

East Asian Studies

Economics (advanced certificate computational social science), hebrew and judaic studies, international relations, general psychology m.a., religious studies.

  • XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement

All Other Programs

In a concisely written statement, please describe your interest in Animal Studies and your past and present work as it relates to your interest in this field, your educational objectives, and your personal and professional goals.

Ph.D.— The Statement of Academic Purpose should offer a clear sense of your training in anthropology or related fields, your strengths as a scholar, and the reasons you are applying for the doctoral degree. It should refrain from lengthy personal anecdotes. While applicants need not indicate a precise dissertation topic, it will be helpful to the admissions committee to have a sense of their main area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the critical theoretical questions and/or conversations that drive their interest in pursuing the degree. Finally, applicants should address their particular reasons for wanting to work within the Department of Anthropology at New York University. The statement may not be more than 1,500 words.

Anthropology / French Studies 

The Statement of Academic Purpose should offer a clear sense of your training in anthropology, French Studies or related fields, your strengths as a scholar, and the reasons you are applying for the doctoral degree. It should refrain from lengthy personal anecdotes. While applicants need not indicate a precise dissertation topic, it will be helpful to the admissions committee to have a sense of their main area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the critical theoretical questions and/or conversations that drive their interest in pursuing the degree. Finally, applicants should address their particular reasons for wanting to work within the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of French Studies at New York University. The statement may not be more than 1,500 words.

The Department of Chemistry does not ask for a Statement of Academic Purpose. Please do not provide one. However, they do ask you to describe your motivation for graduate school in chemistry. You may elaborate on chemical problems of the greatest interest to you and include discoveries in the field of chemistry that have inspired you.

Ph.D.— Please concisely describe your past and present work—and your academic training—as it relates to your intended field of study and your academic and career goals. Although you are not yet expected to provide a specific dissertation topic, please do your best to indicate your principal area(s) of topical and geographic interest and the central theoretical questions that are motivating your pursuit of a graduate degree. Finally, please indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,200 words in length.

M.A.— Please concisely describe your past and present work—and your academic training—as it relates to your intended field of study and your academic and career goals. Also, indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,000 words in length.

In a concisely written statement, please answer the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the program?
  • What do you want from the program?
  • What experience do you have with computer languages? Which ones?
  • How skilled are you in these languages?

The work of the faculty of the Department of English at NYU is characterized by a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, encompassing literary history, theory, and criticism, as well as careful reflection on the methods of literary study. We are especially interested in graduate students who will be comfortable bridging historical periods in their reading and writing, and who are curious about a wide variety of approaches to literary studies. The admissions committee requires from all applicants a statement of academic purpose, which will be judged as a piece of writing. It will use this statement to evaluate how well your aspirations and interests suit those of the Department of English at NYU. This statement of academic purpose should be succinct (no more than 1,200 words) and address most, if not all, of the following questions:

  • What kinds (genres, styles, forms, etc.) of literature most engage you? 
  • What, for you, is the purpose of reading literature critically? 
  • Are there particular kinds of criticism/theoretical approaches/methods of literary study that you would like to work within or learn more about? 
  • How have your intellectual and scholarly interests been shaped by your time outside and beyond the college classroom? 
  • In the light of the description above, do you have a particular reason for wishing to work within the Department of English at New York University?

Please describe briefly and concisely your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives at NYU, and your career plans. In addition, please include your reasons for choosing your field of study. The Institute of Fine Arts Admissions Committee requests that you consider the following for inclusion in your Statement of Academic Purpose. Please make your statement succinct (2-4 typed pages; please note this limit is a bit longer than what is specified at the top of this page) and use the upload button below to include it in your online application.

  • Aspects of your background that may be relevant to a career in the history of art or conservation.
  • Name your primary area of interest within art history or conservation.
  • What you think are the critical issues in this field.
  • Your reason for choosing the Institute of Fine Arts rather than another graduate program.
  • Your career plans.

Please describe briefly and concisely your past and present academic, research and/or professional accomplishments as they relate to your intended field of study, your educational objectives while at NYU, and your career goals following the master's program. State your specific area of specialization in the general master's program in psychology and include your reasons for choosing this field of study. What specific goals and objectives do you have for applying to NYU? The statement should be concisely written, in a professional/academic, rather than a personal/informal style, and should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

All other Psychology applicants should refer to the instructions for All Other Programs .

In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

Ph.D.— Applicants to the doctoral program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies are required to append to their statement of academic purpose a one-page, double-spaced description of their proficiency in Hebrew and the sources from which it was acquired. Non-native speakers of Hebrew should indicate

  • The institutions at which they studied Hebrew;
  • The textbooks from which they studied;
  • The extent to which their program of study incorporated Biblical, classical, and modern Hebrew; and
  • The highest level achieved.

Native speakers should indicate the years completed in Israeli schools and universities. 

Applicants to the doctoral program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies may also, at their option, include an autobiographical statement in Hebrew, one page maximum. This statement should be hand-written personally by the applicant and should be saved as a pdf file to be uploaded.

All Programs except Joint M.A. in International Relations/Journalism

Please explain, in a brief and concise manner, how your past studies and work experience relate to a course of study at the graduate level in International Relations at NYU. Please also explain why you chose to apply to study in the IR Program at NYU and the specified concentration (if any), or the dual degree M.P.A.-M.A. in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy and International Relations, and how NYU specifically will help you to advance your personal and professional objectives. The statement should be no more than two double-spaced pages. NYU’s Program in International Relations trains individuals who wish to make a difference in the world either through the practice of international affairs in government, the non-governmental or private sectors or through continued academic study. With that in mind, please reflect on the following questions in writing your Statement of Academic Purpose:

● How do the Program’s objectives fit with your own goals and interests?

● How will your educational objectives help you achieve your future career goals?

● Where do you see yourself 10 years after graduating from NYU?

Applicants to Journalism programs should refer to  separate instructions .

In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. As part of your statement, please explain why you are interested in the academic study of religion and what you hope to achieve upon completion of the M.A. in Religious Studies. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement

Prepare a narrative that integrates your past and present work as it relates to your intended field/s of study, your intellectual objectives, and your long-term goals. We encourage you to include ideas for a potential master's project. In particular, we ask that you indicate how and why your work/research would best be facilitated by XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, and the broader Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages. 

Personal History Statement

The purpose of this optional essay is to get to know you as an individual and as a potential graduate student, and how your lived experience will significantly contribute to our goals of equity, inclusion, and academic excellence at the Graduate School. Please describe how your personal background has motivated you to pursue a graduate degree. Please note that the Personal History Statement is not meant to be a general autobiography.  The statement is optional and should not exceed two double-spaced pages. It should not duplicate the Statement of Academic Purpose.

Statement on Quantitative and Programming Skills Preparation

Social psychology.

Please be brief. Bullet-point responses are preferable. Answers to all questions should not exceed 1,000 words in total; estimate about 200 word answers per question.

  • Please list all college-level, post-baccalaureate, and/or graduate school courses you have taken in statistics, mathematics, logic, or related quantitative disciplines (including in-class and online courses). For each, list the course name, university, main topics covered, and grade received.
  • Please list any computer programming languages you know. Describe any special projects you completed using these programming skills.
  • Please list any statistical software you have used. Describe any special projects you completed using these programming skills.
  • Have you analyzed data independently and/or analyzed data that you collected to test your own research ideas? Please describe the kind of data (e.g., questionnaire, behavioral, eye-tracking, fMRI), the kinds of analyses you performed, and number of projects that used those data and analyses.
  • Describe any other aspects of your skills or training that have prepared you for doctoral studies and research in social psychology. You might include content covered in lab meetings you routinely attended, grants received to fund your skill development, professional or career opportunities that provided skill building or training, etc. Do not report GRE scores; we are not accepting GRE scores in the fall 2022 application.

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Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose describes your study interests, goals, and program fit

Personal Statement

Related Links

Your statement of purpose should be a typewritten, double-spaced, well-organized statement explaining why you wish to pursue graduate study through your program of interest at NYU. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the department about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits. Please make sure to include your name as it appears on your application, the program you are applying to, and the date. This document can be uploaded directly to your online application portal.

For those applying as a Cyber Fellow: Applicants to the NYU Cybersecurity M.S. program who are also applying to be considered for the NYU Cyber Fellow scholarship must submit a well-organized statement of purpose that is a maximum of 250 words . 

For all other applicants: Applicants to any other program or applicants to the Cybersecurity M.S. who are not interested in being considered for the Cyber Fellows scholarship must submit a well-organized statement of purpose that is a maximum of one- to two-pages .

How to write a strong Statement Of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should assure readers—primarily the faculty on the selection committee—that your background and experience will support your success in graduate study. Think of the statement of purpose as a composition with five key parts:

Share your interests — what sparked your desire for graduate study? This should be short and to the point; you don’t need to spend a great deal of time on your autobiography. You can elaborate on your areas of academic interest later in the statement.

Include details such as:

  • Research you have conducted. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome. The graduate admissions committee is composed of faculty so write technically, or in the style of your discipline.
  • Important papers or thesis projects you’ve completed, as well as related extracurricular activities.
  • Awards or recognitions you’ve received for the scholarly achievements discussed.
  • Related internship experience, especially if you’ve had any responsibility for testing, designing, researching or interning in an area similar to what you wish to study in graduate school.

If you have ongoing projects or work experience, indicate the scope of that work. Whether for a company, non-profit, design team, etc, include your responsibilities, what you learned, etc. You can also indicate how this will help you focus your graduate studies. Cyber Fellows applicants: You can skip this portion for brevity!

Use this part of your statement to indicate what you would like to study in graduate school in enough detail to show the graduate admissions committee that you understand the scope of research in a specified discipline. This can include engagement with current research themes, and/or reasons why this specific program would be a good fit for you. Indicate your area(s) of interest. Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or indicate a theme that you would like to address and questions that arise from contemporary research that you would like to investigate. This is a key paragraph!

End your statement in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead.

  • Skip to Main
  • Why Graduate School?
  • Choosing the Right Graduate Program
  • Preparing for Graduate School

Putting Your Application Together

  • Financing Graduate School
  • Additional Resources
  • Giving to CAS

Now that you're decided to go graduate school, spent some time building up your application, and picked the program that want to attend, it's time to put together your graduate school application!

The sections below walk through different parts of the graduate school application process:

General Remarks About the Graduate School Admissions Process

Application timeline, graduate school application components.

To supplement the information here, you may also want to check out our  Additional Resources  section. Here, you'll find a running list of websites, articles, and books that talk about the whole experience of graduate school, from application to graduation, including several great resources for planning and completing your graduate school application.

One thing to keep in mind throughout all of these sections:  the admissions process for a liberal arts graduate program is very different from applying to an undergraduate college. 

Most of the admissions decisions for liberal arts graduate programs are made on a department-by-department basis. There isn’t (usually) a centralized, professionalized staff of Admissions officers evaluating each application. Instead, applications will be evaluated by a departmental committee - sometimes all faculty, sometimes faculty and administrators, sometimes faculty, administrators, and students.

This means that applications can be given both far less scrutiny, and far more scrutiny, than they would for undergraduate admissions. 

Far less scrutiny

Since graduate admissions decisions are made by department members, this process can sometimes be viewed as one more obligation among many.

Research has shown that many departments rely on “traditional” and quantifiable indices of academic merit  -- particularly GPA and GRE/standardized test scores -- to make initial cuts in their application pool. This is, of course, problematic - particularly since these GPA and GRE scores have been shown not to correlate inevitably with academic success in graduate school, and because performance in standardized testing like the GRE is usually a reflection of many factors other than raw academic ability (For an in-depth discussion of this, and of graduate admissions practices in general, see Julie R. Posselt,  Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping  (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016)).

This is all to say: as you think about when you will apply to graduate school, make sure you are applying when the general outline of your application will be at its strongest. If you are in your senior year of college, and your GPA is just ok, maybe focus on your academic performance in that final year (instead of applying to grad school), and then apply when you have your full academic record on your transcript. If you don’t feel prepared to take the GREs, don’t - wait until you have the time to complete the kind of preparation that makes you feel the most ready to take it. 

Far more scrutiny

If a department gets to the point where it is looking at the actual content in your application, then it will likely review the different components (writing sample, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation) much more closely than might have been the case for your undergraduate application. Graduate admission -- particularly into a PhD program -- is a substantial investment in you as a scholar and researcher; the department wants to know that you are already at least a few steps down that path. 

  • Apply to programs that match your interests - if a program/department doesn't have a faculty member specializing in your area of interest (or, at least, a related area), an admissions committee likely won't think you're a good fit for their program (and vice-versa)
  • Give yourself time to read and reread your application materials, in particular your writing sample and statment of purpose
  • If you can, get feedback from other readers (particularly professors or other people in your intended field).
  • Supply your recommenders with copies of your other application materials, so they can write as specifically about you and your potential as possible

Return to Top

Most master’s and doctoral programs will have application deadlines between December and January for fall semester admissions. Some master’s programs, however, have the possibility of a spring or summer matriculation, and those application deadlines would be at different times of the academic year. 

The timeline sketched out below is a very generous one - it is certainly possible (although maybe not advisable) to decide to apply to liberal arts graduate programs in the beginning of your senior year, and submit applications in time to enter graduate school the following year. In this sense, the graduate school application process is typically a little more flexible than that for professional graduate programs (for timelines for different professional degrees such as law and health professions school, see the related  Preprofessional Advising Center websites)

NOTE : This timeline assumes that a student is planning on entering grad school directly after undergrad - if you’re post-undergrad, you could probably reduce this to about year’s worth of planning, starting in January/February of the year in which you plan to submit your application:

Many programs will offer application fee reductions/waivers to qualified students. If you think you qualify, be sure to inquire further with your programs of interest. This article from Idealist.org has some great information and strategies about requesting fee waivers:  http://www.idealist.org/info/GradEducation/Resources/Financing/AppFees

Before Junior Year:

If you’re interested, take a look at the  Global Awards  that NYU students can apply for. All these awards require a good amount of advance planning and vetting to be selected to apply, but are a prestigious way to pay for your graduate education.

Junior Year: 

  • Begin researching potential programs
  • Look at different  financial aid resources , to learn about portable scholarships you can take with you regardless of where you're accepted
  • Learn about  standardized testing requirements  for your program, and work out a timeline for taking the required standardized testing.
  • Participate in whatever kind of standardized testing preparation you feel is necessary
  • Attend  programs  offered by CAS to help explore your decision to attend graduate school
  • Think about the professors you want to write recommendation letters - if you haven’t done so already,  start building relationships to ensure the best recommendation
  • Look for ways to do  research  - if you qualify, start talking to your major department about pursuing honors in your major
  • Take seminar-style courses that will allow you to produce a substantial piece of written work, that could potentially serve as  a writing sample
  • If a particular piece stands out to you as a potential writing sample, be sure to follow up with the course professor to see if they are willing to give you more detailed feedback

Summer between Junior and Senior Year: 

  • Put together an initial draft of  your statement of purpose  - don’t work it to death, but work up a first draft that you then put aside for a month or more
  • Look at the written work you produced in the past year, and see if there are any potential candidates for a writing sample
  • Try to take required standardized testing before the end of the summer - that way, you'll have plenty of time to get results, and figure out how these fit into your overall application profile

Senior Year, Fall:

  • Return to the personal statement that you wrote over the summer - polish it a little more, and see if you can get feedback on it from others (friends that you trust, professors, mentors, etc.)
  • Narrow down your graduate school choices, and be aware of the individual deadlines and requirements
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty members (be sure to supply them a transcript, as well as a clean draft of your personal statement), at least 2 months in advance of application deadline
  • If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to take any required standardized tests
  • Write final draft of statement
  • Submit application, following up with recommenders who have not submitted their letter about a week before your application due date

Senior Year, Spring: 

  • Write thank you notes to recommenders, sending them out no later than a week after the recommendation has been submitted
  • Once you start receiving acceptance notifications, feel free to reach out to different programs to arrange campus visits or to learn more about the details of the program
  • Be mindful of deadlines that programs give you to accept an admissions offer - once you have accepted an offer, be sure to let any other programs that have made an offer know that you will not attend
  • Complete and submit and required  FAFSA forms , if necessary

Always confirm the application materials required by a program directly with that program . Required materials may vary from program to program. However, listed below are some common application components that will be required by most graduate school applications:

Writing Sample

Statement of purpose, letters of recommendation.

  • GRE and other Standardized Tests

Transcripts

The writing sample — usually between 12-20 pages, although be sure to confirm the expectations for each program — allows programs to evaluate your preexisting abilities as a writer and researcher, your nascent originality as a thinker, and your general knowledge of your intended field of study.  There is no one “ideal” kind of writing sample - but a compelling writing sample typically establishes your work within an existing professional conversation or in reference to existing scholarly work. Most likely, you’ll find the raw material for this sample in a paper written for an undergraduate seminar, or (even better) the thesis you would complete to receive honors in your major.  For a seminar paper, be sure to follow up with your seminar instructor to see if they can give you more detailed feedback (you could even try doing this a year or two out of undergrad, explaining that you’ve now decided to go to graduate school and lightly flattering the professor about the importance of this seminar in inspiring this decision)  The thesis will likely be a more highly polished piece of writing. Still, talk to your thesis advisor about what particular excerpt best represents your potential as a scholar.  The writing sample may be another case where it is better to wait to apply to graduate school. If you’re writing your thesis in your senior year, it may be wise to apply the following year, when that thesis has been completed, rather than deprive yourself of your strongest possible writing sample.

Return to Application Components

The statement of purpose is a one- to two-page explanation of why you want to go to graduate school. Effective statements of purpose demonstrate the candidate’s professional writing skills and present the candidate to the admissions committee as a unique intellectual individual. Importantly, the statement of purpose differs from the personal statement used in undergraduate applications:  personal statements present you as a candidate in search of a general education; a statement of purpose presents who you are and where you want to go as a professional. The following are some questions that you should consider as you write your statement of purpose:

  • Who are you and what are your goals?
  • What are your intellectual interests and passions?
  • What motivates you to want to take this next step?
  • What were some key intellectual moments that influenced your decision to pursue graduate study in this field?

Your statement should discuss the path that led you to apply to graduate school, including your career goals and your research interests - however, it should NOT be just a summary of your resume or an autobiography. Instead, biographical details should be included simply to set the stage for your research interests, and how you plan to develop those interests in graduate school.

You should also demonstrate that you have researched the program to which you are applying, and discuss which unique aspects of the program make it a particularly good fit for you and will aid in the pursuit of your specific goals. For example, you may discuss faculty members who are doing research in your area of interest, areas of study for which the department is well-regarded, as well as any other resources available at the university that would be particularly helpful in the area you intend to study. It should offer the admissions committee new information about your professional and academic plans not available elsewhere in the application. 

The Office of Global Awards has additional, and very useful, thoughts about the brainstorming process for the statement of purpose:  https://www.nyu.edu/academics/awards-and-highlights/global-awards/support-and-resources/personal-statement-recommendations.html

Also see the  Additional Resources  page of this site for more resources about writing your personal statement

If you’d like assistance formulating your statement of purpose, you can schedule an appointment at the  NYU Writing Center . There, a Writing Center consultant will help you think through your ideas, and figure out the most effective ways to express and structure your argument for your potential as a graduate student.

Typically, programs will require a minimum of three letters of recommendation. If you are planning on applying to a liberal arts Master's or Ph.D. program, all three of these letters should be from an academic source. Ideally, you'll ask professors within your field of interest who know you well and can speak to your intellectual and academic achievement and potential to complete original research. If that is not possible, however, letters can also be requested from people outside of your specific field.

While it may be helpful to have letters of recommendation written by people who are well-known (at least, known by the committee reading the letter), it is more valuable to receive letters of recommendation from people who know you well and can speak to your work. 

You should start early building relationships that might, eventually, lead to a letter of recommendation. If a you take a class with a professor in your junior year, for example, and you want to ask that professor for a letter of recommendation in the following year or even several years after graduation, it is important that you make a connection with the professor during the class, and maintain that connection after the course has ended. Students can make themselves known during the semester by actively participating in class, asking questions, and, most importantly, visiting office hours (see  Preparing for Graduate School  for more tips on how to cultivate your relationships with professors). Certainly keep in touch with the professor in future semesters; you could ask them questions about academic decision-making and research, so this professor feels like they have a stake in your academic success. You can also talk to this professor (if it makes sense) about the decision itself to go to graduate school, and see if they have any recommendations about particular programs.

Asking for a Letter of Recommendation :

  • If you are not planning on entering graduate school directly after undergrad, but might instead apply a few years after completing your undergraduate education, let your recommenders know. They may not care, but those that do may want to prepare a letter now, while your relationship is fresh, and then update it when you actually apply
  • If you are reaching out to a professor a few years after undergrad, don't be shy! Send an email re-introducing yourself, and offer to meet with the professor to update them on what's been going on since you last spoke.
  • Try to give your recommender at least  2 months’ notice (from your application due date) that you will need a letter
  • After a professor or other recommender has confirmed that they will write a letter, you should send in one email a list of programs to which you are applying, as well the due dates of all letters and forms.
  • Try to give your professor a sense of how you will present yourself in your application. After the professor has agreed to write for you, send them drafts of the material that you’re going to supply with your application (personal statement, resume, and writing sample). They may be interested in this, or maybe not - but, at least, give them all the materials upfront, so they don’t have to ask for it themselves.
  • Send your recommenders a reminder about 2 weeks before your application due date
  • In a perfect world, every recommender will submit their recommendations by the application due date - our world, however, is not perfect. So, keep in mind that application due dates are really more for you than for your recommenders. All your materials must be in on time - but, if your recommenders submit your recommendations a little after the due date, it will not be held against you. Graduate programs understand that professors are very busy, and sometimes can’t always make due dates. If, two weeks after the deadline, some recommenders are still delinquent (most application systems allow you to track this), reach out to give them a gentle reminder.
  • Send a thank-you email to your recommender about a week after they submit your recommendation — they may not respond, but it will be appreciated.

Some programs require a professional resume or CV. This is especially pertinent for programs that require work experience prior to admission. Students should include any relevant work experience, research endeavors, and any scholarly or academic honors. For aid in drafting a professional resume, students can visit the  Wasserman Center .

GRE and Other Standardized Tests

Standardized testing requirements vary from program to program. A few of the most commonly required tests are described below — however, be sure to confirm what standardized testing your programs of interest expect you to complete. 

Many Master’s and PhD programs require  GRE (Graduate Record Examination)  scores as a component of an applicant’s overall profile.  Most commonly, the GRE General Exam is required — some programs may also expect a specific GRE Subject Test. GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

Depending on the program, your GRE score can play a variety of different roles in the evaluation of your application. For some, the strength of the cumulative score is important, where others evaluate only on the verbal or quantitative sections (of the General Test). The strength of the GRE is key for some programs, and in others, a poor score won’t keep out an otherwise outstanding applicant. It is important to research how your programs of interest interpret and evaluate scores. 

You can refer to the  GRE website  for more information about taking the test, scheduling a test, and for test prep materials. 

GMAT scores are typically required by public policy programs, business schools, and other professional programs. You can find more information about the GMAT exam at  MBA.com

Test Preparation

We do not endorse any formal test preparation program — and, you shouldn’t feel that you “need” to take a test prep course in order to do well on an exam. Most of the websites linked to above provide free test preparation materials, as well as practice tests. Take a look at some these free materials to gauge whether or not you need additional preparation to feel comfortable taking these tests.

All liberal arts graduate programs require that an applicant has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution or proof of equivalent training at an institution outside of the U.S. Depending on the program, a certain number of undergraduate credits or upper-division credits must be earned in the specific field. Successful candidates applying directly from undergrad typically have a high GPA, at least in the field of their program of interest. The longer an applicant has been out of college, however, the less influential their transcript is upon admissions decisions. Finally, applicants are unlikely to be negatively affected by poor starts to their collegiate careers if there is a visible upward trend in academic performance throughout the duration of their career.

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Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs - Admissions | Essays

Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.

Your essays must be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be rescinded if you did not write your essays.  

  • Short Answer: Professional Aspirations
  • Essay 1: Change: _____ it
  • Essay 2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")
  • Essay 3: Additional Information (optional)

Short Answer: Professional Aspirations (150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • What are your short-term career goals?

Essay 1: Change: _________ it (350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font) In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? Examples:

  • Change: Dare it.
  • Change: Dream it.
  • Change: Drive it.
  • Change: Empower it.
  • Change: Manifest it.
  • Change: [Any word of your choice] it.

Essay 2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six") Introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. The Pick Six is a way to share more about the qualities you will bring to the Stern community, beyond your professional and academic achievements.   Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

  • A brief introduction or overview of your "Pick Six" (no more than 3 sentences).
  • Six images that help illustrate your interests, values, motivations, perspective and/or personality.
  • A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website. Essay 3: Additional Information (optional) (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font) Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee and/or give context to your application. This may include important aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application, including but not limited to: hardships you have encountered, current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.  

Admissions Blog Insights

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Conquering the Pick 6

Nedjee Corriolan, Admissions Coordinator at NYU Stern, shares her tips for the Pick 6 essay on our full-time MBA blog.

Transizion

The Admissions Strategist

Why nyu how to write the nyu supplemental essay (examples included).

After much consideration, you’ve decided to apply to NYU. Why NYU? You don’t know where to start. This post will help take you from start to finish.

This past application cycle proved to be historic and selective. While the school admitted the largest number of international students as well as the largest percentage of African-American and Latino students in 16 years, the NYU acceptance rate dropped to 28% , its lowest acceptance rate since 2001.

NYU (short for New York University) is a private university located in the heart of New York City, with satellite campuses found in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

  • Offering over 230 areas of study and 2,700 courses across 17 schools, NYU ensures that there’s something for every student.

While NYU may not be impossibly difficult to get into, it’s become more selective.

This means you’ll need to spend some extra care and attention on your application, especially on the supplemental essay “Why NYU?”

NYU Essay Requirements

Every freshman applying to NYU will have to write the standard Common App essay. Otherwise known as your personal statement, we created an entire Common App guide so you can write the best essay.

When you’re applying to NYU, you’ll need to write one supplemental essay.

  • The supplemental essay has a 400-word limit and requires that you express your interest in NYU as artfully and concisely as possible.

This guide will walk you through the question and tips for crafting your essay to help you put your best foot forward!

So, let’s get to it: Why NYU?

Step 1: Read the question and break it down.

This is an extremely important step! A question like this one, with several parts, requires that you understand and address the entire question in your 400-word response.

Let’s walk through the question breakdown together.

“We would like to know more about your interest in NYU”

Translation : Why do you want to attend NYU? You have thousands of other choices in schools, and you used one of your choices on NYU. Why?

“We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study.”

This is a meaty one, so let’s break it down into two parts.

“We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU…”

Translation: We want to know more about you as an individual.

  • What is it about you that makes you think NYU is a good choice?
  • Are you a good fit for NYU? If yes, tell us why
“We are particularly interested in knowing….why you have applied or expressed interested in a particular campus, school, college, program and/or area of study.”

Translation:  Why are you interested in what you’re interested in, and why did you apply to the school that has your chosen major?

For example, if you’re interested in acting, tell us why you’re interested in acting and why you’re applying to the Tisch School of the Arts.

“If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges or programs to which you have applied”

Translation : If you have more than one interest and want to pursue more than one major or degree, please tell us why and help us to make sense of your interests.

For example, if you want to study Acting (Tisch School of the Arts) and Computer Engineering (Tandon School of Engineering), we want to know how your interests fit together and why you want to do both.

“You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s global network; regardless, we want to understand – Why NYU?”

Translation: You understand that NYU has a global network, right? Tell us why you want to come to our school.

If you are unsure of what exactly you want to study, rejoice!

Why NYU? How to Write the Why NYU Supplemental Essay!

Click above to watch a video on the NYU Essay.

NYU is saying that you don’t need to have your major all figured out. You just need to have a clearly articulated interest in NYU.

Think about the issues and the questions that interest you.

  • Maybe you wonder about the way our dress (fashion) sustains or challenges the way we see world culture (anthropology)?
  • Consider, then, how NYU could help you explore anthropological questions about fashion.

Click deeply into NYU’s website to find an avenue – a school, a program, or even a class – that will help you pursue this interest. You don’t need to commit to a career, or even a major, but you do need a good sense of the questions that guide you. Even if you’re uncertain, lean into a vision for your future.

Your supplemental essay isn’t binding, so you can operate in hypotheticals.

  • If you’re interested in economics, imagine yourself as a business student.
  • What type of business student would you be?
  • Would you care about sustainability?
  • Would you have other social or ethical concerns?
  • What kind of career would this prepare you for?

And, in case you didn’t notice, they highlighted that they have a “global network.” This is important information, and the next step will tell you why.

Get personalized advice!

Step 2: research nyu’s values and special traits..

If you’ve decided to apply to this school, then you’ve likely already done your homework. Just in case you haven’t, study their website.

From studying the website, you can gain a clear sense of the school’s values, what they look for in an applicant, and if you share similar values.

Even if you’re uncertain, pretend that you’ve “fallen in love with the school,” and focus on the particulars of your new infatuation. To extend the metaphor, the application process is a kind of courting in which you make the first move.

  • If you’re interested in digital media, research programs like the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center.
  • Describe how its resources will convert your interests into an abiding passion or a career orientation.
  • A good rule of thumb for “Why This College” essays is that you should have several names (in capital letters) of particular programs at the university.

This research will help you immensely in answering the “Why NYU?” question.

If they have blogs and/or social media accounts, look through those to get a feel for the school. Bonus points if you are able to visit, because an on-campus visit (especially during a regular weekend when they’re not trying to impress you) is the best way to determine what a campus feels like, what their culture is like and what they truly value.

Here’s a great way to research NYU’s values and traits:

  • NYU has an online magazine called NYU Q for prospective students. You can find the online magazine by clicking  here . NYU Q showcases the interesting people, places, and things that make NYU special.
  • A quick look through the NYU Q site illustrates that NYU as a campus deeply values building a global community with people from diverse backgrounds, geographic locations, academic interests, and life experiences.
  • You can find out that NYU boasts of having a higher number of international students than any other campus (their international student population is  20% ). They also have three international campuses and a robust study abroad program.

Additionally, because the question asks you specifically, “Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program and/or area of study,” you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the culture of the particular school or college to which you’re applying, and even the department of the major you’re interested in studying.

It’s important to ensure you aren’t picking NYU for generic traits. Generic traits are dangerous to mention in your essay because they can be applied to any college campus.

Here’s a useful checklist to make sure you are highlighting the special elements of NYU:

  • Don’t say NYU is the “perfect” place for you. Perfection is impossible to achieve, and the admissions officers are well aware.
  • Instead, pick five elements of NYU (departments, professors, events, on-campus groups) that appeal to you. Picking real names and titles forces you to perform research and stay specific.
  • Your “Why NYU?” essay should not be a retelling of your Common App essay. Use this opportunity to pair NYU with your values and personality (covered later in this piece).
  • Make sure your essay couldn’t be true of any other school. This demands that you do your research and dive deep into the school’s website.
  • Make sure you never write about how you want to attend school in New York City. There are dozens of universities both in and near NYC, so this reason is cliche and tiresome.

Still having trouble? Ask yourself these questions to help you find specific elements of NYU that you find appealing:

  • What are classes I’d like to take?
  • What are some questions I’d like to ask in these classes?
  • Name some on-campus groups and activities that I’d like to participate in.
  • What are NYU-sponsored events I’d like to attend?
  • Which academic department at NYU do you want to study in? And what are the department’s noteworthy achievements?
  • What is my ideal major or double major at NYU?

The admissions officers at NYU want to see that you are well-informed about what they are offering, and that you’ve thought hard enough about whether or not you would be a good fit.

You want to mention, for example, that you’re interested in the Tisch School of the Arts. You also want to go a step further and describe how you’re excited, perhaps, about their internship opportunities and classes on animation.

You can’t determine if you’re a good fit if you haven’t done your research.

Under the Academics tab is a full listing of NYU’s academic programs, schools and colleges, and other academic offerings. Make sure you click through to find your particular school and major.

Step 3: Free-write

The worst thing you can do as you’re writing your response is to agonize over every single word at the beginning of the process.

  • Instead, just start writing.
  • For each question they ask, write down whatever comes to mind and don’t hold back.
  • Use our translation to each question to simplify what you should be writing about.

It’s through answering these questions in an unrestricted flow that patterns can emerge.

Be sure to  write down any memories that come up   – even the bad ones! The refining will come later, but for now, put all the words you can on paper.

They key here is to organize your thoughts. This task seems farcical, but it’s important to perform because “Why NYU?” is such a broad question that countless thoughts will fly through your mind at first read.

  • Find stories that embody your personality.
  • Record stories that highlight your sense of grit.
  • Write stories that personify your wonder and curiosity.

Perform this task three times. You want at least three stories. The more stories, the more options you have.

Step 4: Brainstorming Powerful Essay Ideas

Once again, you never want to write about how much you want to live in New York City. There are plenty of schools that share NYU’s geographic location. Furthermore, there are thousands of students who want to live in a city as diverse, resource-rich, and historic as New York City.

Your goal is to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. Your story will help you do this.

Dig deeper.

Write down what you care about. What…

  • …makes you happy?
  • …makes you angry?
  • …bores you to death?
  • …are you inspired by?

Don’t hold back here either. Be completely honest with yourself.

In the college admissions process, you may be able to lie to yourself, but it’s hard to lie to the college admissions committee. It’s not worth the risk.

Be honest about what you care about, and it will shine through in your essay. Once you’ve come up with your list, look through your research from Step 2. What does NYU care about? Perhaps, you’ve learned that they care about the arts, curiosity, intercultural exchange, and open-mindedness.

  • … care about the arts? Are you curious?
  • …enjoy learning from and learning with people from cultural backgrounds different from yours?
  • …consider yourself to be open-minded?

Why, or why not? Once again, the key here is to be honest.

Dig deeper. Explore your values, memories, interests, and hobbies.

  • Is there a setback you’ve learned from? Is there a challenge burned into your memory?
  • What issues are you passionate about?
  • What are you endlessly curious about? Do you love reading about a particular subject?
  • What talents do you want to offer the world? Is there a specific reason you want to share your gift with the world?
  • What drives you? Deep down, is there something that makes your blood flow and brain click?
  • Are there special items in your house that hold sentimental value to you?

All told, think about anecdotes: What stories from your life have inspired your interests and passions. Think about lessons learned, personal themes, and the challenges and setbacks that made you who you are today.

Students often say that their anecdotes aren’t interesting. That’s fine!

What matters is how you explain them within the context of your experiences. That means you should be honest and specific about your experiences. Authenticity goes a long way for the Why NYU essay.

Step 5: Picking an Effective Essay Premise

Look over your free-write responses, and pick up particularly interesting memories that are related to your values and tell a story.

Almost everyone likes a good story.

  • Review your free-writing document. Find memories that highlight an important aspect of your personality or values.
  • Find a common thread between each of your stories and one or two values per story.
  • Match one of NYU’s values or special traits with each story.
  • Structure your essay around these three parts.

College admissions officers have to read hundreds of applications a day, and the ones that stand out are the ones written in the form of a good story.

The good news is that you don’t have to be J. K. Rowling or John Green.  The best stories are authentic  (that means they are true to who you are), descriptive (you help the reader experience your experience with their own senses), and clear (the reader understands exactly what you’re trying to say).

Talk about your experience, how that relates to your values and NYU’s values, and, most importantly, how your experience has impacted your choice of NYU as a potential college.

It’s likely your “Why NYU?” essay will flow as such:

  • This is a story that highlights an important aspect of who I am.
  • This value connects to the story.
  • It just so happens this value connects with NYU’s special value.
  • And that’s why I’m a great fit.

Remember the million-dollar question: Why NYU?

And then rethink the question: Why am I a good fit for NYU?

Why NYU Essay Example Outline

Here’s an excellent outline of a Why NYU essay. Before reading the outline, keep in mind that you have many options for crafting this essay.

What counts is telling an effective story.

  • As such, one way to tell an effective story is to start your essay with an anecdote.

Your anecdote can begin with one of the following:

  • A quote from someone that helps you preface your story
  • Cold hook: Something almost random that captures the reader’s attention
  • Bold statement: A statement that your story will support with details
  • Obvious statement: A line that makes the reader say, “Yes, of course. Why would you say something that obvious?” This is the segue to the next part of your essay.

Once you add your anecdote, frame it with details immediately. You have 400 words to work with, so get right into your essay. Your anecdote should comprise 10-15% of your essay.

Once you get into your essay, explain the actions you took to pursue an interest. This should comprise 30-40% of your essay.

  • What are you interested in?
  • Describe the action steps you took to further your passion and take initiative.

Then, spend the rest of your essay discussing the resources at NYU that will help you accomplish your goals and sharpen your skill set. You can mention examples of the following:

  • Fellowships
  • Internships
  • Professors and their classes
  • On-campus groups
  • Study-abroad programs
  • New academic initiatives
  • Externships

Without further delay, here’s what a good Why NYU essay would look like:

  • You grew up in a lower-income household and can recall a conversation with your sibling about how your family couldn’t afford health insurance.
  • Disappointed in our country’s health care options, you were inspired to volunteer in clinics, where you learned more about bloat and inefficient business processes within insurance companies. This adds to costs for would-be consumers like your family.
  • You shadowed a doctor during your junior year in high school to learn about technologies that could be provided at scale for low-income citizens.
  • This is why you want to study at NYU Stern: to engage in NYU-sponsored internships both in the city and abroad that will help you learn more about healthcare technology at scale.
  • You then want to establish a startup with the help of a specific professor, who will advise you with raising capital, hiring talent , and pivoting when necessary.

Step 6: Get Critiques & Make Revisions

An English teacher, your favorite teacher (which may or may not be your English teacher), and a friend who is always honest are great choices for additional readers.

A great English teacher knows the mechanics of the English language very well and will be honest with you about how your essay looks and sounds.

  • Bad punctuation is a death knell, and awkward words and phrases could move your essay from the “wow we’ve got to take him/her” pile to the “snooze/meh” pile.

Pick an English teacher with whom you have a good/neutral relationship, and approach them with the utmost respect and humility.

  • Remember, they don’t have to read your essay. They’re doing you a favor.
  • Ask them to mark it up for you, if they have time, and to give their honest thoughts and opinions.
  • If they really like you, they may do this several times. After the process is said and done, be sure to send them a thank you card.

Your favorite teacher may not be your English teacher, but they’re just as valuable because they usually have a really good sense of your likes, dislikes, as well as your authenticity. In other words, they can tell if you’re lying or trying to be something you’re not.

You need someone who knows you well and can tell you if you’re being honest in your essay. Your favorite teacher may also be able to remind you of things about yourself that you’ve forgotten.

  • Let’s face it, when you’re taking 6-8 classes a quarter among all of your other responsibilities, you might lose a memory or two.
  • A friend who is always honest with you is infinitely better than a friend who just wants you to be happy/flattered.

Pick a friend who isn’t afraid to tell you that your writing is terrible, or that you could have worded things a little better.

You need as much constructive criticism as possible while crafting a college essay that is authentic and compelling.

Step 7: Final read-throughs

If possible, do your final readings at least 24-48 hours after your last revision , in order to give your brain a break.

Make sure to read your essays out loud, just in case you have a typo in there that you and your other readers missed.

Two final read-throughs should be sufficient for assurance sake, but any more than that, and you could end up making yourself a bit anxious.

Trust yourself and trust the process. When you’re done, let go and submit.

Why NYU Essay Examples

We’ve provided some examples of Why NYU essays. Please remember to never plagiarize – we take this quite seriously.

These Why NYU essay examples are here to provide you with a visual on what a good essay looks like. Your essay should look different.

A version of Why NYU by a student:

Se-mi-llas de Es-pe-ran-za y A-mor. These were the words written on the school wall I visited as a member of The Hillsdale Effect an organization that fundraises microloans for businesswomen. Seeds of Love and Hope. During my six days in Guatemala, I had the opportunity to speak with students, teachers, and businesswomen about the struggles they face every day. My journey in Central America not only shaped my college and career goals, but they have also guided the direction in which I want to use my skills. Semillas de Esperanza y Amor is a school that brings in street children and offers them a free education. I asked one student, a young girl, about her aspirations. To my greatest surprise, she wanted to study at Guatemala’s only public university to become a doctor and return to her village to help her community. Afterward, a teacher explained that despite the students’ aspirations, a college education would be financially out of reach for their parents. This was a call to action. Later, I spoke to a local organizational director, who described an application they had tried to develop that would allow the businesswomen they serve to connect with business educators. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a strong Internet connection in some regions and the overall complexity of the user experience, the application failed. It was abandoned by all the local directors, who no longer saw it as a beneficial endeavor. To me, this seemed like a lost opportunity. If done right, the application could radically simplify communication and make the loaning process more effective. Which would then allow more women to participate in the program to empower themselves, transform their businesses, and help their children get an education. I want to dedicate my education to building technology that makes a social impact. My passion for international affairs has allowed me to help people in a drastically different community than my own. And by pursuing a computer science education at NYU while also participating in one of the multitude of study abroad programs offered, I know I will be able to develop the technical and global skills that will allow me to construct technology that will break the cycle of poverty, allowing little girls like the one I met to make their dreams come true.

Here’s another example of the Why NYU essay from the same student:

“Comienzo! Alto!” As the young students and I kicked the soccer ball back and forth on the Guatemalan field, I peered toward their village, San Mateo Miltas Alpas, and envisioned change. Change to improve infrastructure and help the businesswomen of their community. This is why I want to study computer science at NYU. In high school, I have been a leading member in The Hillsdale Effect, an organization that fundraises microloans for businesswomen in Guatemala. Our goal is to empower women entrepreneurs in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty. I was given the opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a study tour and meet the individuals we were helping. When visiting a local headquarters in Antigua, the director explained how microloans are processed through their office: Business educators working for the organization contact their users. The educators then utilize a smartphone application to simplify the rest of the communication process between the businesswomen and educators. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a strong Internet connection in some regions and overall complexity of the user experience, the application failed. It was abandoned by all the local directors, who no longer saw it as a beneficial endeavor. I quickly realized I wanted to construct my own application that would connect the educators with the users. Of course, my application would need minimal service, and its simpler interface would be accessible from anywhere in the country. By utilizing images and multiple audio explanations, the language barrier could be broken, allowing individuals of any age or background to use the application. My goal is to integrate the solutions to these problems into a new application. After studying computer science at NYU, I want to apply my learned skills to build the Internet infrastructure of villages around the world. Furthermore, I want to partake in one of the multitude of study abroad programs offered so I can again travel to developing countries and learn more about the various benefits technology can provide in addressing infrastructure needs. This past year, we broke our school fundraising record, earning over $8,000 in two weeks for the businesswomen of Guatemala. As I look forward to the conclusion of high school, I know I can do more by learning at NYU. As my coding skills improve, I want to use them to go back abroad and do my part to build communities, like San Mateo Miltas Alpas.

From a student who wants to go to NYU to study public health:

As a Lacinda First Aid Team leader, I applied my interest in public health within my school community. During weekly shifts, I supported the nurse by patrolling the fitness center and common areas for ill students. After initiating partnerships with other school clubs, my team and I organized informational health fairs and visits from physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and surgeons. I trained noncertified members and supplied bandages, heating pads, and antiseptic swabs to injured students. My training culminated during competitions, where I treated patients in unconscious victim, heart attack, stroke, and choking simulations. NYU’s College of Public Health provides students with opportunities to blend academic rigour with clinical experience, just as I delved into my zeal for helping others as a member of the First Aid Team. As a global public health major, I would complete an Experiential Learning course where I would step out of the classroom using a tactile approach. Then, I would take Health and Societies in a Global Context to learn how factors such as age, gender, culture, and race impact health on a global scale. I could take this knowledge to engage in team-based learning, where I would address the severity of mental illness on NYU’s campus. Learning to tackle problems as a team is a vital skill, especially when working closely with public health organizations. A project that captivates me is the Applied Global Public Health Initiative led by Dr. Chris Dickey. As a future program member, my goal is to discover improvements for the universal health coverage policy of the World Health Organization and the development of online public health programs. Under Dr. Dickey’s tutelage, I would apply my newfound knowledge to create an interactive fellowship experience that promotes collaboration with experienced NYU professionals while tackling issues that impact vulnerable communities. This work would create tools that better manage health accessibility to all. One day, I would like to become involved with Doctors Without Borders. NYU gives me the optimal resources combined with engaging experiences to work toward my goal. I believe a person’s health is the fundamental pillar of stability and sustainability; thus, I want to dedicate my time to improving both on a global scale. I aim to work in developing countries to spread the knowledge I acquire through internship opportunities, projects, and stimulating curriculum. NYU offers an immersive academic experience while supporting its students through personal growth and innovation.

Written by another student who wants to study health:

A year ago, my grandmother was a fiery, sharp-witted woman. Since then, a progressive neurodegenerative disease called Lewy body dementia (LBD) has caused her to deteriorate rapidly. Due to medical complications and worsening of symptoms, she has been forced to transition in and out of residential, rehabilitative, and hospital facilities, resulting in a constant battle to adjust to new environments. Witnessing my grandmother’s downward spiral has opened my eyes to the inadequacies of our healthcare system, fueling me to seek solutions.  At NYU, I will make progress towards an LBD cure by studying neural science and develop evidence-based policies to improve dementia patients’ lives through my public policy studies. This double major will allow me to absorb the scientific understanding necessary to create effective legislation, as will embarking on a health policy summer internship in Washington, D.C. where I can network while fusing my scientific and policy interests . The unique neural science major at NYU will fulfill my fascination with the brain’s function, while providing a strong natural science foundation. I am enthusiastic about elective courses, like Learning and Memory , w here I can examine memory formation and the pathophysiology of dementia. It will be thrilling to apply my classroom-based knowledge during a summer research project at the Center for Neural Science, ideally working alongside a faculty member to develop my own LBD-focused research project. With the Alzheimer’s Disease Center located on campus, I can frequently attend special events like the Alzheimer’s Disease Lunch and Learn series, supplementing my studies with current brain research and furthering my journey towards my desired career.  While neural science will develop my understanding of LBD, public policy will teach me the skill of employing legislation to solve issues that face dementia patients. I am eager to immerse myself in five health policy electives, in addition to classes such as Medical Ethics , where I can engage with peers that are passionate about patient rights. The Senior Seminar experience will allow me to utilize knowledge from both of my majors, honing in on a pressing policy issue facing dementia patients today.  Neither in life nor in academics have I stayed within a confined box. NYU’s liberal arts education promotes exploration, making it the perfect place for me to pursue my bursting passions. 

Final Why NYU essay example:

As a Macona First Aid Team leader, I applied my interest in public health within my school community. During weekly shifts, I supported the nurse by patrolling the fitness center and common areas for ill students. After initiating partnerships with other school clubs, my team and I organized informational health fairs and visits from physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and surgeons. I trained noncertified members and supplied bandages, heating pads, and antiseptic swabs to injured students. My training culminated during competitions, where I treated patients in unconscious victim, heart attack, stroke, and choking simulations. NYU’s College of Public Health provides students with opportunities to blend academic rigour with clinical experience, just as I delved into my zeal for helping others as a member of the First Aid Team. As a global public health major, I would complete an Experiential Learning course where I would step out of the classroom using a tactile approach. Then, I would take Health and Societies in a Global Context to learn how factors such as age, gender, culture, and race impact health on a global scale. I could take this knowledge to engage in team-based learning, where I would address the severity of mental illness on NYU’s campus. Learning to tackle problems as a team is a vital skill, especially when working closely with public health organizations. A project that captivates me is the Applied Global Public Health Initiative led by Dr. Chris Dickey. As a future program member, my goal is to discover improvements for the universal health coverage policy of the World Health Organization and the development of online public health programs. Under Dr. Dickey’s tutelage, I would apply my newfound knowledge to create an interactive fellowship experience that promotes collaboration with experienced NYU professionals while tackling issues that impact vulnerable communities. This work would create tools that better manage health accessibility to all. One day, I would like to become involved with Doctors Without Borders. NYU gives me the optimal resources combined with engaging experiences to work toward my goal. I believe a person’s health is the fundamental pillar of stability and sustainability; thus, I want to dedicate my time to improving both on a global scale. I aim to work in developing countries to spread the knowledge I acquire through internship opportunities, projects, and stimulating curriculum. NYU offers an immersive academic experience while supporting its students through personal growth and innovation.

Conclusion: Why NYU?

You did it! You made it through all 7 steps.

By now, you understand the importance of breaking down the essay questions and putting them in your own words, researching the school, reflecting on your own values, and finding places of commonality between your values and the school’s.

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4 Great “Why NYU?” Essay Examples

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New York University is a selective university in the heart of NYC. Its top academic programs and location make it a highly-desirable college, and only a select few of over 85,000 applicants were accepted last year.

It’s clear that writing a strong essay is vital to standing out and demonstrating your interest in NYU. In this post, we’ll go over NYU’s main supplemental essay prompt from previous years, and what admissions officers are looking for. Then, we’ll share essays from real applicants, analyzing what they did well, and what they could’ve improved. Note that the supplemental prompt has changed for the 2022-2023 cycle.

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our NYU essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

“Why NYU?” Supplemental Essay Prompt

We would like to know more about your interest in nyu. what motivated you to apply to nyu why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study if you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. we want to understand – why nyu (400 words).

This prompt is a classic example of the “ Why this College? ” supplemental essay. This essay aims to better gauge your interest in the school, and how you might fit with the campus community. You’ll need to research NYU’s opportunities and point out how they support your goals and interests.

A common mistake students make is to cite general aspects of the college that apply to many other schools. You may want to go to NYU because of NYC, but why do you want to be in NYC? Is it because of the fashion industry opportunities? Is there a special internship that NYU offers with companies in Manhattan?

You should aim to get granular and cite resources unique to NYU. This shows that you’ve reflected on your potential role in the NYU community, and are certain that it’s a fitting place to pursue your education.

Essay Example #1

My mother never takes off her Cartier necklace that my father gave her 10 years ago on their anniversary. As a child, I didn’t fully understand this attachment. However, on my 15th birthday, my aunt gifted me a ring, which was uniquely designed and made up of three rings linked together. Wearing it every day and making sure I would never lose it, I didn’t treat it like my easily replaceable childhood necklaces; it was my piece of luxury. This sparked my deep curiosity for the luxury world. The niche strives to provide the finest and most memorable experiences, as equally as my Japanese attention to detail and my French appreciation towards aesthetic beauty. In a constantly shifting environment, I learned that luxury chases timeless excellence.

NYU Stern’s BS in business and a co-concentration in management and marketing will fully immerse me in the business side of luxury fashion that I aim to pursue a future career in. The luxury marketing track, offered only by NYU, will enable me to assemble the most suited classes to reflect my interests. Specifically, NYU Stern’s exciting electives such as The Dynamics of the Fashion Industry seminar and Brand Strategy & Planning will encourage me to develop the skills that I was introduced to and grew keen on when running a virtual sustainable fashion auction.

As someone who has moved around from Paris to Tokyo, to Chicago and now Athens, I thrive in meeting and collaborating with others from diverse backgrounds. The school’s strong global outlook, demonstrated through Stern’s International Business Exchange Program, further sets NYU apart for me, as it is crucial to building essential soft skills. This opportunity allows me to experience new cultural approaches to luxury business which I can bring back with me to New York, and therefore push me to become a well-rounded business student. Similarly, I am excited to take part in the array of student clubs offered, such as the Luxury and Retail Association (LARA), which I learned about after connecting with and talking to current students. Seeing past talks from employers of companies like Conde Nast, I am eager to learn outside of the classroom from future speakers. 

Finding myself in new situations constantly, I always seek new challenges and explorations – to me, it is clear that NYU Stern will push me to create the finest and most unique learning experiences of timeless excellence.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay has an amazing introduction paragraph. It doesn’t mention anything about NYU or what this student is planning on studying, which is what makes it so intriguing. The reader doesn’t know where this student is headed after making such a seemingly unrelated statement about jewelry, but we want to find out. 

Not only does this essay immediately capture the reader’s attention, it maintains a succinct and direct tone that helps the reader effortlessly flow from one paragraph to the next. The student chose to include three opportunities at NYU that excite them and fully elaborate on them. This serves as an excellent example of more is less. 

We aren’t bombarded with a laundry list of classes, professors, and clubs the student wants to take. Instead, the student took a focused approach and described why they were excited by each offering they highlighted. Going deeper into a smaller number of opportunities at the college still shows this student did their research, but it allows for their backstory and goals to be discussed in far greater detail.

What Could Be Improved

While this student does a good job of elaborating, they also mention a few key aspects of their personality as throw-away lines, when it would have been great to elaborate further on them. For example, they mention running a virtual sustainable fashion auction (cool!), but don’t provide us with any details on what that actually entails, how they got involved with it, what they enjoyed about it, etc. They also mention moving around a lot in the context of developing a diverse perspective, but they don’t include any emotional insight into what that was like.

Although there are only 400 words available, and you don’t want to spend too much time discussing the past, it would be nice to see just a sentence or two that delves into the details of this student’s background. The fashion auction and moving around clearly had an impact on the student, so we want to know what that was. If they are choosing to include these details, they must be important in the student’s decision to pursue business at NYU, so they shouldn’t be afraid to divulge the emotional significance to the reader.

Essay Example #2

“A futuristic way of looking at academics,” the student panelist said during a New York University virtual information session. I reflected on a conversation I had with my grandma; she couldn’t understand how her vegetarian granddaughter could build a career in the food industry. However much I tried convincing her that vegetarianism was the future, as it offers substantial benefits to the environment and can offer health benefits to a growing population with the same environmental resources, she insisted that tofu would never provide the same satiation as meat. She was raised in a community where meat consumption was embedded in the culture, and its production is a large part of the country’s economy. In contrast, I had the privilege of living a few steps from San Francisco, with many restaurants and grocery stores dedicated to plant-based meat alternatives. Trying innovative recipes and products eventually allowed me to develop my own recipes. Upon my move to Nicaragua, where my grandmother is from, I found my food options to be limited, expensive and hard to find. So I developed my own small-scale solutions that did not break the bank and satiated grandma.

An institution that implements forward-thinking is what I need to reach my goals of changing the future of plant-based diets and people’s views on vegetarianism. NYU’s Nutrition and Food Studies program offers multiple disciplines of food studies that I will apply to my aspirations as a vegetarian. I plan to study under Adjunct Faculty Kayleen St. John, whose success in the plant-based industry and her teaching of the ‘Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition’ in The Vegetarian Times excites me. The variety of classes like Introduction to Food History, Food Photography, and Food Systems: Food & Agriculture will give me an overview of what is available in the food industry to be prepared for all fields. Not to be cliche, but NYU’s proximity to the city is essential for the rapidly changing vegetarian industry. The multiculturalism available in NYC and NYU will allow me to understand the food system and diets of various cultures, religions, and areas. I can explore the extremes of the food industry, from fancy restaurants to public school cafeterias. These juxtapositions, much like the one I experienced after my move to Nicaragua, will allow me to broaden my reach and demonstrate that the vegetarian diet is not something reserved for select groups but a diet attainable to all. 

A core strength of this essay is the fact it takes its time to provide the reader with ample background on why this student is interested in nutrition and food studies and how they have grappled with difficult questions and surrounding this topic in the past. It’s okay to not mention anything about NYU for a whole paragraph if you are using that space to bring depth to your interests and tell the reader the crucial backstory behind pursuing your intended degree.

Another positive aspect is the inclusion of New York City for a purposeful reason. NYU admissions officers read thousands of essays that just talk about living in NYC for the sake of NYC—this is not what they want to hear. In contrast, this essay focuses on the vast and lively food scene in New York that the student considers to be an invaluable asset to her NYU education. This is a time where including New York actually plays to the appeal of NYU, rather than making it seem like the student is simply applying for the city.

Finally, this student clearly demonstrates that they are someone who wants to change the world for the better, but through their personal niche. NYU is looking for people who express this desire to be a changemaker, but oftentimes sweeping statements like “I want to change the world” come across as vague and disingenuous. The essay does mention changing diets and looking to the future, but it is focused within the student’s specific area of interest, making the claim to change the world more determined and authentic. 

This essay could be made stronger if there was a bit more personal reflection included. The first paragraph provides a lot of details on the student’s vegetarianism and how it conflicts with her grandmother and her heritage. What it doesn’t include very much of is how the student thinks and feels about her diet being at odds with that of her family. 

Does this student feel they are betraying their heritage by being vegetarian? What emotions do they feel when people criticize vegetarianism? Why did they go vegetarian in the first place? Probing questions like these that get to the emotional core behind the story in the first paragraph would really help to build out this student’s backstory. We want to understand what their emotional responses and reasoning processes look like, so finding ways to include those into an already expositive paragraph would further bolster this essay.

Essay Example #3

Hacking represents my ideal college experience.

Hackathons give me a special way of expressing myself and exploring my intellectual curiosity. Conceptualizing a potent societal problem, investigating a technically complex solution, building an application, and presenting to industry experts all within a day gives me the thrill of exploring a new form of education I thrive in. 

I’d apply this approach to a larger scale with research at NYU CS, taking advantage of their strong research partnerships with cutting-edge technology firms in New York. At NYU’s CS Colloqium, I’d learn from internationally renowned researchers around the world and apply these groundbreaking machine learning discoveries to the CILVR Lab and the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, both of whom focus on computationally predicting the causation of deadly diseases. Expensive healthcare has led to a history of undetected chronic illnesses for my extended family, so, at NYU, I want to tackle AI-Based preventive care to stop these problems at their roots. 

NYU’s undergraduate thesis will let me carry out my novel visions, with support from faculty, through the scientific process and eventually publish my findings. I’m a “doer”, so I define success my own way and want my college research to produce findings that contribute to tangible, positive changes in the world. This time I’ll have 4 years at NYU with endless opportunities to do so, instead of the 24 hours I get at hackathons.

I’d also want to take my talents overseas to study abroad with NYU while exploring foreign cultures. Whether it be the food, language, traditions, or values in a country, I always love to immerse myself in new environments. Doing so while benefitting from small class sizes, hands-on learning, and local major-specific academic events, such as the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good, is a dream.

Equally important as satisfying my academic curiosity is finding my community. At hackathons, I compete with my friends and other participants, who have helped form a bond of inclusivity seldom found at other competitive events. My teammates became a second family with whom I play park basketball, watch movies, and Bollywood dance. 

At NYU, I’d replicate this with an extremely diverse population with different backgrounds and interests who come together to venture through New York with the discounted student passes, plan school-wide events with the Program Board, and form a sense of camaraderie with Residential Colleges. 

This essay has a nice flow that comes from multiple short paragraphs. So often in college essays, students fall into the trap of including long chunks of text on the page, but those essays are always harder for admissions officers to read through. Breaking up the essay into focused sections makes it much more manageable for the reader.

In terms of the content, the student’s ability to tie everything back to the central theme of a hackathon is a clever way to demonstrate their passion for hacking and bring together a bunch of unrelated aspects of NYU. We get insight into how this student handles challenges and thinks through problems based on the way they fawn over the structure of a hackathon. Using one of their primary passions in high school as a metaphor for college life creates this natural progression and makes it very easy for the admissions committee to imagine how this student would fit in and engage with the NYU community.

One of the largest drawbacks of this essay was how it heavily relied on telling the reader what occurred and what this student enjoys, rather than showing us. 

The essay tells us their family has a history of chronic illness, but it doesn’t describe how they cried all night about saying goodbye to a loved one after hearing of another diagnosis. The essay tells us they are a “doer”, but it doesn’t explain the project they took upon themselves because of their motivation to change the world. The essay tells us their teammates were a second family, but it doesn’t include the laughs and inside jokes they share during a game of basketball to show the comfort the student feels with their friends.

Simply telling the reader what has happened without elaborating, or what type of person you consider yourself to be without showing your character in practice makes for both a bland essay and a less convincing one. Not showing what happens through descriptions and colorful imagery, makes it harder for the reader to envision what the student is trying to share. 

If this essay showed what occurred and how the student reacts and thinks, we would truly get to see the importance hackathons have on their life and feel far more connected to this student.

Essay Example #4

The United States is a “tossed salad” of cultural diversity in which New York City is the epicenter of innovational food exploration. An opportunity to major in food studies at New York University would allow me to work with a global community to explore different experiences and opinions with the hopes of developing a sustainable food source in the future that can adapt to population growth. Steinhardt School’s emphasis on developmental social change in particular, is an atmosphere that will encourage me to pursue new ideas both in and out of the classroom.

I am looking forward to taking the next step toward my future with entering university while continuing to cultivate my own identity in NYU’s academically diverse campus. Through the NYU food lab, I would be able to discuss current nutrition and sustainability issues through a hands-on approach in a commercial setting—access to the kitchen would also allow me to continue my love for baking and cooking with the opportunity to share my creations with peers. Not only will I satisfy my hunger for our food systems with classes like Essentials of Cuisine: International and Food Production Management, I will be able to participate in discussions that challenge my understanding of our food system in a creative setting.

Whether sampling smoked fish in Makola Market or hosting cooking demos with Club EAT, NYU’s educational possibilities are endless. With study-abroad programs ranging from a few weeks to a semester in locations far and wide, I am able to learn about cultural food systems through hands-on experience; with the world as my classroom, there is no limit to the knowledge that I can achieve. When I am not examining America’s organic agricultural policies in Washington D.C, I would participate in the diverse extracurriculars that NYU has to offer. From the Baedeker blog and Peer Health Exchange to the NYU Art Diversity Festival—appealing to my adventurous and artistic nature—regardless of the extracurricular I choose to pursue, I am confident that I will find success in any direction I take. 

A NYU student, I would be proud to extend the social mission of advancing innovation through culture as I cannot imagine a campus that would better nurture my development as both a scholar and an individual. As an aspiring foodie, I look forward to walking into the Urban Farm Lab in the Greenwich Village, as if I have returned home. 

A large positive of this essay is how it remains true to the student. This student’s passion for food shines through in every paragraph. They do a good job of weaving their interest into academics, extracurriculars, and the surrounding community, which helps the reader get a feel for the type of person this student would be on campus.

Another aspect of this essay to note is the author’s voice ㅡ they retain an academic and professional tone without being overly serious. Their inclusion of more colloquial terms like “foodie” helps counter more advanced vocabulary, crafting their unique voice without being overly formal or casual. When writing your essay, it is important to focus on your word choice to strike this balance. 

One thing lacking from this essay is elaboration on why this student cares about food and sustainability. While the essay mentions a plateful (excuse the pun) of food-related opportunities at NYU, the reader doesn’t understand what drives this student’s passion. 

They tell us they want to develop a sustainable food source to address the growing population in the introduction, but this essay would be much stronger with more elaboration. Did this student have a jarring and eye-opening experience surrounding food insecurity? Did they grow up cooking with their family? Was there a particular moment or news story that sparked their interest in sustainability? Although this prompt wants you to look to the future, it’s just as important to delve into your past to help the reader understand your motivations.

This essay could also benefit from a more organized structure. There is an attempt to discuss academics in the second paragraph and extracurriculars in the third, but when they should be discussing academics they started talking about baking with peers for fun, and when they should have addressed extracurriculars they were discussing studying off-campus. This back and forth makes it harder for the reader to take away clear summaries of each paragraph. It would have been simpler to follow if the student dedicated each paragraph solely to one aspect of NYU, whether that be academics, extracurriculars, the community, or study abroad.

Where to Get Your NYU Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your NYU essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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New York University | NYU’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Select-a-prompt short response.

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.

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship." Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address

“If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

"You have the right to want things and to want things to change." Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

"It‘s hard to fight when the fight ain‘t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

NYU Essay Examples (And Why They Worked)

The following essay examples were written by authors who were admitted to New York University and are intended to provide examples of successful NYU application essays. All names have been redacted for anonymity. Please note that other CollegeAdvisor.com has shared these essays with admissions officers at NYU in order to deter potential plagiarism.

For more help with your NYU supplemental essays, check out our 2020-2021 New York University Essay Guide ! For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand – Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

I always had a keen interest in numbers, probability, and finance. Early on, I could run numbers quickly: calculating sales tax, analyzing probabilities, and visualizing complex mathematical models in my head. After taking AP classes in economics and statistics, I became intrigued with the mathematical representations of economic markets and statistical models, sparking my desire to pursue a career in that field. I set my sights on becoming an actuary since risk management intrigues me and allows me to use my talents in quantitative analysis. However, few schools offer a comprehensive study in that field, which makes Stern the perfect fit for me as the curriculum combines my interests and career goals.

At Stern, I will have the privilege of studying actuarial science, while also obtaining a business degree. The ability to tailor my education with the actuarial science concentration allows me to develop skills in statistical analysis. Through the intense rigor of the concentration requirements STAT-UB 21 “Introduction to Stochastic Processes” and STAT-UB 15 “Statistical Inference and Regression Analysis,” I will be given a stepping stone into quantifying social situations while stimulating my mathematical intrigue through advanced fields like stochastic calculus. I am eager to pursue this course of study to enhance my career development.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Program excites me, as it entails a well rounded yet intensive study in core business disciplines. However, what draws me to Stern is the emphasis on gaining a global perspective, which is crucial in today’s rapidly changing world economy. Through the International Business Exchange Program, I will be able to gain a first-hand cultural experience that will mold me into a global citizen and business leader. Not only will I be taking courses in the most prestigious business schools across the globe, but I will also have new doors opened for me to network with alumni.

Why this NYU essay worked: From an ex-admissions officer

This is an extremely compelling essay. It is clear that the student’s declared interests are, in fact, in line with both the student’s background and experiences, as well as in line with what the college has to offer. These essays work best when the reader can feel the student’s conviction and enthusiasm. Admissions officers appreciate when the reader can easily see the impact the student will have on the school community. By going into detail about their passion for business, the student helps the reader clearly visualize how this passion will manifest in the classroom.

Before I began interning for the International Rescue Committee’s refugee youth acclimation program–right in the heart of the Lower East Side–I underwent weeks of training in providing trauma-informed support, reminded repeatedly that these kids have gone through more than I could possibly imagine.

When the kids did show up, however, I could barely relate the image painted for us in training to the bright, bubbly children who I was to mentor. Mahdi and I especially took to each other. He was just like any other nine-year-old kid–a fan of Roblox, pizza, basketball, funny accents, and an acute hatred for anything math-related.

Only, he wasn’t like any other kid–at least not in the eyes of the 49% of Americans who believe he has no place in this country, for no reason other than the color of his skin, his god, the status of his residency here.

There are people here who would hear his name and call him a terrorist. Kids on the playground would mock his accent rather than be amazed at how quickly he picked up basketball–a sport he’d had zero exposure to 6 months back. Adults, on both ends of the ideological spectrum, would see him as a political mascot rather than a kid, allow him to be one–he’d be forced to grow up too soon, as a result of the hatred, having his existence politicized.

To get to my internship every day, I transferred at West 4th, from the A to the M train. Once in a while, I’d take the chance to climb up and walk around Washington Square Park.

Clad in lavender shirts, NYU students were camped out in the center of the park, asking people to write out on little post-its what social justice meant to them. Fire burning in the pit of my stomach, I wrote, “Allowing Mahdi to just be a kid.”

And NYU can help me make that happen–there is groundbreaking research happening on campus regarding racial bias and inequality at CASSR that I can’t wait to contribute to. Pursuing a major of public health policy, I can take fascinating, relevant classes such as Social Policy in Modern Societies and Race and Ethnicity. What’s more, I can join student organizations–like the one handing out the post-its that day in Washington Square–and work with my peers, with NYU, with New York City as a whole, towards social justice from a health perspective, towards allowing Mahdi to just be a kid.

This essay begins with a student who is searching for answers. She has trained to help her community, applied her training to her environment, and then expands on her findings. In her volunteering endeavors, she finds her purpose. She continues with a personal story with Mahdi, and successfully brings us into her world. We are engaged. She is now frustrated because she can’t help enough, and with a bit of karma, she is approached by an NYU student, and at this moment NYU becomes her answer. She then cites why NYU is her solution, which major she will pursue, which classes she will take, and which student organizations will help to accent her goals. This essay succeeds because we see this student as community oriented and ambitious. As readers, we know that she will be a great and focused addition to the campus. This is a student with purpose, and she makes it clear that NYU will propel her to reach her goals.

These essay examples were compiled by the advising team at CollegeAdvisor.com . If you want to get help writing your NYU application essays from CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Experts , register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.

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College Essays

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If you're applying to New York University, you'll need to submit both the regular Common App materials as well as the NYU supplement, which includes a short essay. At its heart, the NYU essay prompt asks you to answer a single straightforward question: why do you want to go to NYU?

In this article, we'll fully analyze the "Why NYU?" essay prompt and what successful essays need to accomplish. We'll also go over potential topics to write about and look at the essay that got me into NYU's College of Arts and Science.

First, however, we'll begin with a quick discussion of why schools ask students to write "why this school?" essays

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Why NYU Essay 2023 Update

NYU has discontinued the "Why NYU" for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle . That means there won't be an NYU-specific writing supplement provided as part of the Common Application process. 

However, students can submit an optional 250-word response as part of NYU's additional questions section. This response deals with students' perspectives on diversity. Here's the prompt for 2023-2024: 

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.

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

“You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NY Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on the list and why the quote inspires you.

What's the Point of "Why This School" Essays?

While the Common App essay gives students a chance to showcase something of who they are that might not be evident elsewhere in their application, the "why [school]?" essay allows students space to explicitly state why they are such a good match for the school.

Presumably, if you're applying to the school, your test scores, grades, course rigor and curriculum, extracurriculars, and volunteer experience all put you at least somewhat in line with other students at the school.

The "why this school?" essay is your opportunity to discuss not just why you could excel at the school, but why you are a good fit (and why you want to go there).

"Why this school" essays are also a useful way for schools to judge student interest in a school (which can indicate whether or not a student will attend if admitted). Based on students' "why this school?" essays, colleges can distinguish students who are specifically interested in attending that school from students who clearly applied just because of the school's location or ranking

Writing a strong "why [school]?" essay not only gives you another instance to showcase your writing and reasoning skills, but also tells the school that you care enough to invest time in researching what makes them special. It signifies that you have put in the time to realize whether or not you're a good fit. (And, it secondarily shows that having put in that time, you're more likely to attend if admitted than someone who just wrote some generic statements about why they want to attend college ).

For a more in-depth look at what schools hope to get out of your "Why [This School]?" essays, read this article .

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Why NYU Essay Prompt, Analyzed

Here's the complete NYU supplement essay prompt for 2021:

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand - Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

Besides the standard "what motivated you to apply to [school]?" question that almost every "why this school" essay asks, the NYU prompt gives you one extra nudge for what to focus on in your essay.

Specifically, NYU wants you to talk about what's drawn you to "a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study?" (or, if you're drawn to more than one, why you're drawn to each campus/school/college/program/area of study).

Keep in mind that you should be discussing all of this in the context of NYU . Obviously, if you're interested in NYU because of one of their 10 undergraduate schools, then that's particular to NYU, but the same goes for their campus locations, programs, and areas of study.

For instance, if you're passionate about studying theater, you wouldn't just write that you want to attend NYU because you love theater and NYU has a theater program and is in New York, a city that has theater; that description could apply to half a dozen schools. Instead, you'd go into the details of what attracts you about specific classes and professors at Tisch, or other opportunities that are unique to NYU (ability to do certain kinds of projects, the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration, etc).

This prompt also hints at a few different directions you can go with your "Why NYU" essay:

Why have you expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses.

If you're already certain of what you want to study in college or have a " spike ", you'll want to go the "particular" route in your essay . This means mentioning specific classes, professors, programs, or how you see NYU supporting your future career/academic plans.

On the other hand, perhaps you're not at all sure what you want to study in college (AKA me in high school). In that case, you'll shape your essay more around how you believe going to NYU will allow you to explore many different avenues to find your passion .

Finally, if you already know that you want to spend time abroad during college in a place where NYU has a campus, you can emphasize your interest in continuing to receive an NYU-level academic education while living in another country .

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Potential "Why NYU?" Essay Topics

Earlier, we briefly touched upon some topics that you might write about in your essay, including specific courses/teachers/programs and study abroad opportunities.

We're now going to take those broad topic categories and go into a little more depth for how to write about them in your "Why NYU?" essay.

Colleges/Programs

NYU has the following 10 undergraduate schools, colleges, and programs:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Gallatin School of Individualized Study
  • Liberal Studies
  • Meyers College of Nursing
  • School of Professional Studies
  • Silver School of Social Work
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Stern School of Business
  • Tandon School of Engineering
  • Tisch School of the Arts

Because there are so many different undergraduate programs within NYU, it's a good idea to identify which program(s) you're applying to and why in your NYU supplement essay.

Since you'll need to decide on a program before applying to NYU anyway, you might as well use the time you spend reading about each college to figure out if there are any programs within particular colleges that call out to you.

For instance, if you're interested in the intersection of different fields (like psychology and computer science, or biology and philosophy/ethics) and are self-motivated to create your own program of study, you should talk about that in your application to the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. If you've spent the last 12 years devoting all your extra time in and out of school to theatre and want to attend a conservatory with opportunities to go see live theatre, then write about that in your application to Tisch.

Courses/Professors

NYU is a world-renowned university for a reason, and it's not just because of its immense real estate holdings; it has a wide variety of courses and professors renowned in their fields. If one of the main reasons you're drawn to NYU is for its academics, then this is a good topic to get into in your supplemental essay.

Flip through the online course catalogs and read about professors in departments you're interested in. Are there any classes you really want to take (that seem particular to NYU)? Or any professors you absolutely have to study with?

You don't need to go so far as to read the professors' research or anything like that (unless you're super excited by it!), but doing even a little research into the courses and professors you'd be learning from and mentioning it in your "Why NYU?" essay will go a long way toward showing the admissions officers that you're serious enough about NYU to check out its specifics.

Extracurricular Opportunities and School Traditions

If there's an extracurricular at NYU that you've been particularly involved in during high school (or are excited to start getting involved in at college), you can write about it, as long as you're clear about why it's something unique to NYU.

In a similar vein, you can also try reading through some of the campus-wide events offered throughout the year and see if there's anything special about them that speaks to you.

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NYU Essay: Topics to Avoid

The "Why NYU" essay prompt makes it pretty clear that you should focus your 400 words around a specific college/program/area of study.

What you absolutely should avoid is gushing about NYU's location (whether you're applying to the New York campus or not).

Back when I applied to NYU, the "why NYU?" essay prompt was even more blunt about not centering your essay around New York City:

"Many students decide to apply to NYU because of our New York City location. Apart from the New York City location, please tell us why you feel NYU will be a good match for you."

If New Yorkers have heard it all and seen it all before, NYU admissions officers have certainly read any and all paeans you could care to write to New York City.

It's fine to write about how being in New York gives you access to opportunities relevant to your course at NYU (e.g. you can get amazing internship opportunities for journalism and theatre there that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else). However, you need to be clear to center your essay around the program at NYU, with the New York location (and its opportunities) being an added bonus.

Unless you have a unique take on why NYU's location is so important to you (e.g. your grandparents used to live in a building that was demolished to make way for Bobst law library and you were brought up on vengeance that has since turned to adoration), stay away from NYU's location in your explanation of why you want to go there.

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Brainstorming for the Why NYU Essay

Before you start to narrow in on what angle you'll take in your "Why NYU?" essay, you should first examine your reasons for applying to NYU. By "examine," we don't just mean "list your reasons"—we mean you need to go a few levels deeper into each surface reason that occurs to you.

For example, this is the list of reasons I had for applying to NYU (roughly in order of importance):

  • My test scores and grades/course rigor make it likely I'll get in
  • NYU has lots of good schools and programs
  • It's easy enough to get from NYU to my family, transportation-wise

On the face of it, none of these reasons are very compelling. If I'd just gone on to write my "Why NYU?" essay (or in those days, essays) with those three bullet points, I doubt I would have been accepted.

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Instead, I went deeper with each reason to see if there was anything there I could mine for the NYU supplement essay.

Surface Reason 1 : My test scores and grades/course rigor make it likely I'll get in.

  • One level deeper : I'm applying to NYU as a safety school, because I'm pretty sure I'll get in there, even if I don't get in anywhere else, and I'd want to go there if I got in.
  • Should I write about this in my "why NYU" essay? Definitely not. No school wants to hear that it's a safety (even if it's a safety you would be fine with attending because it's still a good school).

Surface Reason 2 : NYU has lots of good schools and programs.

  • One level deeper : I'm extremely undecided about what I want to study—I know that I'm interested in English (Creative Writing), Math, Neuroscience, Chinese, and Music, but I might end up deciding to study something entirely different in college. It's important to me that I go somewhere that I'll have the opportunity to explore all of my interests (and develop more), which I can do at NYU.
  • Should I write about this in my "Why NYU" essay? This reason is definitely promising, although I'll need to do more research into the particular programs and courses at NYU so I can namedrop (and in the process, double-check that I'm right about being able to study all these things there!).

Surface Reason 3 : It's easy enough to get from NYU to my family, transportation-wise.

  • One level deeper : My parents want there to be good transportation options for me visiting home (or them visiting me). NYU's location (New York City) definitely makes that possible (there's easy access to planes, trains, buses, rental cars, fixed-gear bikes…).
  • Should I write about this in my "Why NYU" essay? Probably not. The prompt asks me about why I've expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study, not a geographic area. Plus, it's not like there aren't plenty of other New York schools. I maybe could throw in this reason if I'm running short on things to say, but as it is, it looks like my second reason is going to be the best bet for the "Why NYU?" essay.

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Why NYU Essay Sample

Below, I've created a "Why NYU?" essay example that draws verbatim from what I used in my (successful) NYU application. (The essay requirements were slightly different then, with different word counts, so I had to expand a little upon what I originally wrote.)

I feel NYU would be a good match for me because of the number and kinds of programs it has. I am very interested in a variety of subjects, and NYU seems to encompass everything. In fact, I'm applying to the College of Arts and Sciences because I can’t specify my interests any more than that at this time. I have so many things that I want to learn that I can’t imagine limiting myself before I even enter college.

Take Chinese, for example. I'm learning Mandarin now (and have been for the last five years), but I would also like to learn Cantonese. There are not many other schools that offer Cantonese classes that can boast trips into Chinatown as part of the curriculum! Furthermore, I am excited by the possibility of studying abroad at NYU Shanghai. I'd not only be able to go to China for a semester for a year and immerse myself in the language and culture, but I'd be able to do so with the continuity of being on an NYU campus, even halfway across the world.

The music theory program in the College of Arts and Sciences also really interests me. I've picked up some theory here and there, but I haven't had all that much formal training. I'm also really intrigued by NYU's early music ensemble and the chance to explore different modes and tunings. At the other end of the spectrum, while I've written a few pieces on my own and taught myself a little bit about MIDI, I have not really had a chance to experiment very much with computer/electronic composition, and would really like to use those Steinhardt facilities that would be available to me at NYU to help remedy this.

Finally, I cannot stress enough how important reading and creative writing are to me. Because of how much the two feed into one another, I'm excited by NYU's Reading Series and the potential to be able to attend organized events for interacting with other writers outside the classroom.

The opportunity to expand my Chinese language abilities beyond Mandarin (and have the chance for practical application) is what first intrigued me; the chance to explore computer music and get my hands on NYU's facilities was the next breadcrumb; but the breadth and depth of the courses for writing lure me in even more, until I can resist no further.

This essay isn't necessarily the best piece of writing I've ever done. However, it still effectively conveys my desire to attend NYU because I mention a few key reasons I want to attend NYU:

  • The variety of courses available . I began by stating that I'm undecided and part of what attracts me to NYU is the opportunity to get to do lots of different things. I then go on to discuss several different examples.
  • Specific NYU opportunities . I looked up various courses, events, and opportunities offered by different departments and mentioned a couple of them specifically (the Reading Studies program for creative writing, Cantonese classes, studying abroad in China).
  • While I did mention a New York City thing (going into Chinatown), it was linked with something that's relatively NYU-specific (the opportunity to study Cantonese as well as Mandarin).

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Tips for the Why NYU Essay

To wrap up, we've summarized our top four tips for writing the "Why NYU?" essay.

#1: Look over the descriptions of the different schools/programs. This will help you figure out both which one you want to apply to as well as what makes those schools interesting for you to apply to.

#2: Read through the course catalog and look up professors in departments you're interested in. As the NYU Admission blog states , you don't have to go overboard in stating exactly what course you want to take with what professor at what time, but you should demonstrate that you're aware of what kinds of things you will be able to do and learn while at NYU

#3: Look into whether there are any extracurricular activities or NYU traditions that particularly appeal to you--and explain why they matter specifically to you.

#4: Avoid writing odes to New York City. If there are particular opportunities you're interested in that are only available in New York (e.g. internships at the American Museum of Natural History, research into immigration history at Ellis Island) you can mention it, but don't lean too heavily on the location.

#5: Remember that while you should make it clear why you want to attend NYU with your essay, you don't need to agonize for hours over it. Ultimately, other parts of your application (including your test scores and grades/course rigor, letters of recommendation, and personal statement) are more important factors to your acceptance than your NYU supplement essay is. You just need to show that you've done at least a little research into NYU and why you want to apply there in particular.

And if along the way you find that you don't really have a super good reason that's getting you excited to apply to NYU? It might be worth reconsidering whether or not you should apply there.

What's Next?

Have a bunch more college-specific supplement essays to write? Be sure to check out our overview of the "why this college" essay .

Looking for application tips for other selective schools? Read our complete guides to the University of California system and to the Georgetown application .

Should you apply early or regular decision to college? Find out the pros and cons of early decision in this article . ( And read up on the distinctions between early decision, early action, and the different kinds of each here. )

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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Please follow the directions carefully and include the requested information in the spaces provided. You may also upload various attachments to your application as outlined in the attachment section of the application. Please note that if any one of the attachments outlined does not apply to you, please check the box within each section that says "this does not apply to me." Please do not submit attachments in lieu of completing the requested information in each section of the application. Label clearly all attachments at the top or header of the attachment.

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All applicants for admission to the JD program are required to take either the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or GRE. Scores for both exams are valid for five years. NYU Law requires applicants to report all valid LSAT and GRE scores that they have received.

All applicants are required to register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). After your application is received electronically, a request for your CAS report from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is automatically generated. The CAS report summarizes undergraduate academic work and includes copies of your transcripts. If you have taken the LSAT, your LSAT score(s) and your LSAT writing sample(s) will be included in the CAS report. GRE scores must be sent to NYU Law directly from ETS. The law school code for NYU School of Law for both LSAC and ETS is 2599 .

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Two recommendations are required to complete your admissions application.

The Committee on Admissions requires the use of the LSAC Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service.  Please Do NOT submit duplicate letters directly to NYU School of Law.

Note: The Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship; the Lindermann Family Public Service Scholarship; the Jacobson Public Service Scholarship for Women, Children, and Families; the Sinsheimer Service Scholarship; and the Filomen M. D'Agostino Scholarship for Women and Children; and the Filomen M. D'Agostino Scholarship for Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Criminal Justice applications require at least one additional recommendation that addresses the applicant's commitment to public service (see Scholarship section for details).

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When you transmit your application electronically, the fee, payable by credit card only, is $85.  The application fee is not applied to tuition and is not refundable.

Applicants who have received an LSAC-approved LSAT or Credential Assembly Service fee waiver, will have their NYU School of Law $85 application fee automatically waived.

Applicants who are alumni of Teach for America or the Peace Corps are eligible for an $85 application fee waiver. To qualify, applicants must have completed their 2-year commitment to Teach for America or the Peace Corps by the start of the fall semester. Further, Teach for America alumni must have completed TFA's pre-corps training institute and served as a teacher for two years in a low-income community through their Teach for America placement. Applicants who have completed less than 2 years by the start of law school or those who are just entering Teach for America or the Peace Corps are not eligible.

The application fee will also be waived for those who have served or are serving in the United States military. (Participation in a foreign country's military does not qualify an applicant for a fee waiver from NYU School of Law.)

Teach for America, Peace Corps and US military participants should email their request for a fee waiver. Applicants must have an account with the LSAC . To request an application fee waiver, please include your L number, a verification letter, and the basis for the waiver (Teach for America, Peace Corps, or US military service).

Personal Statement

While the Committee on Admissions does not use interviews as part of the regular selection process, we would like to give you the opportunity to include more information about yourself than the application form conveys. Because people and their interests vary, we leave the content and length of your statement to your discretion. You may wish to bring to our attention additional information that provides an understanding of your qualifications, goals, and potential to contribute to the NYU Law community.

A resume is required to complete your application.

Supplying Additional Information

New York University School of Law seeks to enroll a student body from a broad spectrum of society. The Committee on Admissions encourages you to provide any information that may be helpful to us in reaching a thoughtful decision on your application. While the choice as to whether and what information to submit to the committee is entirely yours, any information you provide will be used to give  the Committee a more complete understanding of your background: to help the committee reach an informed decision on your application, and to aid the Committee in selecting a student body with a range of experiences.

This is an opportunity to share with the Committee information about how your background will enable you to contribute to the NYU Law community. Information that has been helpful in the past includes, but is not limited to, meaningful leadership experience; significant community involvement; personal/family history or educational or socioeconomic disadvantage or unusual circumstance which may have affected academic performance and how you exceled despite those circumstance; and the skills you have developed to overcome adversity. This list is not all-inclusive, but we offer it for you to think about as you consider whether such information might be relevant in your case, and to assure you that it is quite appropriate.

If you choose to provide additional information, please upload this information in the attachment section of the application, and clearly identify your submission accordingly.

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Any information you submit, including material sent after your application is complete, will be considered by the Committee on Admissions if received before a final decision is reached on your application.

In completing this application, be sure that your statements are accurate, you answer all the questions in the Character and Fitness section of the application, and you electronically certify the application by completing the Certification section of the application. Misrepresentation may result in denial of admission, the rescinding of an offer of admission, dismissal from the Law School, or revoking any NYU School of Law degrees granted. Misrepresentation also may result in notification of LSAC's Subcommittee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process. The Law School may seek to verify any information submitted by contacting recommenders, employers or school officials.

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We will try to notify you if any of the material necessary to complete your application has not been received by the Office of Admissions, and we will try to keep you informed about the status of your application. Please understand that it takes some time for the committee to give each application thorough consideration. Please note that we have an online status check function available for all applicants accessible from our JD Admissions landing page .

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A holistic approach to the review of applications requires an extraordinary amount of care, and thus a significant amount of time. There is no way to predict an exact date on which a candidate will receive a decision.

Candidates who apply under the binding Early Decision option (deadline November 15) will be notified (admit, deny, or hold) by late December.

Candidates who apply by our regular February 15 deadline will be notified by late April. Candidates may hear sooner than late April, but we cannot make such a guarantee.

The Committee on Admissions recognizes that some law schools have deposit deadlines as early as April 1 and will ask a candidate for a commitment before that candidate receives a decision from NYU School of Law. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to accelerate our process in these circumstances.

Rolling Notification, Not Rolling Admission

Applications are sent to the Committee on Admissions in the order in which they are completed, but decisions are not necessarily made in the order in which applications are first reviewed. Some applicants may receive a decision fairly quickly based on the overall and relative strength of the application.

In an applicant pool of approximately 9,000 applications, many candidates present strong qualifications. The Law School’s admissions process is both objective and comparative. The Committee follows an on-going process of reviewing and rereviewing the vast majority of the applicant pool. Most candidates’ applications require significant comparison with the applicant pool as a whole before a final decision can be reached. For many candidates, the committee is not able to reach a decision until they have a clear picture of that year’s entire applicant pool. All decisions by the Committee on Admissions are final.

As long as candidates take the LSAT or GRE by January and meet the February 15 deadline, they will be given full and complete consideration and will be at no competitive disadvantage in the admissions process.

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NYU Law Personal Statement

NYU Law Personal Statement

An NYU Law personal statement must be a clear, unique, thoughtful, and demonstrative expression of why you are the perfect fit for the program.

Law school personal statement tips as well as expertly written law school personal statement examples will give you the edge you need.

In this article, we will go over general personal statement objectives and format and provide examples of personal statements geared specifically to NYU Law to guide you in writing your own best statement.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 8 min read

What to include in a personal statement.

In your NYU Law personal statement, you tell your story. Unlike for other essays, where you might have to pick between law school admissions essay topics , the emphasis here is on the personal.

The main question that you want to answer in your personal statement is, “Why am I perfect for NYU law school?” What is unique to you and your journey to becoming a lawyer, specifically one who will be studying law at NYU? However, because this is a personal statement, you’re not going to spend the whole time talking about NYU Law, especially given that NYU Law School has a 500-word cap on their personal statements.

Check out the top Harvard Law School personal statement examples in this video:

The main goal of your personal statement should be to show yourself. You have a passion for the law, for your career goals, for altruism, for justice, or, in other words, for some aspect of this profession that has kept you motivated to study hard and gain the experiences necessary to get into NYU Law.

  • Start with that idea of the personal story. What was the first moment you wanted to enter the legal profession? Your introduction sets up your story.
  • How have you pursued that goal? Pick one major event that shows the biggest step forward in your journey. Ideally, this part of your story will highlight one or two desirable traits that you have.
  • Conclude the story with a brief statement about how you are continuing your journey and/or where you would like your journey to lead. Do you have political aspirations? Do you want to be a judge? Do you want to make top legal services more accessible? Where will NYU Law help you get to?

Your story can’t be a lot of “I feel” or “I want.” It’s better to say, “I am pursuing law because...” and talk about something you have done to advance your position. This could be on a personal level – aspects of yourself – or it might be something you have accomplished, courses you’ve taken, law school extracurriculars , or jobs you have performed.

You’re going to use a standard essay format.

  • Beginning: the first thing on the page is the “hook” sentence. Start your essay with a good attention-grabber.
  • The remainder of the introduction sets up the rest of the essay.
  • Chronological order is easier to write and easy to follow as a reader. So, you will probably start with the catalyst or defining moment that set you on your journey.
  • The body of the essay consists of one or two examples of how you are pursuing and advancing toward your goal.
  • Conclude by talking about your aspirations.
  • If possible, link the conclusion to the introduction for a “complete circle” feel to your essay; this won’t always be possible.

The following samples are between 460–499 words each, which is about perfect for an NYU Law personal statement.

Example No.1:

I have pictures of my family on my desk; my picture of my dad is his mugshot. Dad had the bad luck to look like a guy who knocked over a liquor store in our neighborhood. Fortunately, he wasn’t in for long – less than a year – before the other guy got caught and confessed to the crime. My Uncle Terry was so angry about the whole thing that he rails against lawyers, judges, and cops every chance he gets. In contrast, my reaction was to hit the books so that I could contribute to preventing such problems.

Most people my age get a part-time job to buy a car or a cell phone, or to help their families get by. I got one so that I could open an account with PACER and start studying interesting cases. I got the idea to email law offices in my city, state, and around the country, and ask them which landmark cases I would learn from the most. Some didn’t get back to me, but most were happy to help out a kid with a passion for the law.

I also joined the debate club at my college. I hoped to learn how to argue properly, but I learned two lessons that were far more valuable:

1. You can’t win every case, and it’s not always your fault. Most of the time, I could build a pretty persuasive argument and keep my opponents on their toes. But sometimes that didn’t matter. Some audiences are stacked with people who aren’t willing to have their minds changed, or even with friends of the other debaters. I’m not bitter. I’m not complaining. I’m not saying it isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair – with my father’s experiences, you can’t help but know that. What I’m saying is that I learned to handle a disappointment or a loss and respect my opposing debaters regardless of outcomes. This was the perfect introduction to the tricky nature of a trial by jury.

2. You can’t always get what you want. There is a profound satisfaction to taking a subject you’re passionate about and arguing from that position. But in debate club, as with the law, sometimes you get stuck with a topic or position – or client – you dislike. You do your job anyway. This really helped me because any animosity I still felt for the lawyers, judges, and jury members who wrongfully convicted my dad melted away. These were people doing a job – a necessary job for fairness in society.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to just accept that the system can’t get better. I know a lot of people say they want to make a difference, but I will make a difference by becoming a lawyer. I will not only defend clients, but also contribute to the progression of the justice system so that we can perfect it for everyone – people like me and my dad.

Want to learn how to get into law school with a low GPA? Check out this infographic:

Example No.2:

When most people think about lawyers, they conjure up a TV drama filled with cries of “OBJECTION!”, people pleading the fifth, and last-minute, Hail Mary gambits that shock witnesses into tearfully confessing right on the stand. That makes for great television, but for me, it’s about the quiet, methodical work of getting the job done. I know this from my aunt, who practices law, and who has been a big influence on my life in a lot of ways.

When I was small, my parents got divorced and lived far apart. This complicated my life, but Aunt Jane – she got me to call her “AJ” – made it a lot easier. AJ would help my mom with drop-offs and pick-ups. She would often watch me while my mom ran around doing errands or was at work. Even though her career as a lawyer was extremely busy, she always found time for me. I will never forget that.

AJ was my big inspiration, but what really got me interested in law occurred one day after school when I was at her office. I could walk to her firm’s offices from the school, and I would do homework there while waiting for my mom’s shift to end and she could pick me up. I sometimes talked with the other lawyers, and that day, I remember seeing two people exiting a meeting room, with their lawyers, looking really relaxed. They were a couple splitting up, and their lawyers had kept the negotiations amicable and casual. I knew how hard my parents’ divorce was, and I was pleased to see that with skill and care, lawyers could actually make that process a lot easier.

I asked AJ if I could come to the offices more and maybe help out, and she arranged for me to do some basic-level office tasks like photocopying or setting out water for boardroom meetings. But the real purpose of the job was to get to know what a law office is like and to be able to see how the legal profession worked.

It was nothing like TV, but that didn’t matter to me. I didn’t mind doing paperwork, learning the filing systems, or helping lawyers prepare for client meetings. From the moment I encountered that couple leaving, so relaxed and relieved, I appreciated how my office work with AJ helped provide much-needed services, but I also came to understand the importance of the daily diligence required for law. My natural disposition has always been a bit more oriented toward careful, methodical preparation than bombastic speeches, so it suited me. Of course, lawyers see their fair share of drama as well, but I am mainly motivated by the chance to work quietly in the background to help people.

In high school, I enjoyed debates, whether I was in debate club or not. Teachers both feared me and loved me. My participation was always high, but I could tell that I was a challenging student for them. I wasn’t trying to be difficult; I just wanted to know more about the “Why?” of any given subject. I’ll never forget Mrs. McGillicuddy seeing my hand shoot up in Civics class and saying, “Not today, Ralph.”

My search for a better “Why?” is being piqued all the time. In college, I was working on a mathematics degree because I have always been good with numbers and statistics, and I was talking about mathematics in the library with a co-worker, where I had a job.

The conversation went from mathematics to computers, and we started talking about AI. I hit upon this question:

“When AI can think for itself, and while it’s making art, is it AI art or real art?”

This philosophical quandary got me into full research mode, and I hit the stacks hard. I started thinking about the copyright issues around AI art. Does it belong to the creator, who used the AI to make the art? Or does it belong to the programmers who developed the AI? What about the company that paid to develop the AI? Then I wondered, “Does the AI itself have a claim here?” From that night on, I started working on pre-law courses as electives before simply adding a second major in pre-law.

I am applying to your LLM in Legal Theory specialization because I want to explore more “Why?” questions around the legal aspects of technology. Legal issues are constantly changing and evolving, along with the modern world, and I want to be a part of advancing those issues. This might seem over-eager, but I have already started my research. The main areas I would like to research concern AI, and I have been communicating with the computer science department at my institution, talking to them about their own thoughts and opinions on copyright questions around AI.

Every answer I seek becomes another question. Some of my main questions right now include the following:

  • How does AI affect copyright legislation, and how will it affect copyright legislation in the future as it advances?
  • What should the law have to say about AI in terms of the job market?
  • Should we create laws to prevent an AI takeover of the job market?
  • Do unions have precedent to freeze out AI workers?”

Yes, each of those questions lead to multiple other questions, but I still can’t stop raising my hand in class.

NYU puts a 500-word cap on their personal statement. Do not exceed this limit under any circumstances.

Absolutely they do. You cannot hope to leave a good impression with bad spelling. Proofread or employ one of the best law essay writing services to help you with your edits.

You don’t have to literally use the words “New York University” in your statement. The focus is on you, personally. However, you should make sure that your statement clearly syncs up with NYU’s values and programs so that it is, at the very least, implicitly clear why you are perfect for NYU.

No less than two weeks, and maybe three. You need time to write the statement and refine it. This is more than proofreading; you need to carefully edit the statement to make it perfect. That takes time. Work on it a little bit every day.

They are crucial components of your application. In a sea of transcripts, personal statements set you apart.

Not formally, but they are evaluated, so put in maximum effort.

You would have to write to NYU and ask to change aspects of your submission. Assume you can’t, however, and turn in a perfect statement the first time.

Law school acceptance rates show that NYU has a 33% acceptance rate. While this is not the most prohibitive rate on the list – that spot goes to Yale Law School with 6.9% – it isn’t one of the easiest law schools to get into, either. It’s somewhere in the “lower middle” in terms of range.

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nyu personal statement format

Resumes and Cover Letters

Preparing a dynamic resume and cover letter can set you on the right track to getting your dream job. Learn how to craft documents that make you stand out to potential employers.

The goal of your resume is to effectively communicate your qualifications to prospective employers. In many cases your resume will determine whether or not you are granted an interview. The resume by itself, however, will not get you a job. If it gets you in the door, then it has served its purpose.

Review the Resume Guide & Samples for basic tips and information about what to include on your resume. (To view this document you must be logged into your NYU Home / Google account with your NYU Net ID and password.)

Cover Letters

The cover letter is your opportunity to shine by filling in the blanks from your resume. A well-written cover letter can pique the curiosity of the employer and motivate him/her to carefully read your resume. Be sure to include a cover letter every time you send a resume.

Review our Cover Letter Guide & Samples to learn how to write a winning cover letter. (To view this document you must be logged into your NYU Home / Google account with your NYU Net ID and password.)

Thank You Letters

Thank you letters should be brief and should be sent within 48 hours of an interview to reiterate your interest in the position and to show your appreciation for the interviewer's time. Emphasize the skills that you have and demonstrate how they relate to the position. Remember to state what you can do for the organization, as opposed to what the organization can do for you. 

Review our networking guide for a sample thank you letter to learn how to leave a positive impression on a potential employer.

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Interpreting Applications

We want your nyu abu dhabi application process to be as smooth and successful as possible. keep reading for a deeper understanding of the importance of each element of your application, plus tips to make the most of each step., holistic admissions policy.

As an NYU Abu Dhabi applicant, you’re more than just a number. Academic achievement is the foundation of a successful application, but that doesn’t mean we only care about a test score or grades. In fact, we are interested in knowing as much about you as possible — what you’re doing outside the classroom; how you interact with your teachers, classmates, and friends; what is unique and different about you as a person; and why you have chosen to apply to NYU Abu Dhabi. While you’re coming to NYU Abu Dhabi first and foremost as a student, you’re also joining a community as a potential roommate or teammate, as a future lab partner or dance partner. Our evaluation process will take all of this into consideration and will go well beyond the numbers.

Asma Alabbar, Class of 2021

It took me over six months to complete the application and nine months later the acceptance came in! It's such an amazing opportunity. Asma AlAbbar, Class of 2021

Purpose of the Essay

They say you only get one chance at a first impression. For you, in your application, this is the essay or personal statement — your unique opportunity to tell us who you are in your own voice and in your own way. You’ll want to make sure you answer your chosen prompt (choose wisely!) and show us something about you that we won’t find anywhere else in the application, meaning don’t spend time telling us your life story or listing your academic and extracurricular achievements. Rather, tell us a story — about you or something that has happened to you. Every student is different and so every essay should be different. But make sure we can hear your voice and see who you are in what you’ve written. We look forward to meeting you!

Being Involved

How do you keep yourself busy? What are you passionate about? What are you doing when you aren’t in class? These are some questions you should keep in mind when telling us about your extracurricular involvement. There is no such thing as a must-do activity — NYU Abu Dhabi applicants pursue all different kinds of passions and interests. All we ask is that you stay busy and stay committed to what motivates you. If admitted, you will be joining an incredibly active student body and living on a campus with a wide range of things to do; it is our experience that the most active students on campus were already active as applicants.

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nyu personal statement format

Published May 13, 2024

Best of Both Worlds: Navigating NYU’s Stern–Tisch BS/BFA Dual Degree

Class of 2025

A student stands behind a video camera on the set of a film.

I got into the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program in 2022, my sophomore year. And guess what? I was already a student at the Stern School of Business since 2020! How did I manage both? Let me introduce you to the special NYU Stern–Tisch BS in Business and BFA in Film and TV dual-degree program.

How Did I Get into the NYU Film and TV Program as a Stern Business Student?

What Is the BS/BFA Dual-Degree Program? Whom Is It For?

If you’re passionate about film and television and intrigued by the business side of these industries, the NYU Stern–Tisch BS in Business and BFA in Film and TV program might be for you. This five-year, STEM-certified dual degree combines two exciting fields. Over 10 semesters, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Science in Business from Stern and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television from Tisch .

Imagine joining a program that merges rigorous academic standards with extensive resources. You’ll have access to everything the NYU Stern Undergraduate College and the NYU Tisch Kanbar Institute of Film & Television offer. You’ll gain skills in both creativity and business, getting the best of both worlds. What’s more, you’ll receive personalized advice and unique networking opportunities in the media and entertainment industries. I applied to the dual degree because I want to become a film and theatre producer in the future!

As an applicant, you’ll need to show off your creative flair and your knack for analysis and numbers. The program’s aim is clear: to shape you into a future artist, entrepreneur, or industry leader. Once you graduate with your BS/BFA, you’ll be brimming with entrepreneurial spirit and have a rare combination of business and creative skills. This unique mix makes you perfect for starting your own venture or working for the top entertainment firms. You’ll be all set to dive into a variety of creative and entrepreneurial roles in the entertainment world.

Behind the scenes of the Sight and Sound: Filmmaking production course. Two students stand near a body of water. One is in front of the camera, acting, the other is behind the camera, shooting the scene.

What Is the Application Process Like and What Materials Are Required?

The Stern–Tisch BS/BFA program is only open to first- or second-year students enrolled in Business at Stern or Film and Television at Tisch. Not in these programs? High school students and other NYU students can’t apply directly. But, if you’re in high school and are interested in this dual degree, you can start by applying to Business or Film and Television. Then, once you’re at NYU, you can talk to your adviser about your next steps for the BS/BFA degree.

Applying can seem a bit intense. You need to use the Dual-Degree SlideRoom portal . You have to showcase your creative talents in film and TV through a portfolio. And don’t forget your résumé and coursework. They should highlight your number-crunching skills and business interests. If you don’t make it on your first try, don’t lose heart. You can apply twice in your sophomore year, but not after that. I’ve had friends succeed on their second try. Persistence pays off!

You need a few things for your application: a professional résumé, a personal statement, and your NYU transcript.

For the Stern hopefuls coming from Tisch, your artistic side needs to shine. You need a four-part creative portfolio. This includes a one- or two-minute “Tell Us About Yourselfie” video, a story inspired by visual and audio prompts, a short story inspired from a prompt, and a creative submission, such as a five-minute film or an artistic portfolio.

My selfie video introduces my childhood in the northwest of China and how I became interested in art. My short film, “When I Wake Up,” is about the criticism of the exploitation of employees by capitalists.

Application Video: “Tell Us About Yourselfie”

Application Short Film: When I Wake Up

And if you’re a Film and Television major aiming for Stern, the application is all about numbers. You need to submit quantitative standardized test scores or show you’ve tackled quantitative courses at NYU. Think SAT, ACT, IB, AP, or specific math courses. Or take NYU courses like Calculus I or Financial Accounting and Analysis to prove your quantitative prowess.

Mark mid-February on your calendar. That’s when applications are due. It’s true that the program only admits a few students each year, but the competition isn’t as fierce as you might think. The workload and specific eligibility narrow down the applicant pool. I almost didn’t finish my application, fearing the odds. But I’m glad I did!

Once you’re admitted, the world’s your oyster. The program lets you explore, study away, dive into various business concentrations, and even choose cross-school minors. For example, I spent two semesters at NYU Shanghai, focusing on my business credits . I am concentrating my Business degree in marketing and computing and data science at Stern. I also minored in Producing at Tisch. 

For more details about the BS/BFA dual degree, you can attend an information session . The program hosts them each fall, and they are a great resource. Questions about admissions or portfolios? Email [email protected] at Tisch. For curriculum queries, you can email Stern professor Paul Hardart ( [email protected] ) or Tisch professor Joe Pichirallo ( [email protected] ).

Behind the scenes of the Sight and Sound: Studio production course. Three students work in a postproduction room.

How Is It Different from a Double Major?

At NYU, you, as a student from any department, have the option to pick a second major in the College of Arts and Science (CAS) using your elective units. This offers a wide range of choices, including majors like Computer Science, Comparative Literature, and Philosophy. The best part? There’s no separate application needed for this second major. Plus, you can complete the double major within the usual four academic years, so there is no extra tuition cost.

But you can’t double major in any other schools without applying. So, if you’re set on majors outside of CAS, such as the Tandon School of Engineering or the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, you need to apply directly as a high school student or either internally or externally transfer before your junior year in college.

That’s where NYU’s special dual-degree programs come into play. It allows you to be a student in a second school without leaving your current one. But, keep in mind, this requires a fifth academic year to meet both schools’ requirements, which adds up to 160 credits. So you should be prepared for an extra year’s tuition and fees.

Behind the scenes of the Intermediate Narrative Production course. Students on set of the author’s film, “The Red Veil.” Two actors are caught on the video camera’s frame.

How Do You Balance Stern’s and Tisch’s Schedules?

Once you’re admitted to the program, get ready to tackle all the required courses from both Stern and Tisch. But here’s the exciting part: you have the freedom to choose any business or film class that interests you!

For your reference, check out the full BS/BFA Curriculum (Entering from Film and Televison) and BS/BFA (Entering from Stern) worksheets.

Balancing your schedule is key, as film and business courses are on completely different time tracks. Take Tisch production classes, for instance, like Sight and Sound: Filmmaking and Intermediate/Advanced Narrative workshops. They’re demanding. You’re not just shooting your own short films but also helping your classmates with their projects. These classes usually run for two full days, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., totaling 16 hours a week for a six-credit course. They also occupy your whole weekends, from Friday to Sunday. You are required to be on set for your and your classmates’ productions.

On the other side, Stern’s classes involve two midterms, a final exam, and regular weekly assignments and quizzes. It’s crucial to avoid pairing up these intense Stern classes with your film production courses in the same semester. For example, if you’re tackling demanding Stern subjects like finance or coding, opt for lighter film classes like craft courses. Balancing your workload this way will help make your academic journey smoother.

Behind the scenes of a sound mix craft course in an automated dialogue replacement room. One student records in a booth while another produces the sound.

Embarking on the NYU Stern–Tisch BS/BFA journey is a decision that can redefine your academic and professional path. With the unique blend of business acumen and creative filmmaking, this program equips you with the skills to excel in two dynamic industries. If you’re ready to challenge yourself, broaden your horizons, and seize an unparalleled educational experience, it’s time to consider applying. Whether you’re already a student at Stern or Tisch, your journey toward mastering both the boardroom and the film set starts here. Take the leap, embrace the challenge, and join a community of ambitious, creative minds shaping the future of business and entertainment.

Tong Zhao headshot

Tong Zhao is studying towards a dual degree in Film and Television and Business at Tisch School of the Arts with a minor in Producing and at Stern School of Business with concentrations in Marketing and Computing And Data Science. She became the Class of 2025 due to one extra year from the dual degree after entering the Class of 2024. She is from Lanzhou, China, and had one year’s study away experience at NYU Shanghai. She is a passionate fan of theatre, film, Taylor Swift, and K-pop. Her career goal is to become a film and theatre producer in the future.

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A Unique Dual Degree Program in Business and Film

Art meets enterprise in this five-year dual degree program, where students earn a BS in Business from Stern and a BFA in Film and Television from Tisch.

Studying Film and Business at NYU: The Stern–Tisch Dual Degree Program

Have you ever wanted to study the financing side of the film industry? This is possible at NYU thanks to the Stern–Tisch BS/BFA dual degree program.

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></center></p><h2>Personal Statement</h2><p>Nyu personal statement -a helpful guide with examples.</p><ul><li>January 2, 2024</li></ul><h2>Writing Services</h2><ul><li>Academic Writing Service</li><li>SOP Writing Service</li><li>Admission Essay Writing Service</li><li>Personal Statement Writing Service</li><li>LOR Writing Service</li><li>Motivation Letter Writing Service</li><li>Proofreading Service</li><li>Company Profile Service</li><li>Coursework Help</li><li>Thesis Help</li><li>Dissertation Help</li><li>Homework Help</li><li>Term Paper Writing Services</li><li>Essay Writing Services</li></ul><h2>SOP Writing Services In India</h2><ul><li>SOP Writers Near Me</li><li>SOP Writing Service India</li><li>SOP Writing Service Hyderabad</li><li>SOP Writing Service Kerala</li><li>SOP Writing Service Bangalore</li><li>SOP Writing Service Delhi</li><li>SOP Writing Service Pune</li><li>SOP Writing Service Mumbai</li><li>SOP Writing Service Vijayawada</li></ul><h2>Table of Contents</h2><p>Is getting admission to New York University your dream? </p><p>If so, you shouldn’t take your NYU personal statement for granted. Because this brief write-up has a very strong impact on deciding your admission. </p><p>In this blog, we have bundled a whole lot of information about this document such as: </p><ul><li>New York University personal statement paragraph structure</li><li>3 NYU personal statement examples</li><li>Top 5 personal statement writing steps </li><li>Great tricks and writing advice from experts </li></ul><h2>How Does an NYU Personal Statement Help You Materialize Your Dream?</h2><p>New York University is not only a top university in the USA but also is ranked among the top universities in the world. So, getting admission there is not easy unless you make your profile stand out. </p><p>Your personal statement NYU can go a long way in making you stand out because:</p><ul><li>It enables you to list all your strengths and skills with evidence </li><li>It provides you with an opportunity to show who you are and what your background is</li><li>It gives you the space to underscore your proudest qualities and show how you can contribute to NYU</li></ul><h2>How Long Should an NYU Personal Statement Be?</h2><p>Paragraph structure for personal nyu statement.</p><p>Your personal statement is an admission requirement and is going to remain in the records. So, it is necessary to write it incorporating a certain structure that is acceptable to your university. </p><p>Using a good structure for your essay makes it easier for your audience to review it. Moreover, it adds a logical outlook to your document. </p><h2>Top 5 Personal Statement Writing Steps</h2><p>Follow the below steps to prepare yourself for writing the personal statement and execute the writing part effectively.</p><h2>Understand the expectations:</h2><p>Before taking your pen to write the NYU personal statement, know what the university is trying to know about you. They want to see in the document your motivation, qualities, subject knowledge, and relevant skills. Gather relevant points for these key prompts. </p><h2>Read real-life examples:</h2><p>It is good to review one or two NYU personal statement examples to develop a precise picture of it and to be able to write it confidently with a clear perspective.</p><h2>Start early:</h2><p>It may be tempting to delay personal statement writing to the last day. But doing so will lead you to feel stressed at the last moment. Start early so that you can have enough time for reviewing and corrections. </p><h2>Meet all requirements:</h2><p>Make sure that your personal statement meets all the requirements such as the recommended word count, text formatting, question prompts etc. Ensuring these aspects will increase your application’s acceptance chance. </p><h2>Review and rectify:</h2><p>Once completed, it is highly recommended to go through your personal statement at least four to five times and see if it looks incoherent, illogical, or erroneous. Even a single mistake can cause you to lose your edge. </p><h2>NYU Personal Statement Examples</h2><p>My passion for law has its roots in my ideology of rewards and justice. The uncanny nature of human behaviour brings forth the necessity to distinguish good deeds from the bad ones. Interestingly, the world needs some parameters or clauses that determine whether an act is acceptable or not. Here lies the idea of justice and rewards. Law has evolved over time, justifying actions of the members of every civilization. Presently, we find law as a natural integration of our ethical system. In fact, law is something that we unconsciously adhere to. My interest in Political Science further complemented my interest in law. Channelizing my interest and energy towards productive shores, I decided to be a lawyer. The advanced program that your university offers would streamline my profile significantly.</p><p>My deep-rooted interest in politics compelled me to explore the legal domain. In India, the socio-political-legal segments are uniquely intertwined. While studying political science, I got to explore some aspects of the Indian legal system. However, I aspire to imbibe relevant knowledge on international laws, particularly revolving around human rights. In one of my readings, I came across the fact that the defendants in American criminal cases were unable to receive a lawyer until 1963. Again, in ‘Gideon Vs Wainwright’, the Fourteenth Amendment was unanimously interpreted by the Supreme Court. This ensured counselling to the people who required it. This happened almost a century after Britain’s Prisoners’ Counsel Act of 1836 provided the right to the accused. I believe it to be my duty to stand by people who are baselessly accused or need support. Eventually, it has been both politics and law that influenced my professional goals.</p><p>During my Intermediates, I had taken all the subjects that would propel me towards the legal sector. Apart from studying political science, I had psychology and philosophy as my main papers. Eventually, I was able to logically scrutinize human behaviour. In the process, I learned to visualize things from other peoples’ perspectives. To establish myself as an advocate, I need to explore the legal sector, just like a barrister or a solicitor. Studying psychology and philosophy has already bestowed me with a deep insight into human behaviour. This poised me in a position to evaluate morality and differentiate wrong from right. This is the substance constituting law.</p><p>At the graduation level, I will get the opportunity to meet new aspirants from different cultures across the globe. This will foster my growth as an independent person. I am aware of the necessary efforts and responsibilities to shoulder at the graduate level. With my orientation and experiences complimenting my professional goals, I am determined and ready to shoulder fresh challenges. I feel my innate drive to push me forward to sustain the upcoming challenges. In the process, I will be able to embrace success in my professional path, which would eventually help me realize my dream. I have always looked for opportunities in the reality surrounding me. With my ambition to support the needy to get through the legal complications, I look forward to equipping myself with the necessary knowledge.</p><p>If given a berth in your esteemed university, I would be happy to refine the academic environment through knowledge sharing. Peer learning, I believe, happens to be one of the most effective means of learning in global universities. Through mutual respect and collaboration, I wish to bring people from different cultures together, binding them to work for a common goal. The globally acknowledged degree will enhance my employability in India and abroad, leveraging my professional profile substantially.</p><p>We have added here an NYU personal statement example PDF to help you understand how the tips and guidelines we have shared are implemented in a real-life scenario of personal statement writing. Download and read it carefully. </p><h2>If You Ignore These Mistakes, There Will Be a High Chance for Rejection</h2><p>Most students care about grammatical mistakes while ignoring a few other serious issues. </p><p>Here is a list of mistakes you should keep in check while writing your New York University personal statement.  </p><h2>Forgetting the purpose:</h2><p>Many start their personal statement very impressively by narrating a good story but fail to address key points. Answering all the prompts should be a priority.</p><h2>Repeating information:</h2><p>There is information which the admission panel can easily pick up from other documents, for instance how much you scored on your graduation. Avoid such details.</p><p> Some of the personal statement examples circulating online contain too many cliched styles. Try to write your personal statement as a unique piece of a document about you. </p><h2>Not showing your capability:</h2><p>One of the key goals of personal statement writing is to show how capable you are to undertake the program at NYU. Do that without fail. </p><p>Grammatical and spelling mistakes, even the smallest ones, should be avoided to create an impression that you have given a serious attempt at writing your essay.</p><h2>Writing Tips from Industry Experts</h2><p>Have you noticed how perfect the personal statements written by professionals are? </p><p>How do they draft it so well? </p><p>Here are their tried and tested personal statement writing formulas. </p><ul><li>Do not allow your personal statement to have any contradiction with any other documents in the application</li><li>Try to present your points in the active voice as much as possible. This will enable the essay to look more powerful and closer to you. </li><li>Express your interest and enthusiasm without any hesitation. The stronger you make them appear, the better. </li><li>Use simple words. The point is to make your ideas get communicated to the reader. Using flowery language will make that difficult. </li><li>Keep the focus on you. The personal statement is a document about you. So, it should remain focused on you throughout. </li><li>Address any area that you want the admission committee to know about you or else that would remain as a question mark. For instance, a poor grade on your transcript. </li></ul><p>Why NYU? Why do many students study there? You should know the reasons not only to write your personal statement but also to give yourself a strong meaning for your choice. </p><p>Here are five reasons why NYU is worth considering for your higher studies. </p><ul><li>NYU boasts a good selection of programs. </li><li>The university has a very diverse community of students and faculties. </li><li>NYU is in the city of New York, the most ambitious city for many. </li><li>Some of the world’s popular scientists, politicians and artists are NYU alumni </li><li>NYU is well equipped with world-class infrastructure for classes, meetings, and conferences.</li></ul><h2>How to Apply to New York University?</h2><ul><li>Visit the official website of NYU and find out the New York University requirements</li><li>Check your eligibility to apply through their online tool </li><li>Once you have ensured that you are eligible, get ready with all other required documents such as personal statement, TOEFL, LOR, application etc. </li><li>Choose the program you wish to apply to. Register your account and submit your documents. </li><li>Receive the confirmation in your email. Read it and follow up</li></ul><h2>On A Final Note…</h2><p>An above-average NYU personal statement is a must to secure your berth at New York University. </p><p>The information shared through this blog should equip you for the same. </p><p>Are you ready to write your New York University personal statement now? </p><p>Let us know in the comments below. </p><p><center><img style=

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Sample Counseling Psychology Personal Statement (NYU Steinhardt)

nyu personal statement format

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field.

The following personal statement is written by an applicant who got accepted to Masters’s program at NYU Steinhardt School in Counseling Psychology. Read this essay to understand what a top personal statement in Counseling Psychology should look like.

Sample Personal Statement in Counseling Psychology

Growing up in Poland, I had internalized the stigma attached to Psychology and Psychotherapy. I was famous in my circle of friends as “the understanding one,” but I had developed a bitter taste for formally studying Psychology. Therefore, I opted for a more socially acceptable high school major – Computer Science.

But I wanted to learn about human behavior. Turning my back on the subject of my intellectual curiosity alienated me from myself. As expected, I scored miserably in high school. However, I did not give up just yet and went on to enroll in an IT program at the University of Warsaw.

Despite trying to ignite a passion for the discipline, I was inevitably headed toward disaster. A day before my first-year exams, I stared dispassionately at my book. I felt helpless and broke down into tears. At that moment, I realized I needed help from a mental health professional.

But I didn’t seek help because of two reasons. Firstly, hearing that only the crazy go for psychotherapy all my life, I could not muster the courage to deal with that label. Secondly, I only knew of Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists, and I did not want to be diagnosed or medicated.

Then I mustered the courage to cross the inner hurdles that kept me from studying Psychology. I wanted to gain insights into my emotional imbalances and tried to help myself by learning to help others. After that, I convinced my parents and changed my undergraduate central to Psychology.

This opened new doors that led me to a journey of growth and self-discovery. I met some wonderful people and began excelling in my studies. I was unanimously voted as the class representative in my second semester. Improved psychosocial support and self-efficacy began to work magic on my sense of self-worth.

Experiencing a shift from clutter to clarity, I felt a newfound affiliation with those in need. I heard about  Chayn  Poland through social media and started volunteering for it. While working at  Chayn , I was a part of an online community that created a resource portal to inform and help victims of domestic violence in Poland. It was an excellent opportunity to transmit the knowledge of the psychological aftermath of abuse to those who could benefit from it. I’m channeling the same spirit at my current job at  Social Welfare, Academics, and Training for Poland . Lending my hand in research about the psychological impact of militancy and war on the youth of Ukraine allows me to play my role in helping those in need.

Through my introduction to counseling and the humanistic model in my  Perspectives in Psychology  class, I saw the framework I could use to pursue the field of Psychology. Moreover, I realized that the humanistic school stood for the same values I had innately developed – holism; the importance of an individual’s experience, and the belief that all humans have an actualizing tendency.

Coincidentally, one of my close friends had joined a certificate course in  Humanistic Counseling  at Therapy Mission, Warsaw. I enrolled in the next session to test my interest in the subject. As part of the course, I completed 85 hours of group therapy and an equal number of lectures. I learned basic counseling skills, person-centered therapy, gestalt therapy, and transactional analysis. Being in the group was truly transformational. As group therapy generally does, the group started to represent my unconscious perception of the world for me. Some of my group members represented specific figures from the past who I had unresolved issues with. I had the privilege of working on those issues through hot-seat exercises and psychodrama enactments. Being heard changed my relationship with myself. I learned to nurture myself and develop an inner resource, which would help me cope with future distresses more intelligently. I’m currently enrolled in a diploma in  Integrated Counseling .

Stepping out of my comfort zone gave me the strength to explore further. Hence, last summer, I decided to go to Kenya for an internship through AIESEC at  Living Positive Kenya . Among other experiences, the training allowed me to practice the skills I had acquired at Therapy Mission. I facilitated a psychosocial support group of women who had HIV/AIDS. My primary strategy was to create a safe space for women to express themselves. In that space, a woman could express her thoughts, and the group would provide her unconditional presence. Though the feedback was encouraging, I realized I needed more advanced training to deal with similar issues back home. I based my conclusion on the general resistance with which the idea of therapy is met in Poland.

My strength is that I come from a place where people are skeptical about counseling. However, I understand Poland’s dire need for counseling and have experienced its value first-hand. Therefore, I want to reach out and counsel as many people as possible. Having crawled from a pit of emotional darkness towards light puts me in the position to hold someone’s hand while they do the same. Now, all I need is extra muscle.

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nyu personal statement format

The time has come to write a personal statement, but you do not know where to begin. No worries, writing about yourself is no easy task. After all, there’s only so much you can fit when writing a personal statement.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a required essay done by a prospective candidate in an educational setting whether they are applying for a scholarship, graduate school admission, studying abroad, fellowship program, etc. However, it should not be confused with being the same as a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose strictly focuses on how your achievements, such as professional or academic, can benefit the program you are applying to . In contrast, a personal statement allows more creativity and freedom to develop within the applicant. Occasionally, personal statements may come with specific questions about what to write about.

Why Should They Choose You?

Although it is important to emphasize your achievements, whether it be academic or professional, the person reading your statement wants to get to know you better through your background information and what inspired you to pursue your goals. Overall, it’s important to ask yourself these questions when considering writing a personal statement:

●  What exact moment led you to be where you are today?

●  What separates you from the rest of the candidates?

●  What personal traits or qualities do you have that will help you succeed?

●  What do your story, goals, or skills obtained bring to the table?

Are You the Right Fit?

Although the focus of a personal statement is yourself, you must consider that you’re applying to a specific institution or program that offers specific opportunities. Not everyone will be the right fit and that’s okay, there are many opportunities for you to join. However, if you truly want to get in and be accepted, you must try to make a connection with your audience. Mention how the school or program will help you succeed and accomplish your goals. This goes back to what you bring to the table.

The unique trait about personal statements is that no two are alike. Everybody’s story is different. The requirements for each application vary in length, format, and topics. Nevertheless, having a concrete idea of how to organize your thoughts and ideas before you submit your final draft saves a lot of stress and time when the deadline comes. If you need an idea of where to start, brainstorm, or organize your thoughts, below is an example of a structure for your layout that may help you in getting out of that writing block:

Introduction:

-   Introduce a memory that leads back to where your interest or passion started or motivated you be where you are today

-   Give a sneak peek to your reader in a quick summary as to what you’re going to be talking about in your body paragraph (background information, accomplishments, & future aspirations from being admitted into the school or program)

*Note: Introductions should be a brief paragraph of everything you’re going to be writing about, leave the details for your body paragraphs.

A) 1 st Paragraph (Background Information)

What’s your undergraduate major/degree or other educational history?

What part of your demographic information is relevant? (hometown, heritage, family

history, etc.)

What’s an obstacle or challenge that changed the way you viewed your life?

Make sure be able make one connection to all three, it’ll make it easier for your

reader to follow through with your story and understand your goals

If deciding to write about an obstacle or challenge, remember to not solely focus on

the negative experience of it. Instead, try thinking about what you were able to take

from the experience and how did it change you as a person.

B) 2nd Paragraph (Academic and Professional Achievements)

Any organizations you’ve joined or rewards you’ve obtained? (The more you have

done, the better)

What skills have you’ve obtained through participating in any organizations, events,

jobs, etc.? C) 3 rd Paragraph (Future Goals and Accomplishments)

What is the next step after being admitted?

What do you hope to learn or take from being part of the program?

How will you apply it to your desired goal?

Conclusion:

Restate your goals in one or two sentences

Talk about what you envision for your future, what do you hope to gain from all of this?

What will you benefit from being on the program?

What do you contribute to the program?

How will you apply everything you learned?

*Note: Your concluding/closing paragraphs are usually short with a maximum of three or four sentences, leave out any details.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there are several things to remind yourself of when writing a personal statement: focus on answering the main questions, tell your story, and use examples of any challenge or obstacle that you faced throughout your life. If you decide to focus on a challenge or obstacle, think about the tone you will use. Writing about this challenge or obstacle focuses on the learning experience or the opportunity rather than solely on the negative parts. Remember, you’ve worked hard enough to get where you are today. Hopefully, you can get started on that personal statement you’ve been procrastinating on, and good luck on whatever path you decide to pursue.

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COMMENTS

  1. Applicant Statements

    Applicant Statements. In your application, you will have the opportunity to tell us about yourself in two ways: The Statement of Academic Purpose (required), which describes your academic plans. Some programs may request specific details. The Personal History Statement (optional), which gives information on your background.

  2. Application Requirements

    The first thing to understand when applying to an NYU graduate or professional program is that each graduate school, center, or institute—and their individual departments and programs in many cases—determines its own application requirements. ... Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement/Personal Essay: This is your chance to tell admissions ...

  3. Your Guide to the NYU Supplemental Essay

    As part of this year's first-year application, you'll have the option to answer a new NYU supplemental essay question.This year, we're asking something brand new: 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 ...

  4. Statement of Purpose

    Think of the statement of purpose as a composition with five key parts: Part 1: Introduce yourself, your interests and motivations. Part 2: Summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career. Part 3: Discuss relevant recent activities. Part 4: Elaborate on your academic interests. Part 5: Wrap up with key takeaways!

  5. Application Materials Guidelines

    It should be about two pages in length, double-spaced, 12-point font, no less than 1-inch margins. Carefully review the application instructions from each school for specific details. It is the most important writing sample a school will receive from you. Lawyers write professionally, so you must demonstrate exceptional writing abilities ...

  6. How to Write the NYU Essays 2023-2024

    How to Write the NYU Essays 2023-2024. NYU has just one supplemental prompt this year, which allows you to choose from six different options. Although this prompt is technically optional, NYU's prime location in the heart of downtown New York City, campuses all across the globe, and affiliation with excellent graduate schools in a range of ...

  7. NYU Personal Statement Examples

    To help you think about how to approach your NYU personal statement, I can provide you with a brief example and some general tips that you could use as a starting point. Example: Growing up in a single-parent household in Brooklyn, I often found refuge in the vibrant colors and lines of street art. NYC's graffiti culture became a canvas for me ...

  8. Putting Your Application Together

    Summer between Junior and Senior Year: Put together an initial draft of your statement of purpose - don't work it to death, but work up a first draft that you then put aside for a month or more. Look at the written work you produced in the past year, and see if there are any potential candidates for a writing sample.

  9. Required Materials

    Other than length, there is no required format for your résumé/CV. It is fine to include extracurricular activities, publications, presentations, or other career-related information, if you have them. Personal Statement. This is a brief statement—make it no more than 500 words. It is also personal.

  10. Essays

    Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes. Your essays must be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be rescinded if you did not write your essays. Short Answer: Professional Aspirations.

  11. Why NYU? How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay (With Examples!)

    Otherwise known as your personal statement, we created an entire Common App guide so you can write the best essay. When you're applying to NYU, you'll need to write one supplemental essay. The supplemental essay has a 400-word limit and requires that you express your interest in NYU as artfully and concisely as possible.

  12. 4 Great "Why NYU?" Essay Examples

    CollegeVine College Essay Team November 16, 2022 13 Essay Examples, New York University. 4 Great "Why NYU?". Essay Examples. New York University is a selective university in the heart of NYC. Its top academic programs and location make it a highly-desirable college, and only a select few of over 85,000 applicants were accepted last year.

  13. How to Get Into NYU Law School: The Ultimate Guide

    Mandatory: law school personal statement. NYU provides applicants with discretion regarding the length and content of the personal statement. However, we suggest that you try to keep your personal statement to two pages, single-spaced, 11 or 12-pt font. Optional: law school diversity statement. No length requirements given.

  14. New York University

    Common App Personal Essay. Required. 650 words. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores?

  15. NYU Essay Examples (And Why They Worked)

    AUTHOR 1. I always had a keen interest in numbers, probability, and finance. Early on, I could run numbers quickly: calculating sales tax, analyzing probabilities, and visualizing complex mathematical models in my head. After taking AP classes in economics and statistics, I became intrigued with the mathematical representations of economic ...

  16. Writing the Why NYU Essay

    Why NYU Essay 2023 Update. NYU has discontinued the "Why NYU" for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. That means there won't be an NYU-specific writing supplement provided as part of the Common Application process. However, students can submit an optional 250-word response as part of NYU's additional questions section.

  17. Admissions Information and Instructions

    The CAS report summarizes undergraduate academic work and includes copies of your transcripts. If you have taken the LSAT, your LSAT score(s) and your LSAT writing sample(s) will be included in the CAS report. GRE scores must be sent to NYU Law directly from ETS. The law school code for NYU School of Law for both LSAC and ETS is 2599.

  18. PDF Essay Examples

    ESSAY #3 - Friday Night Concerts. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. During my sophomore year, my dad and I established a Friday after-school ritual.

  19. How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay

    Final tip: If you use one of NYU's provided quotes, it's not necessary to waste word count restating the whole quote in your essay. You can simply refer to it by speaker (e.g., "Ifill's quote") or speaker and few-word allusion (e.g., "Ifill's definition of good citizenship). Because this is a new prompt for NYU, we don't have an ...

  20. NYU Law Personal Statement

    An NYU Law personal statement must be a clear, unique, thoughtful, and demonstrative expression of why you are the perfect fit for the program.. Law school personal statement tips as well as expertly written law school personal statement examples will give you the edge you need.. In this article, we will go over general personal statement objectives and format and provide examples of personal ...

  21. Resumes and Cover Letters

    The cover letter is your opportunity to shine by filling in the blanks from your resume. A well-written cover letter can pique the curiosity of the employer and motivate him/her to carefully read your resume. Be sure to include a cover letter every time you send a resume. Review our Cover Letter Guide & Samples to learn how to write a winning ...

  22. Interpreting Applications

    Holistic Admissions Policy. As an NYU Abu Dhabi applicant, you're more than just a number. Academic achievement is the foundation of a successful application, but that doesn't mean we only care about a test score or grades. In fact, we are interested in knowing as much about you as possible — what you're doing outside the classroom; how ...

  23. Best of Both Worlds: Navigating NYU's Stern-Tisch BS/BFA Dual Degree

    NYU's Stern-Tisch BS/BFA dual-degree program allows students to hone their creative talent while developing their entrepreneurial skills. ... You need a few things for your application: a professional résumé, a personal statement, and your NYU transcript. For the Stern hopefuls coming from Tisch, your artistic side needs to shine ...

  24. How to Write an NYU Personal Statement with Examples

    Briefly point to your personal motivation for the program at NYC. Paragraph 2: Motivation and commitment: In this paragraph, discuss how you got motivated to take up the stated higher study program. Elaborate on the incidents or experiences that strengthen your decision. Paragraph 3: Academic background:

  25. The art of how to write a personal statement fabulously

    This part should include how you plan to use the knowledge you gain as you graduate. Offer thanks and discuss your hopes, intentions, and dreams. Make it memorable, but don't boast too much! If you already have a personal statement prompt to follow, this personal statement outline will help you see what to include.

  26. Sample Counseling Psychology Personal Statement (NYU Steinhardt)

    Sample Personal Statement in Counseling Psychology. Growing up in Poland, I had internalized the stigma attached to Psychology and Psychotherapy. I was famous in my circle of friends as "the understanding one," but I had developed a bitter taste for formally studying Psychology. Therefore, I opted for a more socially acceptable high school ...

  27. Writing A Personal Statement

    Final Thoughts. Ultimately, there are several things to remind yourself of when writing a personal statement: focus on answering the main questions, tell your story, and use examples of any challenge or obstacle that you faced throughout your life. If you decide to focus on a challenge or obstacle, think about the tone you will use.