College Intel

New York University Admissions

Bobst Library is featured at New York University.
New York University is located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan (photo credit: Ajay Suresh).

New York University is more than the idealized destination of high-achieving high school students in many films and TV shows for teens (who remembers Felicity?). This cultural fascination with NYU stems from the school’s academic prestige and location in the cultural epicenter of the United States. With an undergraduate student body of roughly 25,000 and a postgraduate population of the same size, NYU is the largest private research university in the nation. With fully-fledged campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, in addition to its flagship campus in lower Manhattan and satellite campuses in various other international locations, NYU is a veritable global university with a reputation for producing political, economic, and cultural leaders.

Faculty at NYU have accumulated 23 Nobel Prizes, 159 Guggenheim Fellowships, and 21 MacArthur Fellowships. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese, author Suzanne Collins, and former President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou all have the privilege of calling themselves alumni. Those who dropped out of NYU form an alumni class unto themselves: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, pop star Lady Gaga, actress Anne Hathaway, and fashion designer Tom Ford all left NYU early to pursue their (very high-powered) dreams!

Undergraduate education at NYU is split between ten schools: the College of Arts and Science; the Tandon School of Engineering; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; the Stern School of Business; the School of Professional Studies; the Rory Meyers College of Nursing; the Silver School of Social Work; the Tisch School of the Arts; the Gallatin School of Individualized Study; and Global Liberal Studies (a program created in 2009 providing a liberal arts education to students who live at various NYU campuses across the globe while completing their bachelor’s).

Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Science, NYU’s oldest school, receive a traditional liberal arts education while adhering to a core curriculum requiring completion of a first-year seminar, coursework in a foreign language and expository writing, a “Foundations of Contemporary Culture” set of courses in the arts, social sciences, and humanities, and a “Foundations of Scientific Inquiry” set of STEM courses.

NYU was founded in 1831 by Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. For the first half of its history, the university established campuses in various areas of New York City, including the University Heights neighborhood in the Bronx and the Washington Square neighborhood in lower Manhattan. However, in 1914 the undergraduate college moved permanently to its location in Washington Square, where the university has remained ever since (in tandem with the engineering school housed in Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center).

Because of its proximity to the many artists and activists in Washington Square, NYU had become identified with New York City counterculture by the 1970s, a reputation that has persisted to this day. With nearly $1 billion in annual research funding, nationally-ranked programs in law, medical research, and fine arts, and an increasingly competitive admissions process accepting the world’s best and brightest students, it is no surprise that NYU has emerged as the object of popular fascination in recent years.

Approximately 120,000 candidates applied to be a part of NYU’s Class of 2027 (among the highest pool ever recorded for a private university in the U.S.). A record-low 8% were accepted, which is half the rate of a mere four years ago, when 16% were admitted to the Class of 2023. Those who were admitted have the opportunity to take part in an extracurricular landscape like no other; NYU’s debate, mock trial, a cappella, and student-run media groups are renowned for their rigor. About 10% of these admitted students will join the Greek life scene, and many others will join the NYU Violets and play in NCAA Division III.

If you’d like to join this elite group of undergrads, improve your chances of admission by working with Ivy Coach to craft an irresistible application!


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