Academic Policies

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Tisch Community Standards

The Tisch School of the Arts has established a code of conduct to which all members of the community are expected to adhere. It is a simple statement of the contract within which we all work. Tisch is a place for serious professional and academic training, a place in which mature, focused, and considerate individuals are valued as members of a dynamic community. Work in the arts is highly collaborative, and students are expected to treat each other with respect and to work together as professionals. These high standards of citizenship apply not only to classroom behavior but to all aspects of life. Tisch students are fortunate to work in and with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that must be treated with respect, knowledge, and care. Students will be held accountable for their behavior in the NYU community, including the residence halls, studios, labs, and soundstages, and at extracurricular workshops, internships, panels, and social situations. Students whose behavior disrupts the teaching and learning process may be removed from the classroom. Cheating, plagiarizing, lying, stealing, violence, prejudice, physical, verbal, and sexual harassment are not tolerated. Any student who does not adhere to community standards in an academic or social sense or who does not behave professionally may be asked to leave the school. 

Student Conduct Policy

All Tisch School of the Arts students are subject to the New York University Student Conduct Policy.

Tisch Policy on Academic Integrity

Statement of Principle

The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members. It is therefore of the utmost importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice. Any attempt to evade that essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is educationally self-defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards. 


Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s original work as if it were your own. More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own:

  • a sequence of words quoted without quotation marks 
  • a paraphrased passage from another writer’s work
  • ideas, sound recordings, computer data, or images composed or created by someone else. 
  • content created by ChatGPT or other AI software

Students are expected to build their own work on that of other people, just as professional artists, scholars, and writers do. Giving credit to the creator of the work you are incorporating into your own work is an act of integrity; plagiarism, on the other hand, is a form of fraud. Proper acknowledgment and correct citation constitute the difference. Students should consult with professors about the appropriate use of AI generated elements in artistic projects.

Cheating is an attempt to deceive a faculty member into believing that your mastery of a subject or discipline is greater than it really is by a range of dishonest methods. Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:

  • using notes, books, electronic media, or electronic communications in an exam without permission
  • talking with fellow students or looking at another person’s work during an exam
  • submitting substantially the same work in multiple courses without the explicit prior permission of the instructors
  • submitting work previously created for another course without the instructor’s knowledge and approval
  • fabricating a citation or using a false citation
  • purchasing a paper, hiring someone else to write a paper for you, or writing a paper with the help of AI
  • having someone take an exam for you, or taking an exam for someone else
  • allowing another student to present your work as their own
  • altering or forging academic documents, including but not limited to admissions materials and medical excuses
  • unauthorized collaboration on work intended to be done individually.

Investigation of Alleged Violations

If an instructor has reason to believe that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, they should meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible to present the evidence of the alleged violation and hear the student’s response. If the alleged violation is discovered after the term has ended, the faculty member should enter a grade of incomplete (“I”) until the matter is resolved. Once an investigation has begun, the student may not withdraw from the course. All confirmed violations of the Academic Integrity Policy must be reported in writing to the Department Chair and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The written report should include details of the offense, the student’s response, the faculty member’s conclusions, and any penalties imposed (see below). 


Penalties for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy may range from being required to redo an assignment to dismissal from the School. For example, if after meeting with the student the instructor concludes that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy did occur, they may require the student to completely redo the assignment; assign a grade of F for the assignment and factor the failing grade into the student’s final grade for the course; or assign a grade of F for the course, although this must be done in consultation with the department chair.

The Associate Dean for Student Affairs may initiate further disciplinary action against a student found in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, depending on the severity of the violation and whether the student has had prior disciplinary violations. Penalties may range from a formal warning to disciplinary probation to suspension or dismissal from the School. 

For Students: How to Avoid Breaches of Academic Integrity

Violations of academic integrity can be either intentional or unintentional; however, even unintentional violations are subject to disciplinary action. How, then, can you avoid even unintentional breaches of academic integrity?

  • Learn how to cite sources properly. Find out in advance which citation style your instructor prefers, if it is not already indicated in the course syllabus. 
  • When in doubt as to whether to cite or not cite a source, the rule of thumb is to make them citation. Your instructor will tell you if you are being overly scrupulous, but let him/her/them decide.
  • Take careful and complete notes while you are conducting research, and hold onto your notes in case your work’s integrity is challenged. Also keep copies of successive drafts of papers or versions of artistic work.
  • Consult with your professor about the appropriate use of ChatGPT or other AI programs for classwork.
  • Make sure you understand your instructor’s expectations about collaboration in the course or on a given assignment. Do not assume that because collaboration was permitted on one assignment it is permitted on another. And do not assume that one professor’s standards are the same as another professor’s. Be sure you understand what “collaboration” means to your instructor. 
  • If you are uncertain about the assignment you have been given, ask the instructor for clarification.
  • If you have run into unforeseen obstacles in completing your assignment and need more time, ask the instructor.
  • Manage your time! Experience shows that many students who committed breaches of academic integrity were tempted to do so when the due-date for an assignment was approaching, or the time for an exam was approaching, and they were unprepared.

Disciplinary Procedures

Students should become familiar and comply with the rules of conduct, academic regulations, and established practices of New York University and the Tisch School of the Arts, as well as any special rules or regulations set forth by their departments. Offenses for which disciplinary action might be taken include, but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, forgery of academic documents; deliberate destruction, theft, or unauthorized use of laboratory/studio data, research materials, computer resources, or University property; disruption of a classroom or an academic event; sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking; bullying, threatening, and other disruptive behaviors; actual or threatened violence or other forms of harassment; violation of dormitory regulations; failure to comply with the directions of clearly identified University personnel in the performance of their assigned duties; and violation of University policies concerning illegal drugs and the underage use of alcohol. 

Discipline at New York University is handled in a number of ways and by different offices, depending on the nature of the alleged offense. For example, alleged violations of dormitory regulations are investigated by the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services, while alleged instances of sexual misconduct are investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity. When an alleged violation of a student conduct policy falls within the purview of the Tisch School of the Arts, the appropriate chair and/or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall try to resolve the matter on an informal basis. If the matter cannot be resolved on an informal basis, the Associate Dean will convene the Discipline Committee, which is a standing committee of the faculty. The Committee is intended to supplement, rather than replace, the internal workings of the departments and the School. A thorough explanation of the procedures of the Discipline Committee may be found in the Faculty Organization Plan, available in the office of the Associate Dean of Faculty.

Grievance Procedure

Tisch School of the Arts follows University grievance procedures in regard to grievances filed by students. In general, grievances should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. In the case of a complaint against an instructor, if a student is unable to satisfactorily resolve the difference in discussion with the teacher, they should meet with their departmental Chair. If the complaint is not resolved with the Chair, or, if the complaint is of a personal or confidential nature, the student may bring it to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will proceed as outlined in the School’s grievance procedures

TSOA Faculty Statement on Substance Abuse

At the Tisch School of the Arts, we take the process of training and education offered to our students very seriously. The nature of our program demands concentration, dedication, and commitment. It is not possible for students to take full advantage of what is offered at the School while involved with drugs or alcohol. If you abuse drugs or alcohol while you are here, the School will take this as a genuine problem and will act accordingly. Please see the detailed information regarding NYU’s policy on substance abuse and alcoholic beverages.

TSOA Community Statement on Harassment

The Tisch School of the Arts seeks to maintain an educational environment that encourages the full development of each individual’s talent and ambition. We are also committed to building a creative community that fosters the maximum amount of artistic and intellectual freedom among its members. We view harassment of any form as a direct threat to our community. We therefore endorse New York University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and urge all members of the Tisch community to become familiar with its provisions and complaint procedures.

Policy on Theatrical Use of Simulated Firearms and Other Weapons

New York University strictly prohibits possession of simulated firearms and weapons in and around any facility owned or controlled by the University except when the bearer is in possession of written approval or permit from a dean or department head or a dean or department head’s designee. The criteria for granting written approval or permits, including completion of required training, and the procedures for safe use of simulated firearms and weapons will be determined by the dean of the School or College in which the theatrical production occurs. Possession of a simulated firearm or weapon may be authorized and such possession permitted only if it is directly connected to a University- or School-related theatrical production (e.g., stage play or film production, or rehearsals for them). When an individual is appropriately authorized to possess a simulated firearm or weapon for theatrical use at NYU, the following terms shall apply:

  1. The approved simulated firearm or weapon may only be used during the time and in the manner specified in the written approval or permit.
  2. Whenever an approved simulated firearm or weapon is transported from one location to another, including within the same building, it must be placed in a secure, opaque container so the weapon is not visible. 
  3. The individual to whom written permission has been granted to possess a simulated firearm or weapon must maintain custody of the simulated firearm or weapon at all times and may not transfer custody of the simulated firearm or weapon to any person not specified in the written permission. The written permission must accompany the simulated firearm or weapon at all times.
  4. The individual to whom permission has been granted to possess a simulated firearm or weapon may not drink alcoholic beverages or engage in any reckless behavior while in possession of a simulated firearm or weapon.
  5. When not in use for a theatrical production, the simulated firearm or weapon must be securely stored in a location chosen by the School that is sponsoring the theatrical production, which location must be approved by the Vice President for Global Security and Crisis Management. Under no circumstances may simulated firearms or weapons be stored in any University owned, leased, or controlled facilities other than an approved safety storage area.
  6. If for any reason it is not possible for an individual in authorized possession of a simulated firearm or weapon to return the item to an approved safety storage area after authorized use, the simulated firearm or weapon should be brought to the Department of Campus Safety at 7 Washington Place for temporary safe storage.
  7. There is no exception to the prohibition of simulated firearms and weapons in New York University residential facilities, at any time and for any purpose.
  8. Under no circumstances may students bring their own simulated firearms or weapons to campus. Students are limited to using simulated firearms or weapons supplied by their School and/or department or rented from a licensed third-party supplier of theatrical simulated firearms and weapons.

TSOA Ownership Policy 

The creative works produced by students at the Tisch School of the Arts in fulfillment of class assignments, or as individual study projects, whether made on Tisch School of the Arts premises or elsewhere, with or without Tisch School of the Arts equipment, and with or without extra funds (hereafter called, “Student Works”), have a dual nature. First and foremost, the production of Student Works is intended as an educational experience. However, the product of that educational experience is an item of property that may have a market value for its creator(s). The interest of the Tisch School of the Arts in any Student Work extends only through the completion of the educational experience associated with such Work—until its utility as an educational device or matrix has been exhausted. This is not necessarily the completion of the Work; many Student Works that are technically incomplete have nonetheless satisfied the educational purposes for which the creation of such Works was intended. But, if certain students were to market, distribute, or work for private profit on a Student Work prior to the termination of that Work’s usefulness as an educational device, it could deprive other students of the opportunity to work in or with such Work and hinder the exercise of proper faculty supervision of such work, thereby obstructing the educational purpose that the production of such Work is intended to serve.Student Works are prepared for educational purposes, not as products for market, and the financial value of Student Works, if any, is at most a secondary benefit of their creation. Therefore, it is in the interest of the students at the Tisch School of the Arts and of Tisch as a whole that each Student Work remains subject to certain restrictions until the educational experience associated with such Work has been completed. Following the completion of such experience, the Tisch School of the Arts has no interest in the marketing of any Student Work or any income derived therefrom. Therefore, all Student Works are subject to the following ownership policy:

  1. All Student Works are owned by the student(s) who creates them.
  2. Any income from distribution of any Student Work shall be the property of the student(s) who creates such work.
  3. All students who create or participate in the creation of a Student Work are jointly and severally responsible for such Student Work, including without being limited to, for determining and ensuring that such Student Work does not violate or infringe on any copyright, any right of privacy, or any other right of any person, and that such Student Work is not libelous, obscene, or otherwise contrary to law. Such students shall also be jointly and severally responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions for the use of any copyrighted materials included in such Student Work. Any advice or assistance given by any faculty member or other representative of the Tisch School of the Arts or of New York University to any student in relation to the foregoing responsibilities, or otherwise in relation to the preparation or production of a Student Work, shall not be construed (a) as the assumption of such responsibility or of any liability by such person, by the Tisch School of the Arts, or by New York University; (b) to deem the University, the School, or such person a joint venturer with such student; or (c) to grant such student the power, right, or authority to create any obligation or responsibility on behalf of, or otherwise, to bind the University, the School, or such person. Each student who creates or participates in the creation of a Student Work agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Tisch School of the Arts and New York University against any loss, damage, liability, or expense that they incur as a result of the preparation or production of such Student Work, including, without being limited to, any material in such work that infringes or violates any copyright, right of privacy, or any other right of any person, or is libelous, obscene, or contrary to law.
  4. To ensure that each student and faculty member has a meaningful opportunity to participate in the educational process occasioned by the production of each Student Work, the student(s) who owns each Student Work agrees not to distribute such Work in any manner, whether by sale or other transfer of the ownership or other rights, license, lease, loan, gift, or otherwise, except for entering such Work in festivals or competitions, and further agrees to make such Student Work available to other students and to faculty members of the Tisch School of the Arts for any use relating to their education or to the education of such other students, until such student, or if more than one student owns such Student Work, until all such students have either graduated from New York University or are no longer matriculating at New York University. The Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts may, in her sole discretion, waive these restrictions for any reason satisfactory to the Dean.
  5. The student(s) who owns each Student Work grants New York University: (a) the right to purchase prints or other copies of such Student Work at cost, whenever, in the University’s sole discretion, such prints or other copies are needed for any University use; and (b) the right to reproduce, display, or perform such prints or other copies anywhere and for any reason, including, without being limited to, publicizing the Tisch School of the Arts or New York University, without any royalty or other payment of any kind to the student(s), provided that such prints or copies may not be rented or sold by the University. Such student(s) also agrees that they will not make any contract or commitment regarding the Student Work contrary to this policy or in derogation of the rights granted to the University by this policy, and that they will sign any document reasonably requested by the University to confirm or enforce any of the rights granted to the University by this policy.
  6. The Tisch School of the Arts will decide whether or not to put its name on a given Student Work. If so requested by the Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts, the student(s) who owns each Student Work agrees to credit in such Student Work, in a manner satisfactory to the Dean, any donor to the Tisch School of the Arts whose donation contributed in any way to the production of such Student Work.

Registration & Enrollment

Registration & Matriculation

Definition of Registration, Matriculation, and Full-time Status

This section is meant to assist students in understanding the difference between “being registered” and “being matriculated,” as those terms are commonly used. The distinction is an important one because many aspects of your student life are affected (e.g., matriculant status affects financial aid, housing, and in some cases, insurance coverage). A student is considered registered when the student has enrolled in classes, and when the student has fulfilled financial obligations to the satisfaction of the Bursar (in most cases, this involves full payment of tuition). Matriculation means the student: 

  • has satisfactorily met all Admissions Office requirements for acceptance into a degree or certificate program (that usually includes, but is not limited to, evidence of secondary school graduation and final official transcripts of all college work); and, 
  • enrolled in course work leading to a degree (for an exception, see Leave of Absence).

Students are not matriculated until they have met all requirements for admission. In some cases, students are admitted to the School (with the expectation on the part of the Admissions Office that requirements will be met), register, and are not yet matriculated. Students must establish matriculant status immediately upon entering school if accepted as a degree or certificate student. One is considered a full-time student if registered for 12 or more credits in a semester. Note: At NYU, “units”, “points” and “credits” are interchangeable terms.

Change of Program (Dropping/Adding Classes) 

The following information applies only to the fall and spring semesters. Although the same procedure for withdrawing from summer and winter classes is applicable, the refund schedule is accelerated. Be sure to read and follow these procedures carefully. 

There may be a number of reasons why students would need to change the course of study, and there are various regulations and a strict calendar of deadlines governing program changes. Please consult the drop/add and refund schedule. For a calendar of drop/add dates, visit the registrar’s calendar webpage. To view the refund calendar, visit Refunds

The process of changing one’s program begins in the department. Although students can drop/add during the first two weeks of classes, they are responsible for adhering to the academic program approved by departmental advisors. Please note: Rules for the student’s home school apply when dropping or adding a class, not the school in which the course is offered.

Albert registration and the drop/add period ends after the second week of the term. Any program change after the end of the second week requires three separate approvals: 1) written permission of the instructor (if adding a course); 2) departmental approval; 3) approval by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Students are responsible for making up any work that was covered in the course before their enrollment in the course; however, classes missed before students enroll in a course are not counted as absences. Courses cannot be dropped after the withdrawal deadlines published on NYU’s academic calendar, generally about two weeks before the end of the semester. If a student stops attending a class, it is not an official withdrawal; students who do not officially withdraw will be graded accordingly, and may be assigned a permanent failing grade. In order for a withdrawal request to be successfully processed, the request must be submitted through Albert and approved by the student’s academic advisor and Tisch Academic Services. If a student wishes to appeal for a late withdrawal (after the deadline), they should speak with their academic advisor. Students who wish to drop all classes for a current semester should complete the online term withdrawal form via the student’s Albert account. The online term withdrawal form should be used for students who wish to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University completely. It should not be used by students who wish to drop or add individual classes but remain enrolled, have half-time or full-time equivalency for the semester, or maintain matriculation for the semester. 

Restrictions and Notes on Registration:

  • Late registration: Students who register after the first week of classes will be charged a late registration fee. Late registration goes into effect one week after the start of classes. At that time, initial registration forms must be approved by the department and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • If a class is dropped during the first two weeks of a term, it will not appear on the student record. After the 2nd week, the grade recorded will be a W. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Students may not drop classes after the deadline published on the university’s academic calendar.
  • TSOA undergraduates are expected to be full-time students. Students are considered full-time if registered for 12 or more credits in a semester. All programs do not allow part-time students. Students must have permission from their advisor and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to be part-time. Students registered for fewer than 12 credits in a semester without permission may be placed on academic probation.
  • Students may enroll for up to 18 credits per term and may not take more than 18 credits per term without permission of the department and approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. There is an additional per-point fee above 18 credits.

Refunds and Withdrawals

Please remember that the refund schedule defined below applies only to fall and spring semesters. Summer and winter session information can be found at RefundsA refund of tuition will be made by the Bursar’s Office after an Albert program change or presentation of a drop/add form accompanied by the appropriate approvals. The refund will be automatically calculated according to the schedule published on Dropping Classes/Semester Withdrawal. The date on which the Program Change Form is processed by the University Registrar’s and Bursar’s Offices, not the last date of attendance in class, is considered the official date of your withdrawal. It is this date that serves as the basis for computing any refund granted.

The refund period is defined as the first four calendar weeks of the term for which an application for withdrawal is filed for undergraduate students making a complete semester withdrawal. For students who are dropping class(es) but will remain enrolled in at least one course, the refund period during the academic year is the first two weeks of the semester. The fastest way to receive a refund is to establish your Direct Deposit account via NYU .

It should be noted that special fees (e.g., lab, ticket and projection fees) are non-refundable in all cases. Only under extraordinary circumstances are exceptions to the above schedule granted. Appeals should be made, in writing, to the Director of Student Affairs and should be supported by appropriate documentation regarding the circumstances that warrant consideration of an exception.

Important Notes on Withdrawals:

  • If you withdraw from a semester of course work and intend to return, you should follow the Leave of Absence procedure described below.
  • If you are contemplating a withdrawal from the School, you should meet with both a departmental advisor and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to discuss your situation and options. The academic and financial implications of a withdrawal should be fully examined.

Leave of Absence

Voluntary Leave of Absence 

Students who wish to be out of attendance from the Tisch School of the Arts for one semester or one academic year may apply for an official leave of absence. Because a leave interrupts progress toward the degree and may interrupt professional training, it is granted only for a good cause. A leave of absence maintains a student’s status as accepted and matriculated toward the degree. Being absent from school without an official leave, even for one semester, has the effect of invalidating acceptance towards the degree, forcing the student to re-apply for admission.

Applying for a Leave of Absence

A student contemplating a leave of absence should begin by discussing the matter with their department advisor. To officially request a leave, the student must submit a request online via the Student Center in Albert. Once a request is submitted in Albert, the student will receive an email and link to a Google form. The student must fill out the Google form in order for their leave to be processed. If the student has not yet spoken with their advisor about their leave, they must do so to understand any academic implications from taking a leave. A request for a leave for medical reasons will require additional approval from Counseling and Wellness Services and/or the Medical Services Division of the Student Health Center. A leave is official only after the student receives final written approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The student should be aware that a leave of absence may affect financial aid, University housing, and visa status (for international students). Students should discuss these ramifications with the appropriate offices before applying for a leave. While on leave, students are responsible for meeting all financial aid and housing deadlines relevant to returning students. Students receiving federal loans (SSL and Perkins) should note that a leave of absence does not certify one as an enrolled student for the purpose of loan deferral. There is a separate leave of absence procedure for those seeking to register off-campus during their leave.

As a general rule, a leave of absence must be requested prior to the first day of classes of the semester. Requests for leaves after this date will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A leave will not be granted after the end of the second week of classes. This marks the conclusion of the drop/add period, after which a student withdrawing for the term receives grades of W in all courses. The grade of Incomplete is not possible for a student on leave, and the student is not permitted to make up work for courses after a W is assigned, as it is a terminal grade. If a student is granted a leave after the semester has begun, the same graduated refund schedule applying to withdrawal from classes is in effect. The refund schedule is strictly enforced.

Medical Withdrawals

Students who find they must withdraw for medical reasons after the second week of classes may request a medical withdrawal. The process for requesting a medical withdrawal is similar to that of requesting a medical leave of absence, except that the student’s courses remain on the transcript, with final grades of W. As this may affect eligibility for financial aid, students requesting a medical withdrawal (as opposed to a medical leave of absence) should consult with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships before making a final decision to withdraw.

Extending a Leave

The normal time limit for a leave is one academic year (or two consecutive semesters) in total. To request an extension of a leave, the student must write to the Director of Student Affairs. Be sure to include the reasons for the extension and the time period involved. An extension of the leave may be granted for good cause, but for no longer than an additional two consecutive semesters. (Exceptions to these time limits can be made for students fulfilling military obligations.)

Returning from a Leave

Students will receive email notification at least six weeks prior to the registration period for the semester of their intended return. In this email, the student will fill out the google form confirming their intent to return or requesting an extension of their medical leave. If the reason for the medical leave of absence or medical withdrawal was through the Student Health Center (for non-mental health reasons), students will need to have their medical provider fill out the SHC “Certificate of Readiness Form” and upload it to their Student Health Portal. For mental health leaves through the Counseling and Wellness Center, students must have their health care provider complete a “CWS Certificate of Readiness to Return Form” and make an appointment with Counseling and Wellness at 212-998-4780 to be assessed for provisional clearance. If provisional clearance is granted, the student will be provisionally reactivated in the Student Information System and be permitted to register for courses. No later than one month prior to the beginning of classes, the student must have their health care provider complete an updated “Certificate of Readiness to Return” and make an appointment to be assessed (at no charge to the student) by the Director of Counseling and Wellness (or their designee), who will provide a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs regarding the student’s fitness to return. If the student has not completed these steps by the first day of classes, their provisional reinstatement will be revoked and they will be de-enrolled from courses. 

Appeal of a Decision Denying Re-enrollment

A student may appeal a decision denying re-enrollment to the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) in writing within ten business days (excluding weekends and federal and state holidays) of receiving the decision. The Provost shall review the record and any additional information submitted by the student and render a decision within ten business days (excluding weekends and federal and state holidays) of receiving the appeal. The Provost’s decision shall be final. The Provost may extend the time limits set forth above as necessary.

Involuntary Leave of Absence 

The Tisch School of the Arts/ New York University may place a student on an involuntary leave of absence from that student’s academic program when that student: 1) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of self or others; and 2) is not able or not willing to take a voluntary leave of absence.

Process of Being Placed on an Involuntary Leave

When an involuntary leave is under consideration, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will consult with necessary University officials. A psychological and/or medical evaluation may be required and completed by Counseling and Wellness Services and/or the Medical Services Division of the Student Health Center if the conduct giving rise to the involuntary leave was caused by a medical or psychological condition. The student will be asked to provide relevant medical and/or psychological information from their health care provider.

Following the review of a completed psychological and/or medical evaluation and upon consideration of the recommendations made by any of the above University officials, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will make a decision about the leave. The student will be informed in writing of the decision and, if a leave of absence is mandated, the terms and conditions of the leave and re-enrollment.

Duration of Involuntary Leave

A student placed on an involuntary leave must be on leave for no fewer than one full academic semester (excluding the semester in which the student is required to leave) and no longer than two full academic semesters. An extension of the leave period may be granted for a good cause.

Appeal of an Involuntary Leave Decision

A student who is placed on an involuntary leave may appeal the decision to the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) within three business days (excluding weekends and federal and state holidays) of the decision. The appeal should be made in writing and should set forth the basis for the appeal. The Provost has ten business days from receipt of the appeal (excluding weekends and federal and state holidays) to affirm or reverse the decision, which is then considered final. The Provost may extend the time limits set forth above as necessary.

Returning from an Involuntary Leave

Students wishing to return from an involuntary leave of absence should follow the procedures above for returning from a voluntary leave. Note: Students returning from an involuntary leave imposed for medical or psychological reasons are required to obtain a medical clearance.

Non-Sanctioned Leave of Absence

Students will be placed on a NSLA for non-enrollment by the drop/add deadline without a formal request for an approved leave of absence. If students do not request an approved LOA or enroll after one term of NSLA, students will be withdrawn from the University.


Auditing means registering, paying for (or having included in the flat fee), and completing the work specified by the instructor in classes for which you will not receive credit toward your degree. A grade of R is automatically given in audited courses. Students are permitted to register as an auditor in TSOA courses provided that they have the permission of:

  1. the instructor;
  2. the department offering the course; 
  3. the student’s primary department.

Auditors register after students taking the course for credit have registered, provided that space and equipment are still available. Students do not register themselves as auditors on Albert; the process requires a signed add/drop form sent to the Office of the Registrar with "register as auditor" noted in the special processing section.

Students may not audit more than one course per semester, nor more than three courses during an undergraduate career. Credit is not granted for audited courses, and auditing does not count toward degree requirements and full-time status. 

Change of Major

Students interested in changing their major within Tisch must apply to the intended program by submitting a Change-of-Major Application. The application is available online at Student Affairs FormsOnce the application and portfolio have been reviewed by the department in which the student would like to major, a letter will be sent to the student indicating whether or not the change of major is accepted by that program. The following points are important to keep in mind when considering a change of major: 

  • Students must complete one year of coursework before being eligible for a change of major. 
  • All departments require an audition, portfolio or other creative materials as part of the admission process. 
  • Acceptance into one TSOA department does not guarantee acceptance into another TSOA department. 
  • Deadline for submission is March 1st. Departments do not allow mid-year change of majors. 
  • Students interested in a transfer to another NYU division should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Double Major/Minor

In all Tisch undergraduate departments students may choose to pursue a second major or a minor. The second major or minor may be in another division of NYU or within TSOA, assuming that the department allows such study. A second major outside of Tisch can only be pursued within the College of Arts and Science. Please note that a second major results in one degree with two areas of specialization. If the double major or minor is in another division of NYU, the primary department is the TSOA department. If work for a second major or minor is done in TSOA, the primary department is the department into which a student was first accepted. If minoring, the primary department is always the department of your major.

Students may declare a minor through Albert. To declare a double major outside the Tisch School of the Arts, students should fill out the Declaration of a Second Major form, then meet with an advisor from the second department to review and complete the form. The completed form should be submitted to the primary department. Students who wish to complete a double major in another department within the Tisch School of the Arts must complete the Tisch Double Major Application. The number of double majors within the Tisch School of the Arts is limited. Double majors in two production departments are not permitted. 

Some course work done to satisfy requirements of the second major or minor may occasionally be used toward degree requirements of the primary department; e.g., psychology courses from a second major in psychology might be applicable toward the social science portion of your TSOA general education requirement. No student may double count more than two courses between two majors, and no more than one course may be double counted between a major and a minor. Additionally, in planning a second major or minor(s), students should take into consideration the effect on financial aid and added time.

Studying Away from the NYU Campus

Study Away Opportunities

The Tisch Office of Special Programs administers Tisch specialized professional training and courses for Tisch students in many international locations over the course of the fall, spring, and summer semesters, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Florence, Havana, London, Paris, Prague, and Sydney. Students should visit the Office of Special Programs website for more information.

There are many additional international study, study away, and exchange programs sponsored by the NYU Office of Global Programs. Tisch students can take advantage of programs in Abu Dhabi, Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington D.C. All of the above programs carry NYU credit and students register, after receiving advisor and program approval, in the normal manner for the designated NYU course numbers. 

Applying for Permission to Register Off-Campus

Generally speaking, once a student has matriculated at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, the student is expected to complete all coursework at this institution. Classes in professional training, general education (liberal arts) and electives are seen as complementing each other and requisite courses in all areas are expected to be completed within the curriculum at New York University. Students interested in studying away are encouraged to look at NYU-sponsored programs first before turning to any outside curriculum. There are occasions when students wish to seek permission to take non-NYU courses either abroad or off-campus at another university within the country. If a student feels they have a sound educational reason for doing so, the student is encouraged to apply for permission to pursue the study and have credits apply to the degree here. There are two essential criteria governing this permission:

  1. Permission to register at another university, whether during the summer or during the academic year, whether inside the U.S. or abroad, will be granted only for compelling educational reasons. 
  2. In order to obtain permission, the course(s) should be in subject areas that are not taught at New York University. If the subject area of the course is available at New York University, students are expected to take courses in that subject at NYU. For example, a student seeking to take a psychology course at a local university over the summer between his junior and senior year would generally not be allowed to have those credits transfer, since there are a full range of psychology classes offered here at NYU. 

* There is one exception to these criteria. Students may enroll in a maximum of eight summer or J-term credits at another institution for any reason during their undergraduate career. Students must still seek permission to register for such courses using the procedure described below. To obtain permission, students should begin by speaking with a departmental advisor. To pursue permission after that, students must fill out the Application for Permission to Register Off-Campus

To be eligible for permission:

  1. A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the time of application.
  2. The proposed off-campus coursework must be at a properly accredited institution. 
  3. The proposed off-campus credit cannot cause the student to exceed the maximum number of transfer credits allowed by the student’s department.

For the coursework to be credited to the Tisch degree:

  1. Credit will be given only for coursework that has been approved on the Permission to Register Off-Campus form. If you plan on registering for a different course, you must obtain approval before the off-campus class begins.
  2. A grade of “C” or better must be obtained for credit to be granted. Credit will not be granted for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
  3. After completion of study, the student must, at the earliest date possible, have an official transcript of completed work sent to the Tisch Office of Student Affairs at No credit can be granted without receipt of an official transcript. 

Note that NYU operates on a semester system. If permission is granted to attend a university on the quarter system, credit will be granted according to the following formula: each quarter hour is equivalent to two thirds of a semester hour. A four credit quarter-hour course, therefore, will usually translate to two semester credits at NYU. NYU does not grant fractions of credits.


Undergraduate students who wish to return, must apply for readmission. Students who matriculated at another school during their absence from Tisch must apply for transfer admission through the Admissions Office. Readmission is subject to the conditions mandated by your department. Students might, for example, be required to re-audition or submit new creative materials.

If readmitted, students are automatically enrolled to their original department, and must abide by the degree requirements specified by the department at the time of readmission, unless otherwise indicated by the chair. Students who wish to apply for a change of major to another TSOA department must first be readmitted and then submit a Change-of-Major Application

Special Note: The only exception to readmission policy as stated above is as follows: If a Tisch undergraduate student has met graduation requirements and is placed on the graduation list within one calendar year of the end of the semester of their last registration, and has no need to register for additional NYU credits in order to graduate, the student may, upon being placed on the graduation list by their department, be automatically reactivated by the Registrar without the need to reapply for admission. 

Transfer and Articulation Agreements

Evaluation of Credit for Transfer Students

The following pertains to undergraduate students:

  • Transfer credit is evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for all external transfers and by the student’s new department for all internal transfers. Credits are evaluated in both the major and nonmajor areas (except in the Dance Department and Photography and Imaging Department where credit in the major or in a related area is granted at the discretion of the chair of the department). 
  • Generally, professional courses will be considered for elective credit only. Students should be aware that in all departments there is a specific maximum number of transfer credits allowed due to departmental residency requirements.
  • In general, when granting advanced standing, the following are considered: the content, complexity, and grading standards of courses taken elsewhere; individual grades and grade point averages attained by the applicant; the suitability of courses taken elsewhere for the program of study chosen here; and the degree of preparation that completed courses provide for more advanced study here. 
  • All transfer students must adhere to the specific Tisch major and general education degree requirements. Internal transfer students should pay special attention to the change(s) in their Academic Requirements since advanced standing credit allocation will be adjusted according to the TSOA policy.
  • NYU operates on a semester system. Credit transferred from a school that is on a quarter system will transfer according to the following formula: 2/3 semester hour = 1 quarter hour. Thus, if successful completion of a 4-quarter-hour course will transfer as 2 semester credits here. NYU does not grant fractions of credits.
  • Transfer students are sent a tentative evaluation of credit with the acceptance letter; the final evaluation is completed upon receipt of final transcripts from all previous institutions. Students should refer to the tentative evaluation for course selection during their first registration.
  • Transfers must submit final official transcripts from all former colleges to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions so that transfer credits can be finalized by the end of the first semester. Until transfer credit is finalized, students are not considered fully matriculated in TSOA. 
  • If a student thinks their transfer evaluation does not accurately reflect a proper distribution of their previous college work, the evaluation may be appealed through the department. All adjustments to the transfer evaluation must be made within the first year at TSOA. After such time no amendments to the statement of transfer credit will be considered.
  • Only courses in which a grade of C or above was earned are eligible for transfer credit. There are no exceptions. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis will not be accepted for credit.
  • Credit is accepted only from colleges or universities that have been accredited by the regional Association of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. An exception is made when a school is in the trial period of “Candidacy” for accreditation.
  • Students who have taken a course elsewhere or have presented Advanced Placement credit in a course area should not retake the equivalent of the course at New York University. Credit will not be granted for the same course twice.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Departmental Academic Standards

Given the diversified curriculum offered at TSOA, each department has its own degree requirements and its own standards for evaluating student progress. You are responsible for knowing your department’s regulations. But you should also know that there is a School-wide minimum grade requirement in TSOA. All undergraduate students are required to earn a grade of C or better in courses taken in their major. Students who fail to earn a C or better must repeat the course in order for the credit to count toward major requirements. Both grades will be computed in the grade point average and will appear on the transcript, but only the credits for the repeated course will count towards the degree. Please also see “Academic Probation” for additional information on academic standards.

Please note that in order to be eligible to participate in any position of leadership in student government or student clubs, a TSOA student must be in good academic and social standing in accordance with both departmental and School standards.

Grades and Grading Policies 


The following are terminal grades, i.e. grades that may not be changed once they have been recorded: A, B, C, D, P, F, W. The following is a provisional grade and cannot remain on the transcript: Incomplete (I). An incomplete must be changed to a letter grade.

For undergraduates, A indicates excellent work; B indicates good work; C indicates satisfactory work; D indicates passable work and is the lowest passing grade; and F indicates failure. Instructors may give grades of plus and minus and these will be recorded and computed in your average. There are no grades of A plus or D minus. The designation of R is used to indicate an officially registered audited course; no credit is granted for an audited class.

The grade of P or Pass indicates that you completed the work satisfactorily. Only certain courses in TSOA are graded using pass/fail grading. The grade of W indicates official withdrawal from a course. Incomplete (I) is a provisional or temporary grade indicating that you have, for a compelling reason, not completed all of the work for a course. If outstanding work is not completed within the specified time limit agreed upon between the professor and you, the Incomplete grade will lapse to the final grade given by the professor or the expiration date of the Incomplete period, which is typically the end of the following semester.

Calculating the Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed at the end of each semester by the Registrar’s Office and appears on your transcript. The grade point average is calculated as follows:

Grades are assigned the following “weights”: 

A = 4.0 

A- = 3.667

B+ = 3.333

B = 3.0 

B- = 2.667 

C+ = 2.333 

C = 2.0 

C- = 1.667

D+ = 1.333

D = 1.0

F = 0

To calculate your GPA, multiply the “grade weight” listed above by the number of points the course was worth. Thus, an A- in a 4 point course equals 14.8. Add together all the values thus calculated and divide by the number of points completed. The result is your grade point average. 

Grading Policies

Except for W and P, all grades for courses taken for credit at any division of NYU are computed in your average, beginning with those earned during your first term of registration at New York University. Therefore, for students who transfer from another division of NYU into TSOA, the grade point average will carry over to the record as a Tisch student. If, while registered in another division of NYU, students completed SPS courses, those grades will not be computed in the TSOA grade point average or count toward a student’s degree unless they transferred from an SPS undergraduate degree program. Grades for courses taken at other colleges and universities are not computed in the NYU grade point average. If a student repeats a non-repeatable course, both grades will be computed in the grade point average. However, the student will only receive credit towards the overall credits once. Please note that a notation will appear on the transcript indicating that the course was repeated. 

Changing a Grade

Once the grades for a course have been reported to the Registrar’s Office, the only grade that can be changed is the grade of I. The instructor will initiate a change of grade which will require the approval of both the departmental chair and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Approved changes of grade are sent to the University Registrar’s Office where the transcript is changed accordingly. Permanent grades may not be changed. Additional work completed after a final grade has been entered does not constitute a valid reason for a grade change. Completion of work can result in a change of grade only when the grade initially given was “Incomplete.” Grade changes for courses taken in other divisions of the University must be approved by the appropriate officers of the division involved. The policies and procedures of those divisions can be found in the appropriate bulletin or by contacting that division’s academic affairs office. Transcripts are never changed for any reason after the student has graduated.

Grade Appeals

Permanent grades may be changed only under the following circumstances a) if there has been an error on the instructor’s part in calculating your grade or b) if you have evidence that the instructor graded unfairly due to personal prejudice. The instructor’s judgment of the quality of a student’s submitted work may not be appealed. Based on this criteria, if a student believes they have received a grade they did not earn, they may appeal in writing to the instructor for a change. The deadline for appealing a grade is the last day of classes of the semester following the semester in which the grade was given. In cases where the instructor is on sabbatical, the deadline will be extended until the last day of classes of the semester in which the instructor has returned from sabbatical. The instructor will consider the appeal and respond in writing, stating their reasons for their decision and copying the Department Chair. If the instructor agrees with the appeal and decides to change the original grade, they must submit a grade change in Albert. The grade change will need to be approved online by the department chair and the director of academic services. A student may appeal an instructor’s decision in writing to their Department Chair, using the same criteria enumerated above. The Chair will review the submitted evidence, consult with the instructor, and render a decision in writing, stating their reasons for their decision and copying both the student and the instructor. In considering an appeal, a Chair may not substitute their own judgment of the quality of a student’s work for that of the instructor.

The student or instructor may appeal the Chair’s decision in writing to the Committee on Academic Affairs, a standing committee of the Tisch School of the Arts faculty. The only possible bases of such an appeal are that the Department Chair did not review the submitted evidence, did not consult with the instructor, did not render a decision in writing, or there is evidence of personal prejudice on the part of the Chair. The Committee will review the submitted evidence and render a final, written decision in the matter. There is no appeal of a decision of the Committee on Academic Affairs.

Incompletes and Extensions

Students are expected to complete all coursework by the end of each semester. If, for compelling reasons, such as illness or a family emergency, a student is unable to complete coursework by the end of the semester, they may request a grade of Incomplete. To do so, the student must fill out an Incomplete Request Form and bring it to the instructor for their approval before the last day of classes. The awarding of a grade of Incomplete is at the discretion of the instructor and is not guaranteed. If the instructor agrees that a grade of Incomplete is warranted, they will specify on the Incomplete Request Form the deadline by which outstanding work must be completed, not to exceed the end of the semester following the course, as well as the final grade the student will receive if the outstanding work is not completed by the deadline. The Incomplete Request Form will be registered with the department sponsoring the course and a copy will be provided to the Office of Student Affairs. If the incomplete work is not completed within the designated period, the grade will lapse to the final grade indicated by the instructor. If no lapse grade has been noted by the professor, the grade will automatically lapse to an F. Final grades cannot be changed except in cases of faculty or administrative error. If a student has good reason for not being able to complete the outstanding work in the specified period, they may apply for an extension by the instructor. In order to receive an extension, the student may request an Incomplete Extension and submit the form to the instructor, who will then decide whether or not to grant the extension. 

Please remember that it is the student’s responsibility to request the grade of Incomplete and that instructors are not obliged to grant an Incomplete. Note that outstanding grades of Incomplete do not count as earned credit hours and therefore may affect registration time and/or eligibility for financial aid. Students with more than one grade of Incomplete in a semester may be placed on academic probation.

Pass/Fail Option

Some courses in the following departments are graded on a pass/fail system: Graduate Acting, Dance, ITP, Graduate Dramatic Writing, and Graduate Musical Theatre Writing. All other departments use the letter grade system. In addition to these courses, undergraduates may request to take a course on a pass/fail basis, subject to the following conditions: 

  • A student may take no more than one course each semester on a pass/fail basis, including the summer sessions. 
  • No more than 32 credits of courses taken pass/fail can be counted toward the student’s degree. Tisch courses specifically designed to be pass/fail are not included in the 32-credit maximum.
  • The choice to take a course pass/fail must be made by each term’s class withdrawal deadline. 
  • The grade of P includes the grades of A, B, C, and D, and is not counted in the student’s GPA. A grade of F is counted in the GPA.
  • A student may only receive elective credit for courses taken pass/fail. Courses taken pass/fail may not fulfill major, minor, or general education requirements.
  • Once a course has been changed to a pass/fail grading basis, it cannot be changed to the letter-grade grading basis. 

Double-Counting Courses

Undergraduate students are permitted to count only one course from their primary major toward a minor. In cases where students pursue a second major within Tisch, exceptions may be made to allow for more than one course to count towards both majors. This is at the discretion of both departments.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is compiled at the end of each academic year. The list comprises matriculated students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.65 or higher for the academic year (September to May) in at least 28 graded points. To be listed, a student must not have any grades of Incomplete at the time the list is compiled. Students receive a letter from the Dean and a notation is made on the student’s transcript.

Internships Receiving Academic Credit

Internships can be a valuable way to supplement knowledge gained in the classroom with experience in professional working environments. Each department has its own policies regarding the awarding of academic credit for internships; however, the following elements shall apply to all credit-bearing internships:

  •  the internship will be registered as a course with an appropriate course number
  •  the internship course will have a faculty sponsor, although some departments may designate staff members to oversee the course under faculty supervision
  •  each internship course will have a complete and thorough syllabus detailing learning objectives; writing requirements, which shall include, at minimum, midterm and end-of-term reflection papers; a rationale for the number of credits awarded for the internship; and grading criteria
  •  there will be a detailed learning contract signed by the student, internship site supervisor, and faculty sponsor or their designee, who will ensure that the internship is a true learning experience for the student the internship site supervisor will complete midterm and end-of-term evaluations of the student’s work on the internship, which will be reviewed by the faculty sponsor or their designee.

Academic Probation 

Students in departments that grade on a Pass/Fail basis must receive grades of Pass in all courses to remain in good standing. In addition, students must earn at least half of their attempted credit hours in a given semester - that is, receive final, passing grades, excluding grades of I or W. Undergraduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and achieve a GPA of 2.0 in each semester in order to remain in good academic standing. In addition, students must earn at least half of their attempted credit hours in a given semester - that is, receive final, passing grades excluding grades of I or W. Students must also register for at least 12 credits each semester, unless they have received permission from their advisor and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to study part-time. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation with a bachelor’s degree. Student records are reviewed following the fall and spring semesters. Any student whose record falls below the academic standards enumerated above may be placed on academic probation.

Undergraduate students on academic probation must receive a semester GPA of 2.0 or better, achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, and successfully complete at least half of their registered courses (that is, receive final grades, not including grades of I or W) in order to be restored to good academic standing. Students who fail to meet these standards are subject to dismissal. In some cases, undergraduate students who show improvement in their records, but still do not meet the School’s academic standards (such as the cumulative GPA of 2.0), may be continued on academic probation for an additional semester.

Except in the most extenuating circumstances (such as students returning on probation from an academic dismissal), students are not eligible for more than two semesters of academic probation during their undergraduate career.

Readmission from Academic Dismissal

Students who are academically dismissed must wait a full year before applying for readmission. As part of their application for readmission, they must show evidence of being prepared to resume academic work successfully, such as a transcript from another institution showing successful completion of academic work. Readmission is not guaranteed. Students who are readmitted from an academic dismissal will return on terminal academic probation.


Expected Date of Graduation

The term in which you expect to graduate is a very important part of your student record. This is particularly true if you have financial aid of any form, including loans. 

Applying for Graduation

Students may officially graduate in September, January or May. The Commencement ceremony for all schools is held in May. In order to graduate in a specific semester, students must apply for graduation within the application deadline period indicated below. It is recommended to apply for graduation no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to complete all program requirements. Waiting to receive end of term comprehensive exams, thesis or final project results before you apply for graduation will result in a delay of your graduation date. If you do not successfully complete all academic requirements by the end of the semester, you must reapply for graduation for the following cycle. Please refer to the specific deadlines for the completion of requirements for each graduation available in the Registrar’s graduation calendar

Tisch Salute and Commencement

The Tisch School of the Arts Salute to the Graduating Class and the New York University Commencement ceremony are held at the conclusion of the spring semester. Students on the official graduation list are emailed formal invitations for both events. Academic attire is required. Questions relating to Salute and/or Commencement should be directed to the Tisch Office of Student Affairs at

Honors & Awards

Tisch School of the Arts Production Awards

A number of production awards are granted annually to students in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. The following production awards are made possible by the generosity of private donors and are generally awarded to returning juniors and seniors working on film projects of exceptional merit as determined by the faculty:

  • Thomas William Gidro-Frank Production Award
  • Malcolm Ross Memorial Film Production Award
  • Richard Provotin Animation Award
  • Lancer Family Film Production award
  • Todd Phillips ’94 Production Award
  • Geza Decsy Memorial Production Award
  • G.W. Dickinson Production Award
  • The NEXT STEP Fund
  • Akhtar-Bhutta Fund for Student Producers
  • George Heinemann Production Award
  • Cohen Fund for Student Producers
  • Christopher B. Smithers Production Award
  • Alan Landsburg Documentary Post-Production Award
  • Lora Hays Award for Documentary Editing
  • Smith Film Scoring Award
  • Chris Columbus Film Production Award
  • Tiro A. Signo Production Award
  • Volker Bahnemann Award for Cinematography
  • Clive Davis Award for Excellence in Music in Film
  • Haig Manoogian Production Award
  • Niklas Kalborg Production Award
  • Russell Carmine Excellence in Cinematography Award

Founders Day Award & Tisch Honors 

Each year, the University honors its founders by saluting its top-ranking baccalaureate candidates and outstanding members of the faculty. Eligibility for the Founders Day Award is determined by the Office of the University Registrar and awarded to September and January baccalaureate recipients and May degree candidates. Eligibility will be determined through the final semester of the students’ senior year. Students who are eligible in time for commencement will be able to wear gold tassels at the ceremony. Those who become eligible after the final semester calculations will receive their certificates and tassels thereafter. Undergraduate Tisch School of the Arts students of exceptional achievement are recognized by a TSOA honors designation upon graduation. Criteria for honors vary from department to department. To be eligible, students must complete a minimum of 60 “averageable” points at NYU. Criteria for graduation with honors is as follows:

  • Undergraduate Division, Kanbar Institute of Film & Television students must earn a GPA of 3.65 and above
  • Department of Dance students must be in the top 10% of graduating class
  • All other departments require a GPA of 3.5 and above. Students who meet the standard have the designation “with honors” added to their final transcripts. 

The Founders Day Award and graduating with honors are separate and distinct honors with different criteria. Eligibility for one does not necessarily constitute eligibility for the other. 

Latin Honors

To be graduated with Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude), a student must have earned at least 64 points at NYU. All graded NYU courses taken while enrolled either in Tisch or in another school of NYU will be used in computing the grade point average on which Latin honors are based. The GPA cutoffs for each category are determined by the combined GPA distribution from the preceding academic year, all graduation moments included. Summa cum laude: the GPA included within the top 5 percent of the previous year’s graduating class. Magna cum laude: the GPA included within the next 10 percent of the previous year’s class. Cum Laude: the GPA included within the next 15 percent of the previous year’s class.

Degree Requirements 

Expository Writing and Core Curriculum are required of all undergraduate students. The courses that fulfill this requirement are part of a Core Curriculum sequence at the Tisch School of the Arts required of all freshmen. The expository writing and core curriculum requirement cannot be waived or substituted with advanced standing test scores, although transfer students may be able to substitute equivalent course work taken elsewhere, and students for whom English is a second language may be required to take a separate sequence of writing courses. The TSOA policies in regard to Expository Writing and the Core Curriculum are as follows.

The Core Curriculum - Description

The Core Curriculum is required of all freshmen and fulfills the Expository Writing requirement. Transfer students are evaluated as to whether or not they have previously fulfilled their writing requirement upon receipt by the admissions office of the final transcript. The Core Curriculum consists of two courses; EXPOS-UA 5: Art in the World/Writing the Essay, offered in the fall semester and ASPP-UT 2: The World Through Art/Writing the Essay, offered in the spring semester. All incoming freshmen must take both semesters. Each course consists of a plenary lecture that meets three times throughout the fall semester and weekly during the spring semester, as well as a workshop that meets twice a week for both the fall and spring semesters. These courses mix different artistic media so as to integrate students’ various professional interests. They seek to combine practical and theoretical approaches in order to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the function of art in the world. These writing courses are intensive, interdisciplinary and collaborative. Lectures and workshops focus on how to read complex texts for an understanding of their arguments and how to write well-reasoned essays supported by evidence. These courses are designed to foster an appreciation of how the arts relate to each other and to society in a changing world. They allow students to reflect on a range of social and ethical issues as they pertain to their own creativity.

Requirement for Students Admitted as First-Year Students 

Completion of both semesters of the core curriculum sequence (8.0 credits) is required of all students admitted as freshmen, regardless of whether or not the student has taken a college writing course in high school. College level expository writing courses taken while in high school are not transferable for credit towards the Tisch BFA or BA degree. Advanced Placement credits in English Composition are not accepted and a student admitted as a freshman cannot place out of the requirement. In addition to fulfilling the Core Curriculum requirement, registering for the two-course sequence and linked sections fulfills the two-semester Expository Writing requirement. Students must earn a passing grade in the fall course, EXPOS-UA 5: Art in the World/Writing the Essay, as a precondition for enrollment in the spring semester course, ASPPUT 2: The World Through Art/Writing the Essay. 

Additional Notes

For students admitted as freshmen, the Expository Writing requirement and the Core Curriculum requirement are only satisfied by successful completion of the two-semester core curriculum sequence as outlined above. There are no exemptions based on advanced standing or level of writing skill.

Transfer Requirements

To fulfill the expository writing requirement, transfer students must have completed a minimum of one semester of the equivalent of Art in the World/Writing the Essay (minimum of 3 credits) before entering the Tisch School of the Arts. Transfer students who do not have transferable credits will be required to take the first term of the Core Curriculum sequence, EXPOS-UA 5: Art in the World/Writing the Essay. The course is only offered in the fall term.

Transfer students will be evaluated as to whether or not they have previously fulfilled their writing requirement upon receipt of their final transcript. International Students and Students for Whom English is a Second Language (ESL) International students who have submitted English language test scores as part of their application will also be required to complete an online writing assessment in order to participate in registration for fall classes. The writing assessment will determine whether students are placed into EXPOS-UA 5: Art in the World/Writing the Essay, or the international sections of this course, or EXPOS-UA 3: International Writing Workshop: Introduction. This preliminary course, EXPOS-UA 3: International Writing: Introduction, does not satisfy the expository writing core curriculum. Following completion of this course, the next appropriate course is EXPOS-UA 4: International Writing Workshop I, followed the next semester by EXPOS-UA 9: International Writing Workshop II. Successful completion of both courses is the equivalent of completing EXPOS-UA 5: Art in the World/Writing the Essay and ASPP-UT 2: The World Through Art/Writing the Essay. 

Students admitted as transfers may satisfy the requirement either by transfer credit or by completing the first semester of the core curriculum sequence. Transfers who do not receive transfer credit in expository writing may petition for a waiver of the requirement based on the quality of graded written work and research accomplished in prior coursework. Transfers should be aware that waivers are granted rarely and only after a rigorous review by the NYU Expository Writing Program. 


Degree candidates must be in attendance at the school while completing the last 32 points for the degree. All students should consult their departments regarding department-specific requirements.

Time Limit for Completion of Degree Requirements

The time limit for completing all requirements for the BA, BFA, MFA, MPS, and MA (Moving Image Archiving and Preservation) is 5 years from the date of matriculation. (M.A. and Ph.D. students in Cinema Studies and Performance Studies should consult their respective department handbooks for time-to-degree limits). For students granted official leaves of absence the length of time will be extended by the length of leave granted. No undergraduate student will be continued beyond 8 years from the initial date of matriculation.

Advanced Standing Credit 

General Policy: For all undergraduate departments, with the exception of Dance, the maximum number of advanced standing credits that will be counted toward the degree from standardized tests (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and national examinations such as A-levels) and college credit taken in high school is 32 credits. Up to 8 credits from standardized tests may be applied toward the general education requirement; the remainder will be applied only to the elective requirement. For entering freshmen, the total number of advanced credits and transfer credits from college courses taken while in high school cannot exceed 32. Credit will only be granted if the tests have been taken prior to enrollment at NYU. Once a student has enrolled, all credits toward the degree must be taken as coursework. Advanced placement credits for entering students are not posted until the end of the first year, and only upon request to the academic advisor. Credit for national examinations must be reviewed by the student’s advisor and Tisch Academic Services. The Department of Dance does not grant any advanced standing credit based on examination results and limits the number of advanced standing credits for college courses taken while in high school to a maximum of 8.

Credit for Standardized Testing: Advanced Placement (AP)

The Advanced Placement Examination (AP) is administered by the Educational Testing Service. For eligible AP subjects, if the score received is 4 or 5, credit will be granted. No credit is granted for the English Language or Music Theory exams. Students receiving credit toward the degree may not take the corresponding college-level course for credit. If they do, they will lose the Advanced Placement credit. Under no circumstances may the Advanced Placement English exam be used to exempt a student from the Expository Writing requirement. A maximum of 8 credits may be applied to General Education requirements. Remaining credit will be applied to elective credit only. 

Credit for Standardized Testing: International Baccalaureate (IB)

The School recognizes eligible IB subjects as advanced standing credit higher level examinations passed with grades of 6 or 7. No credit is granted for standard level examinations. Official reports must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for review, and the same credit limit and distribution policies applying to the AP apply to the IB.

Credit for College Courses Taken While in High School

Credit for college courses taken while in high school is granted for courses in which the grade received is “C” or better. Credit will not be granted for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.

Use of Foreign Language Course Work to fulfill the General Education Requirement

A transfer student who has taken only one semester of a beginning-level foreign language must take the second semester of the same language while enrolled at Tisch in order for the credit to be applied to the Language/Literature or Humanities area in General Education. Such a student receives only elective credit for the one semester of prior course work until a second semester is completed. A continuing Tisch student who completes a single semester of a beginning level foreign language receives credit in the Electives category only. The student must successfully complete two semesters of the same foreign language in order for it to count in a specific general education area (e.g., Language/Literature or Humanities) of the degree requirement. As an exception, a single semester of a beginning foreign language course will count toward Humanities / General Education requirements if the course is taken at the study away site where the language is spoken. For example, if a student takes SPAN-UA 9001 Spanish for Beginners in Madrid, it will count as Humanities, even if the student does not take SPAN-UA 2 Spanish for Beginners - Level II.

Placement Examinations for Courses in the College of Arts and Science

The College of Arts and Science offers placement examinations in calculus, computer science, and numerous foreign languages. See CAS Placement Examinations for more information.

Policy on General Education Courses for the BA and BFA Degrees

As a general rule, only academic courses offered in the College of Arts and Science and approved academic courses offered at the Tisch School of the Arts may be used to fulfill the general education requirement, which varies by department. However, some courses offered in other divisions in the University may also qualify as general education courses. Students seeking to have such courses count toward the general education requirement should consult with their academic advisor prior to registration; otherwise, the courses will count as electives. Questions on the classification of general education courses as humanities, social science, or natural science should be referred to the Director of Academic Services.

Policy on School of Professional Studies (SPS) Courses

As a Tisch student, you may enroll in courses in the School of Professional Studies (SPS) to enhance your studies. However, SPS courses are not eligible for credit toward the BA or BFA degree. Any grade received for an SPS course will not be included in a student’s GPA.