Drama

MFA Apply

  • Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Application Deadlines

    • Fall Term Directing and Playwriting Applicants: December 1
    • Fall Term Acting Applicants: January 15

    Financial Aid Deadlines

    All applicants admissible into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)

    Application Instructions

    All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.

    Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

    Applications to the School of Drama MFA are accepted only for the fall term. All classes leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree are offered in a studio environment. The program does not offer part-time, evening, or summer classes. See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations. Some of your required materials will be submitted through Acceptd:

    • Begin The School of Drama MFA online application and save your personal information.
    • Log on to the New School Performing Arts Acceptd portal. There is a small charge for Acceptd.
    • Complete and submit your Acceptd submission.
    • Enter the Acceptd confirmation code into your School of Drama MFA online application.

    Required Application Materials

    Application

    Complete the online application.

    Application Fee

    A nonrefundable $50 application fee paid as part of the online application.

    Official Transcripts

    Official transcripts must be provided for every undergraduate or graduate institution attended for course credit. We will expect an official transcript from each institution listed in the Academic History section of the application. Although not required, an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) can be uploaded with your application.

    Transfer Applicants

    The School of Drama MFA does not accept transfer credit. MFA students complete a full course of study together in order to develop a common vocabulary and strong ensemble.

    By Mail

    Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.

    Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions only)

    The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are

    • Parchment Exchange
    • SCRIP-SAFE International
    • National Student Clearinghouse

    We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

    International Academic Credentials

    All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

    International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits 

    Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed.

    If using WES, visit www.wes.org for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

    If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    Recommendation Letters

    Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    Acceptd Submissions

    These elements of the application will be submitted directly through Acceptd. CDs, DVDs, slides, original work, PowerPoint presentations, binders, and flash drives are not accepted.

    Directors, Playwrights, and Actors

    Statement of Purpose

    Please include an essay with a maximum of 500 words. The essay should be a reflection of your personality and interests, but there are some topics you might want to consider addressing. These include

    • The ways in which your academic and/or professional experiences have led you to apply to a graduate program in theater.
    • The reasons why this decision has led you to the School of Drama.
    • What, in your opinion, makes you an appropriate candidate for this program, and—equally important—what makes this program the right training for you.
    • What you expect to achieve at this school, and what you expect to achieve with your master’s degree after graduation.

    These ideas are meant to serve as guideposts, not rules, as you write; our hope is that this essay will give us a brief but accurate glimpse of you as a person and an artist—information that will be just as valuable as the transcripts and recommendations we receive.

    Directors

    Artistic Résumé

    Please include a document that contains a standard director’s résumé listing work developed, production history, and theatrical and directing training. Professional résumés not related to the theater are not required. Please upload in PDF format.

    Photograph

    We ask that all applicants upload a photograph. The picture need not be an actor’s head shot (though it may be, if you have one); a simple photograph of you will be fine.

    Production Portfolio

    The director’s portfolio is your opportunity to show us your process as a director. A complete portfolio will consist of two parts:

    • Directors Challenge: Prepare a directorial approach to a specific play – (Bryony Lavery's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House). Submit an essay describing your directing process for this production from vision to execution. (Maximum 500 words) Include any materials related to the production described in your essay, including script notes, thematic writing, administrative materials and research. (Maximum 10 Files)
    • Previous Work Portfolio: The director’s portfolio should include a range of production information. Reviews and production photographs should be included, if available; but what will be more helpful in evaluating your application will be materials that show us your process as a director. These materials might include excerpts from your director’s notebook or promptbook, script notes or thematic essays, blocking ideas, design sketches, scheduling and administrative materials, and research for any previous directing work. (Maximum 10 Files)

    Director Interviews and Callbacks

    After review of your application and Acceptd submissions, selected Directing candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview (in person or via Skype) with the Heads of Directing. Interviews will be held beginning in late January and continuing through February. If invited to interview, be prepared to discuss your application and Acceptd submissions and your artistic and academic goals. Candidates who are successful at the initial interview will be invited to Callback Weekend, on campus, in New York City in early March, where they will be adjudicated further. During Callback Weekend candidates will have the opportunity to create, produce and showcase new work, meet with faculty, other MFA candidates, current students and get an in-depth look at the School of Drama. Candidates invited to Callback weekend must be prepared to participate in all scheduled activities taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Playwrights

    Artistic Résumé

    Please include a document that contains a standard playwright’s résumé listing works written, production history, and theatrical and writing training. Professional résumés not related to the theater are not required. Please upload in PDF format.

    Photograph

    We ask that all applicants upload a photograph to include with their file. The picture need not be an actor’s head shot (though it may be, if you have one); a simple photograph of you will be fine.

    Writing Sample

    Required submission - One original full-length play. Optional additional submission— another piece of theatrical text e.g. one-act play, ten-minute play, monologues, choreopoems. (No Screenplays or Teleplays) All pages should be numbered on the top right and be uploaded in PDF format. Formatting should be in standard Broadway style, with character names above the dialogue, font style 12-point Courier or Times New Roman. Submissions may not be adapted from another writer’s source material.

    Playwright Interviews and Callbacks

    After review of your application and Acceptd submissions, selected Playwriting candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview (in person or via Skype) with the Head of Playwriting. Interviews will be held beginning in late January and continuing through February. If invited to interview, be prepared to discuss your application and Acceptd submissions and your artistic and academic goals. Candidates who are successful at the initial interview will be invited to Callback Weekend, on campus, in New York City in early March, where they will be adjudicated further. During Callback Weekend candidates will have the opportunity to create, produce and showcase new work, meet with faculty, other MFA candidates, current students and get an in-depth look at the School of Drama. Candidates invited to Callback weekend must be prepared to participate in all scheduled activities taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Actors

    Artistic Résumé

    Please include a standard actor’s résumé listing acting experience and theatrical training. Professional résumés not related to the theater are not required. Please upload in PDF format.

    Photograph

    We ask that all applicants upload a standard actor’s 8" x 10" headshot.

    Acting Portfolio (Optional)

    A video of you performing one classical monologue, 1-2 minutes in length. Please introduce yourself and your piece before you begin.

    Actors Auditions and Callbacks

    Actors who are invited to audition for the program have the option of auditioning in one of several cities in the United States. Auditions will be held beginning in late January and continuing through February. Actors are asked to prepare a one-minute contemporary monologue and a one-minute classical monologue. MFA Acting Candidates who are successful at the initial auditions will be invited to a to Callback Weekend, on campus, in New York City in early March, where they will be adjudicated further. During Callback Weekend candidates will have the opportunity to create, produce and showcase new work, meet with faculty, other MFA candidates, current students and get an in-depth look at the School of Drama. Candidates invited to Callback weekend must be prepared to participate in all scheduled activities taking place on both Saturday and Sunday. Please see our website for information about specific audition dates and locations. We strongly encourage acting applicants wishing to audition at our earliest dates to complete the application well before the January 10 deadline. We begin scheduling auditions on a rolling basis at the end of November and will contact applicants directly.

    Test Scores

    TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE

    All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 100, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 68. Our TOEFL institution code is 2385.

    The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:

    • Who have attended a secondary school for a minimum of three years where English is the primary language of instruction
    • Who have successfully completed two full semesters of non-ESL college-level expository writing
    • Who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance)

    Upon review of your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score.

    Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the institution codes listed above. We accept scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

    For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    Applying to More Than One Program

    In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.

    Readmission

    The Application for Readmission should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). If you would like to apply for readmission, review the readmission deadlines and requirements in the Readmission section of our How to Apply information.

    Application Materials

    All materials submitted in association with the New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.

    Application Status

    Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.

    Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.

    The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.

    Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials

    School of Drama
    Office of Admission (DR 300)
    79 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
    New York, NY 10003

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