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Frequently Asked Questions

When may I begin the program?

You may begin your studies in the fall or spring semester.

Are campus visits available?

Yes, we encourage you to attend a Graduate Gallatin Information Session.

How specific must I be about defining my program of study at the time of application?

You must propose a clear, focused, and cohesive program at the time of application and discuss a specific area of concentration in your Statement of Purpose. While you are not expected to know exactly which courses you will be taking, you should have a good idea as to which departments are relevant to your program of study and how you plan to integrate them. As you will be taking the majority of your courses outside of Gallatin, you should become familiar with the course offerings throughout NYU. You should attach to your Statement of Purpose a potential list of courses (with course numbers). Of course, if you attend Gallatin, your course selection will evolve over time, as you consult with your adviser.

Is it acceptable if my Statement of Purpose is longer than the allotted length?

Yes, but we prefer that the statement be approximately 1100 words plus your proposed course list.

Is a standardized test required for admission?

No, Gallatin does not require any standardized testing such as the GRE. If you have taken a standardized test and done well, you may submit the score.

Does Gallatin accept part-time students?

Yes, in fact many of our graduate students attend part-time. Most graduate courses throughout the University are offered in the evening. You may even start out by taking one course at a time. Keep in mind, though, that you must be registered for at least six credits to receive financial aid.

What happens if my transcripts and letters of recommendation arrive before my application?

This often happens and it is not a problem at all. We will keep your credentials on file until your application has been received.

What happens if my transcripts and letters of recommendation arrive after the application deadline?

The application deadline refers to the receipt of the application itself. Your credentials may follow. Of course, your file will not be reviewed until all credentials have been received.

May I submit additional letters of recommendation?

Yes. We require two letters of recommendation, but you may submit additional letters, if you wish.

May I submit additional materials, such as a writing sample, artistic portfolio, academic work, etc.?

Supplementary materials are not required. If you would like to submit supplementary materials such as artistic portfolios, writing samples etc., you are welcome to email them to John Bradley. If possible please send links including a title for each. When sending please indicate: "Supplemental Materials for your name " in the subject line.

Can I apply to more than one NYU graduate school?

Yes. You may apply to several NYU graduate schools. However, each school requires that you submit its own application and credentials.

If I've been out of school for some time, how will an admissions decision be reached?

Gallatin students range in age from their 20's to their 70's. Some students come to Gallatin directly from undergraduate school while some are professionals who have been working in their fields or who have been out of school for other reasons. Be sure to include a resume with your application. In your Statement of Purpose, be sure to discuss your professional background. While the undergraduate record is an important factor in the admissions decision, we review the entire profile of a student, particularly if you have not recently attended college.

How long does it take to complete the degree?

Full-time students usually complete the degree in 2 to 2 1/2 years, and you are given 6 years in which to complete the degree. Part-time students usually take 3 to 6 years to complete the M.A. degree.

Are all NYU graduate courses available to me as a Gallatin student?

While most NYU courses are open to Gallatin students, there are restrictions in some areas.

Some courses in the Tisch School of the Arts are open only to Tisch students, including courses in the departments of acting, dance, dramatic writing, and set, lighting and costume design. However, Gallatin students are able to pursue these areas through other courses in the University, such as Gallatin Arts Workshops;  the Steinhardt School’s departments of Dance Education and Educational Theatre; and Gallatin’s Private Lessons in professional studios. Tisch also offers an excellent array of courses through the Tisch Open Arts Curriculum, where courses in the arts are open to non-Tisch students. Graduate level Open Arts classes are available to Gallatin students.

If you are interested in film production, keep in mind that non-Tisch students are not able to take film courses in the graduate film department. However, you may take up to 12 credits in the undergraduate Department of Film and Television. The Department of Film and Television is the only one in which we allow our students to take undergraduate courses. You may also take graduate courses in film and television in the Tisch Open Arts Curriculum.

Gallatin students do not have access to classes in the medical or dental schools. Law school classes are open to Gallatin students with permission of the instructor.

May I study abroad as part of my graduate degree?

Most students at the graduate level do not study abroad. But if it is relevant to your program, it is certainly possible, if it is carefully planned. If you wish to study abroad, it is recommended that you participate in an NYU Study Abroad Program.

You may also consider participating in a summer study abroad, when many more abroad options are offered through the various NYU schools.

May I take courses outside of NYU?

Yes. Through concurrent registration, you may take a course at another university if NYU does not offer the course or you are unable to get into the course at NYU, provided the other university will admit you as a visiting student. You will continue to take courses at NYU and you may take a maximum of 6 credits through concurrent registration. Please note: all such courses must be approved in advance.

I've taken courses in another graduate program. Does Gallatin accept transfer credit?

Yes, Gallatin does accept credit from other graduate programs, either within NYU or at another institution, if relevant to your Gallatin program. A maximum of 12 credits (combined with course equivalency credit) may transfer. Please refer to the Admissions section of the Gallatin M.A. Bulletin (pdf), “Advanced Standing Transfer Applicants”.

Is it possible to pursue distance learning through Gallatin?

No, Gallatin is not a distance learning program. Most of the curriculum is taken on campus in a classroom setting. However, students are given the option to pursue a maximum of 12 credits of independent study or internship credit.

How are advisers selected?

All advisers are NYU faculty members who are selected by a Gallatin faculty committee. Once a student has been admitted, the faculty reviews the Statement of Purpose to determine the student's primary area of academic interest. We then contact a professor with an expertise in this area to see if that professor would be able to advise the student. The primary adviser may be a Gallatin faculty member or a faculty member in another NYU department.

If there is a faculty member with whom you would like to work, you may mention this as part of your Statement of Purpose. While we cannot guarantee that this person would become your adviser, it is possible for us to make the request. 

A student may request a change of adviser if he or she has taken a class or otherwise worked with a professor who might be closer to the student's field of study or a better match as adviser. 

Always keep in mind that you will also have a Gallatin faculty as your M.A. Program Adviser to supplement the work of the primary adviser.

May graduate Gallatin students live in NYU residence halls?

Yes, although on-campus housing is limited. Our students often use the resources of the NYU Off-Campus Housing Office. For details about housing, click here.

If I am taking courses in several different schools within NYU, how will I meet other Gallatin students?

At the beginning of the fall semester, all incoming students are invited to Convocation, where you meet the dean, faculty, and your classmates. This is a great way for our students to meet each other early in the year. Gallatin students also get to know each other in their Gallatin classes, such as the Gallatin Proseminar, Gallatin Elective Courses and the M.A. Thesis Seminar. Each spring, the Gallatin community comes together during our Gallatin Arts Festival, which began as a Gallatin student's master's thesis. A highlight of the M.A. program is the annual Master's Thesis Showcase, a series of performances and presentations by students who are completing theses. 

Gallatin's Office of Student Life seeks to enhance student life and community by providing opportunities for graduate students to connect through clubs and events.

I have a job that requires that I occasionally travel. May I take time off from my degree?

If you are taking a class, you should have a minimal number of absences. But if you know in advance that you will have responsibilities that may require you to take a semester away from the program, it is possible to maintain matriculation while not registering for courses during that time. Another possibility is to work with a professor to design an independent study.

Do Gallatin students continue to pursue a Ph.D?

Yes, although Gallatin is not a traditional route towards the Ph.D, as most Ph.D. programs are organized around disciplines and require further background in the discipline. However, a number of students at Gallatin have constructed their programs with enough depth in their studies or in conjunction with professional experience to gain admission to excellent Ph.D. programs.

What are the qualities of a successful Gallatin student?

Gallatin students are mature, self-motivated, focused, and disciplined. They have a clear idea of what they want to study and thrive in an environment where they are free to pursue their interests without the constraints of a more traditional program. A Gallatin student should have strong writing skills as a master's thesis is required. 

Some NYU departments expect that students have the background to do graduate level course work (i.e. psychology, sciences, foreign language), so in considering applications, we also look at preparation for study in certain areas that would require prior course work.

If you have other questions about Gallatin's Graduate Program, please contact us. 

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Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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