Public Engagement

Graduate School Admission FAQ

  • How long does it take to finish a graduate program?

    It takes two years of full-time study to complete a master’s degree and one year to complete a certificate. Most programs permit part-time study — except the MFA in Creative Writing and the Certificate in Documentary Media Studies, which are full-time only. Master’s programs must be completed within five years.

    How do I apply?

    You apply online using our electronic form. Read the application instructions for your program carefully; requirements may differ from program to program.

    Does The New School waive application fees?

    The New School waives application fees for those who meet the eligibility guidelines outlined on the application website.

    Should I submit an official or an unofficial transcript?

    Unofficial transcripts with evidence of degree conferral are uploaded at the time of application. Official transcripts will be required only if an offer of admission is made.

    What do admission committees look for in applicants?

    First, we are looking for reasons to admit, not reject, applicants. We seek a diverse student community with a broad range of experience for all of our programs. Graduate school admission decisions are based on an applicant’s potential to fit into the program and complete an advanced degree. Criteria include academic achievement and scholarship, motivation, maturity, and leadership potential, as evidenced by the applicant’s experience and as described in letters of recommendation. To learn more, join us at a graduate admission event and meet people associated with your program of interest.

    When do your classes begin each year?

    Classes for most programs begin the last week of August for the fall semester and the last week of January for the spring semester. Most programs offering a summer term begin the first week of June (some programs start later), but not all graduate programs offer courses in the summer.

    What is the deadline to apply?

    Most of our programs accept applications for fall and spring. Review deadline dates on the Admission Deadlines website.

    What is the tuition for a New School graduate program?

    Tuition varies somewhat by program. See the latest Tuition and Fees Schedule. Then review the Cost of Attendance table to get an idea of what your other expenses will be.

    Can I get financial aid?

    All graduate programs offer financial aid packages that include some combination of scholarships, fellowships, work-study jobs, and/or government loans. Graduate financial aid awards are based on merit. Indicate your interest in being considered for a merit-based scholarship by responding to the appropriate question on the application. Applications for admission received by the priority deadline (see deadlines above) are given priority consideration for financial aid.

    U.S. citizens and permanent residents should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal Application for Federal Student Aid at You do not need an admission decision to file FAFSA.

    Visit the Student Financial Services webpage to learn more about financial aid for graduate school.

    Do you have student housing for graduate students?

    Yes. There is limited housing in certain New School residence halls. You can apply for on-campus housing as soon as you respond to an offer of admission by paying the confirmation tuition deposit. Student Housing and Residential Life staff members can also help you find off-campus accommodations. Visit the Student Housing website to learn more about New School residence halls and Student Housing services.

    I submitted a complete application. When can I expect to hear back?

    Admission letters for the fall semester are mailed beginning March 15, and on a rolling basis after that date. Admission letters for the spring semester are mailed the second week in November.

    I have an offer of admission but won’t be able to attend. Can I defer my entry into the program?

    Deferral guidelines can be found on the Accepted Students website.

    I am an international student interested in studying for a semester or two. How do I apply as a visiting student?

    Some graduate programs permit highly qualified students from universities both in and outside of the United States to enroll as visiting students. Contact the Admission Office to see whether your program of interest offers this option and, if so, to get information about applying.

    Note that credits you earn as a visiting student will be treated as transfer credits if you later apply and are admitted to a New School degree program.

    I still need to speak to someone. How can I contact your office?

    Call 212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040 Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., or email us at