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nyu american studies phd acceptance rate

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

NYU’s American Studies PhD program is a highly sought-after program with a rigorous admissions process. The program accepts a limited number of students each year, making it quite competitive to gain acceptance.

In order to be considered for admission to NYU’s American Studies PhD program, applicants must have a strong academic background. This includes having a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all previous degree programs, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher typically expected. Additionally, applicants must submit a comprehensive application that includes letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and writing samples.

The admission process for NYU’s American Studies PhD program is highly selective. Each year, the program enrolls on average 20-24 new students across eight different fields of study. Students are only admitted for the fall semester, and the application process is competitive. It is important for applicants to carefully review the program’s admission requirements and submit a strong application to increase their chances of acceptance.



NYU American Studies PhD Acceptance RateDetailsIs NYU PhD hard to get into?Admission to the NYU Stern Doctoral Program is highly selective, with an enrollment of 20-24 new students per year across eight different fields of study. Students are only admitted for the fall semester.What GPA do you need for NYU PhD?Students applying to a doctoral program at NYU are required to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all previous degree programs. A GPA of 3.5 or higher is typically expected for admission.Quality of EducationThe high selectivity and GPA requirements for admission to the NYU American Studies PhD program indicate the institution’s commitment to academic excellence and maintaining a competitive academic environment.

New York University Rankings, Tuition, Acceptance Rate, etc.

new york university phd requirements

You will be asked to provide:

  • A 1-2 page statement of academic purpose, describing past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, and anything unusual we should know when evaluating your application. The application will also prompt you to submit an optional personal history statement. The personal history statement is truly optional. If you do feel that there is information relevant to your application, a brief paragraph will normally suffice. It will not be held against you if you choose not to include a personal history statement.
  • A CV or resume
  • A writing sample: This should be an example of polished, substantive philosophical writing. It should display your philosophical abilities at their strongest, and will need to manifest analytical skills on a par with students already in our program. It may be the most important part of your application. A reasonable length for this is 20-25 double-spaced pages. Some applicants submit more than one writing sample; this is alright if, for example, they display very different aspects of your philosophical capacities (for example, a paper in philosophical logic and one in ancient philosophy). If they don’t, we’ll most likely only look at one of the papers submitted. Short 10-page papers of the sort written for a class or a tutorial rarely show us enough of a candidate’s ability to be successful, and sending several of these is no better. Applications to our PhD program are intensely competitive. You’re best off taking extra time to select your best philosophical work and develop it into a mature, interesting piece of writing. Sometimes students send us sections of longer pieces of writing; this is OK in principle, but what you submit should be self-contained and should be enough on its own for us to reliably evaluate you. To enable anonymous review, author’s name and other identifying information should not be included in the writing sample.
  • Transcripts: You are strongly encouraged to scan and submit these electronically when you submit your application (with English translations, if needed). Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, but if you are admitted, you will have to submit final and official paper copies of your transcripts later. If your school is in the US, and your GPA is not shown on the transcript, you’ll need to calculate it and supply it in the application.

We ask that you include all of these documents as part of your online application. 

The GRE general test requirement is suspended for fall 2021 due to COVID-19. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department’s Admissions Committee. The GRE general test will be required again for fall 2022 and subsequent years.

Either the TOEFL or the IELTS is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers or who do not have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English.

Finally, you’ll need to ask several faculty who know you well to submit letters of recommendation to us. We ask for three letters; you can provide up to five if there are special reasons for doing so.

Do you accept letters of recommendation from credentials services, such as Interfolio?

In accordance with GSAS policy, we do not accept letters of recommendation from credentials services, such as Interfolio. Please have your references upload their letters directly to the online application. Additionally, we do not accept any other documents through Interfolio and other services. The statement of academic purpose should be included in your online application and not sent through them. Transcripts and translations should be uploaded to your online application, as well.

What’s the average successful GRE score?

Weaker GREs or grades do not decisively exclude a candidate. Coming from a lesser-known school is not much of a handicap, if other parts of the application are strong. Letters from philosophers (or faculty in affiliated departments) are much more useful to us than any other sort of letter. Finally, the writing sample is what you have most control over.

As a matter of policy, we cannot go into further details about what makes an application successful, or how to improve your application cannot be addressed.What educational background do I need?

What’s the average successful GRE score?

In order to enroll in the Graduate School of Arts & Science (GSAS), you must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college or university of acceptable standing. (In some countries, the equivalent degree is there called a “masters” degree.) It is not formally required that your bachelor’s degree have been in philosophy. However, your application won’t be successful unless we can see you have a comparable level of preparation.

There is no requirement to have done (what in the US we call) a master’s degree—in some places, these are called “MPhil” or “BPhil” or “MLitt” degrees—before applying to our PhD program. You can apply directly to the PhD, and many of our applicants do. However many others, especially those with thinner undergraduate backgrounds in philosophy, have done some master’s work.

If you think your background and preparation in philosophy aren’t strong enough yet to get you into a competitive PhD program, doing a masters degree can help strengthen your application for the PhD. Not because we’re impressed you’ve done the extra degree, but because it puts you in a position to give us a stronger writing sample, and gives more faculty the opportunity to see you doing advanced work, and write more useful letters of recommendation.

Some students without much formal training in philosophy have been extraordinarily talented at it and have been able to demonstrate this to admissions committees: for example, by writing papers of publishable quality. However, the overwhelming majority of untrained students aren’t yet ready to enter competitive PhD programs.

Will it handicap my application if I don’t apply to graduate school immediately after my undergrad degree?

Not at all. We often encourage our own students to do just this. It often gives people better lives, and makes them more ready for grad school when they get to it. At the same time, though, when you do apply we’ll want to see that you’ve actively and recently been doing work of the sort our grad students do. If you’ve been outside of academia for a while, you’ll need to find other ways to do that.

My background is such-and-such, can you tell me whether I’ll be a competitive applicant to one of your programs?

No, I’m sorry, we can’t make specific such judgments until we formally review your application. And even if we could, we can’t give feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of individual applications.

Is there a special application for international students? How will my transcripts be evaluated?

For these and other international student questions, view the FAQs for international student applicants.

Can I be excused from the GRE or TOEFL/IELTS requirements? What if my scores won’t be available until after the deadline?

Our policy is to require GRE test scores; we do not have the authority to waive the requirement in individual cases. LSATs and so on cannot be substituted for the GRE.

The TOEFL or IELTS test is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers. The TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived if you will have completed a bachelor or master’s degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English. You don’t need to do anything to inform the grad school that you’re eligible for this waiver; they can determine that from your regular application materials.

For further details, review the GSAS Application Instructions and the GSAS Testing Requirements FAQs.

The graduate school requires official test scores, sent to them directly from the GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS programs. Have them sent to New York University—GSAS, code 2596. The TOEFL requires you to list a department code; you should select the code that is most appropriate for your field of study. You may also use code 99. However, do not use code 00—we will not receive your test scores if you report 00 as the TOEFL department code. Also, do not leave the field blank. If you do, it will become code 00 and we will not receive your test scores. For IELTS scores, they must be sent directly to New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York ,NY. No code is needed for IELTS.

Often, there are constraints on when you’ll be able to take the GRE and TOEFL tests. You should schedule them early in the fall. Every year, some students end up scheduling them too late and then email us frantically asking what exceptions we can make for them. There’s little we can do. If your test scores won’t reach us until (shortly) after the application deadline, then self-report the scores on your application, or email them to us as soon as they are available. However, we may have already set your application aside as incomplete; and we make no promises to go back and reconsider it. Also, the grad school must receive your official test scores by the time we make our final decisions, or we won’t be permitted to make you an offer.

If I take the GRE multiple times, how do you combine them?

We see all of your scores.

You mentioned late test scores. What are my options for submitting materials late?

Please don’t do this. It turns out to be a huge amount of work for us and for the grad school. These are things that DON’T justify sending us any update or new material:

  • you accidentally sent us the statement of academic purpose that was addressed to Columbia
  • your paper which was under consideration for … has now been accepted, and you want to update your CV
  • you have a newer draft of your writing sample, or you accidentally sent one that left out a few changes

If you have some more compelling reason to update your application, then you can email [email protected].

GES gets applications to us, and we begin reviewing them, in mid-January. We make no promises whatsoever to include materials submitted late in our review.

Please review your Application Status Page which has a checklist of the various parts of the application and whether we have received them or not.

Nyu American Studies Phd Application

Philosophy gets over 300 PhD applications each year, and are typically permitted to make fewer than 10 first-round offers, plus a small number of second-round offers, aiming to get an entering class of 4-8 students. This means we accept around 3% or fewer of our applicants. For comparison, Yale Law School’s acceptance rate is around 7%, and Harvard Law School’s acceptance rate is around 11%. The chart below makes for better understanding of Nyu American Studies Phd acceptance rate.

NYU acceptance rate drops to 12.8% – Washington Square News

When will we announce decisions?

We try to announce all our decisions, both first-round and second-round offers, and also rejects, by mid-to-late March. Sometimes it takes until the end of March. I’m afraid that graduate school policy does not permit us to answer individual queries about decisions. All our decisions must first be finalized with them, and they will email announcements when that’s happened. If you’re worried that an announcement hasn’t reached you, the best thing you can do is make sure you update us with changes to your email address. Do so by writing [email protected].

There are websites where applicants say what schools they’ve heard decisions from. Sometimes there are phony reports of NYU decisions on these sites. I don’t know why. We will attempt to get our real decisions to you as soon as we can. Decisions are not available by phone.

Why wasn’t I accepted?

As stated above, we get many excellent applications and can only extend offers to a small handful of them. Many strong applications are unsuccessful. As a matter of policy, we are not permitted to discuss details regarding individual decisions.

May I have application materials returned to me?

No. The application and all materials submitted to the Graduate School become the property of NYU and will not be returned under any circumstances.

I applied to NYU in a previous year. Can you re-use some of my earlier applications materials?

Only your GRE scores (retained for five years) and TOEFL/IELTS scores (retained for two years). Review the FAQ for Re-applying for Admission.

If you are applying for the dual-degree JD/PhD program, you need to apply separately to both NYU Philosophy and NYU Law School. Each program’s decisions are made independently, on the basis of their usual standards, and they do not share application materials. The cooperative nature of the program consists in your being able to use certain coursework to satisfy some requirements simultaneously. (Here are more details.) If you’re accepted to both programs, we’ll gladly discuss this all further, and put you in touch with some other students who have pursued this dual-degree program. As stated above, LSAT scores cannot be substituted for the graduate school’s GRE requirement.

Admission to a dual-degree program is contingent on acceptance by both programs. If one does not accept you, the other may at its discretion consider you for admission to that individual program.

Apart from dual-degree programs, GSAS policy permits students to apply for only a single program and degree in a given year. Review the policy around multiple applications.

Exceptions: Students who apply to the Philosophy PhD program and are unsuccessful can ask to be considered for the MA programs in Philosophy, Bioethics, or the interdisciplinary Center for Experimental Humanities. To arrange this, let Graduate Enrollment Services (GES, they are GSAS’s admissions office) know as soon as possible after getting the PhD decision (but before April 15 for the Philosophy MA). They will instruct you how to proceed.

You are allowed to apply simultaneously to multiple programs at NYU if they are in different schools, such as GSAS and Steinhardt.

How long does the PhD take?

Students tend to take from 5 to 7 years.

What sort of financial aid is available? Does it matter whether I am an international applicant?

All our PhD offers come with the same standard financial aid package. No separate application is required. We will discuss the details with you when we extend an offer.

If you’ve won an external fellowship, be sure to let us know; this will affect the details of your financial aid.

Typically our students are able to support themselves in modest shared housing on the fellowships we offer. They don’t need to take out educational loans. Opportunities for teaching are available and compensation is in addition to the fellowship offer. The terms of the fellowship (as well as student visas for international students) severely constrain your eligibility for other employment.

The university has a subsidized student housing program for first-year PhD students. Details about this will be supplied in your offer letter.

I was admitted! When do I have to make my decision by?

Most US graduate programs, including NYU, have signed the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution.

This promises that admitted students with financial aid offers aren’t required to accept the offer before April 15 (or a later date if specified in your offer letter). However, if you’re able to make a decision earlier, you are encouraged to do so. This helps students on our waiting list, and helps us better create the incoming class. But it is your privilege to take until the deadline, if you need to.

If you do accept an offer before April 15, you are allowed to cancel the acceptance at any time until April 15.

After April 15, you cannot accept an offer from another school (school #2), without first obtaining a written release from the school you originally accepted (school #1). And school #2 cannot offer you financial aid except conditional on your supplying that written release from school #1.

You can notify us by email of your decision to accept or decline our offer, but you must also follow the instructions in your offer letter, and (if you’re accepting) submit a tuition deposit. The details will be spelled out in your offer letter.

If I’m accepted, can I defer admission for a year?

In some circumstances this is possible. You have to petition for it, and your reasons for deferring should be academic.

What are the PhD program rules and requirements?

Here are the departmental rules.

Do you accept transfers into the PhD program? Or, would I be able to get transfer credit for such-and-such work done previously?

We are willing to consider applications from students seeking to transfer from other PhD programs. However, we make offers only to the most exceptional of these; our expectations are much higher than for beginning students.

Our PhD students can get some course credit for graduate-level work done previously (whether in a degree program or not). Generally this will be for up to two courses, and will be subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. Please wait until we’ve made our admissions offers before asking us to pronounce about your individual circumstances.

Even if you don’t get course credit for work done previously, you are welcome to use that work as a seed for work you’d submit here, either for a seminar or for an independent study you arrange with a member of our faculty.Can I take courses in other departments?

Other local philosophy departments: sure! Sometimes, someone at NYU will have to nominally oversee your participation in the outside course, and approve the grade. But in practice, this doesn’t make much difference.

Other departments at NYU: sure, if it’s relevant to your philosophical studies. (Otherwise, your fellowship doesn’t pay the tuition, and we wouldn’t count it towards your degree.) In recent years, our students have attended courses in the Law School, and the linguistics, psychology, math, and physics departments. There are also some programs for language study, in NY or abroad; though this also has to be relevant to your studies, and in practice our students don’t have to satisfy a separate language requirement.

One of the requirements of our PhD program is that 9 out of the 11 required courses be taken in the NYU Philosophy department (courses cross-listed in other departments count for these purposes). It’s common to audit courses at other departments, even when one doesn’t take them for credit.

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