AFA Admission Requirements

Applying to AFA Programs at NYFA

NYFA’s Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree programs are focused on the discipline and project-based, providing students with practical experience in the film, media, and performing arts. Prospective AFA students should have a passion and interest for visual storytelling within their chosen discipline. To apply and enroll in an Associate of Fine Arts degree program at NYFA, prospective students must have a candidate interview and submit a creative portfolio, as well as write a narrative statement that illustrates the applicant’s ability to take on undergraduate level study in the visual arts.

Submitting Applications

To begin the application process, prospective candidates must submit a AFA application. We recommend that students allow 20-40 minutes to fill out the application. This does not include the curation and submission of required creative materials, which will be uploaded through our online portal. Please note that students must submit a non-refundable $75 application fee. This is payable as part of the online application.

Required Application Materials

Undergraduate (AFA) applicants must submit the following materials for admission:

  • Completed Undergraduate (AFA) Program Application
  • Application Fee ($75)
  • High School Transcript
  • Narrative Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Proof of English Proficiency (where applicable)

The following sections provide detailed information regarding each required application material.

High School Transcripts

All students pursuing an undergraduate degree from NYFA must submit an official, final high school transcript in order to complete their application. These can be sent in sealed envelopes by mail or digitally.

Paper Transcripts: Hard copies of official transcripts are accepted, but email is preferred. Paper transcripts must be mailed to NYFA directly from the undergraduate institution in a sealed envelope.

Digital Transcripts: Students wishing to submit transcripts digitally can do so by contacting their NYFA admissions representative for instructions. Digital transcripts may be submitted using a digital submission service (such as Parchment) or your high school’s own digital delivery service.

Home-Schooled Applicants: Home-schooled students must submit an official, original transcript accredited by their home state.

GED: GED earners must submit an official, original state-issued high school equivalency certificate.

Experiential Learning: The New York Film Academy generally does not consider prior experiential learning as a substitute for the transcript requirements described above.

International Students: Students completing high school in a foreign country, where a language other than English is the official language, and who are able to produce an original transcript, must have it translated into English by an education evaluation service that offers translation services.

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Narrative Statements

The narrative statement should be a self-reflective essay (max. 3 typed pages) detailing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a Associate of Fine Arts degree in the visual arts. The essay should take into account the individual’s history, formative creative experiences, contemporary influences and inspirations, and personal artistic dreams.

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Letters of Recommendation

AFA applicants must submit one letter of recommendation verifying the applicant’s ability to successfully take on undergraduate study in the relevant field. A recommender should be in a position to evaluate the applicant’s readiness, such as teachers, supervisors, counselors, or coaches. The letter of recommendation must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office by the individual writing on the applicant’s behalf. A hard copy letter must be sealed and stamped. Alternatively, a letter may be sent via email by the individual writing on the applicant’s behalf.

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Creative Portfolio

To demonstrate their interest and investment in their chosen discipline, AFA students must submit a creative portfolio.

Requirements by Discipline: Each discipline has different requirements for their creative portfolio submissions, which range from writing samples to short films to photographic series. Collaborative work may be submitted, but applicants must detail what role they had in the creation of the work. To see the requirements for a discipline, please visit the AFA Creative Portfolio Requirements page.

Portfolio Submissions: All creative portfolio materials must be submitted digitally. Applicants should consult with their admissions representative for guidance on acceptable formats (such as pdf, text files, web links, etc.). All video submissions must be uploaded by the applicant to a streaming video site (such as Vimeo or YouTube), and a link to the site must be provided in the application materials. All portfolio materials must be submitted with an accompanying description contextualizing the nature and purpose of the project.

Please note that portfolio materials will not be returned.

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Proof of English Proficiency

Non-U.S. residents or international applicants, for whom English is not the first or native language, are required to submit proof of English proficiency, in the form of:

– TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 520 or higher (190 for computer-based test or 68 for internet-based test); IELTS 6 or the equivalent.
– A report from a valid English Language School verifying completion of course level equivalent to a 520 Paper-based TOEFL Score.

Students might be eligible to receive an English proficiency waiver under the following conditions:

– Verification that the applicant has been studying in a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 1 full year at the time of their application.
– Verification that the applicant studied in a high school where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 3 full years at the time.

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English Proficiency | COVID-19 Special Circumstances

For international students whose first language is not English, or are not eligible for an English language test waiver based on the below*, New York Film Academy has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English test in place of the in-person **TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency exams. Duolingo English tests taken between December 31, 2021 and August 2024, will be accepted.

The exam portion of the Duolingo English test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises. Following the exam, there will be an interview portion that will ask you to respond to various prompts in 30 to 90 seconds. The exam will take about 45 minutes to complete and you will need either a passport, driver license, or other national or state identification to show the camera. The score results are generally received within a few days of exam completion.

If you choose to take the Duolingo English test, the access information is linked here: Exam Preparation and here: Test Your English. A verification email will be sent to you a few days after completing the exam containing a link to send your score to NYFA. For additional information, please review the frequently asked questions.

Please note that in order to gain admission to a NYFA degree program, students will need to score the following on the Duolingo test:

Associates Degrees: 90

*Verification that the applicant has been studying in a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 1 full year at the time of their application; or
Verification that the applicant had studied in a high school where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 3 full years.
** NYFA prefers students to submit TOEFL or IELTS English Proficiency Scores – please note that TOEFL is now offering ‘at home’ testing.

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Candidate Interviews

As part of the admissions process, applicants may be interviewed by phone, virtually, or in-person by an NYFA representative. The purpose of the interview is to identify the applicant’s goals and prior experience. The interview is also an opportunity to review the program curriculum with the applicant and to ensure that they fully understand the level of commitment required to successfully complete the degree.

Tuition Deposit

Once admitted to NYFA, students must pay a required deposit to secure their place in the AFA program. The deposit for the AFA program is $500, which is applied toward the first term’s tuition payment. Students who do not enroll and attend NYFA may have most of their deposit refunded. $100 of the deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances for an administrative processing fee.

Admission Stipulation

Please note that admission to any NYFA program is based upon applicant information received during the admissions process. If, however, a student, after having been admitted but before starting classes, demonstrates that they are not fully prepared to commence studies at the Academy, NYFA will meet with the student to determine a proper course of action. This may include additional testing or instruction, deferring enrollment to a later semester, or enrollment in a different program of study better suited to the student.