New York Film Academy
1-800-611-FILM  |  1-212-674-4300
New York Film Academy Admissions


To be admitted into the Master of Fine Arts program at NYFA, students must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution recognized by the United States Department of Education or a college or university outside of the U.S. that is recognized as a degree-granting institution by their respective governments. The ideal applicant must demonstrate a sincere passion and aptitude for visual storytelling and the ability and desire to pursue graduate-level work and scholarly research in his/her chosen discipline.

No particular major or minor is required as a prerequisite for admission, but applicants with a strong background in the visual arts are preferred. While an applicant’s GPA will be taken into consideration and is an important component of the admissions process, the strength of the candidate’s Narrative Statement and Creative Portfolio is a significant determining factor for admission.

Graduate (MFA) applicants must submit the following materials for admission:

  • Completed Graduate Program Application
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Degree Transcript
  • Narrative Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Proof of English Proficiency
*Please note: If you have applied to do your first year of study in New York City and the remaining years in Los Angeles or South Beach in the Degree Program you've applied for, only one application is necessary, and the application requirements will be the same as those above. You will receive two separate acceptance letters for both programs from NYFA - one for the Conservatory Program, and the second for the Degree Program.

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

Students must submit a completed graduate program application. Applications are available online at:

Students must submit a non-refundable $65 application fee, payable online as part of the online application.

All students pursuing a graduate degree from the New York Film Academy must submit an official, final undergraduate transcript in order to complete their application.

Hard copies of official transcripts must be mailed to New York Film Academy directly from the undergraduate institution in a sealed envelope.

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 undergraduate institution’s own digital delivery service.

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

Students earning an undergraduate degree 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.

Applicants must submit a mature and self reflective essay (max. 5 typed pages) describing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in their chosen discipline and their intended contribution to the field and the department. The essay should take into account the individual’s history, formative creative experiences, contemporary influences and inspirations and overall artistic goals.

MFA applicants must submit a minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation verifying the applicant’s ability to successfully take on graduate study in the relevant field. Letters can be sent digitally or as hard copies and should be submitted directly to the Admissions Department from the individual writing on the applicant’s behalf

MFA applicants must submit a portfolio, which may include one or more of the following:

Writing Sample For Filmmaking, Producing & Screenwriting applicants:
  • Excerpt from an original screenplay, spec or short story (10-page maximum).
  • 2-3 samples that include any original short stories, articles or persuasive essays relevant to their chosen discipline (10-page maximum).
  • Treatment or outline of a film, webisode or television series concept (2-page maximum).
  • 2-3 articles or persuasive essays relevant to their chosen discipline (10-page maximum).
  • 2-3 sample critical essays examining a literary or cinematic work (novel, play, screenplay, television series, film, etc) or other medium relevant to their chosen discipline (10-page maximum).
Visual Sample for Filmmaking, Documentary & Cinematography applicants:
  • 1-2 live-action, fiction or nonfiction film/video submissions on DVD or hyperlink, where the submission can be viewed, regardless of image capture format (10-minute maximum). Collaborative material is accepted if the candidate details the exact nature of their contribution to the piece.
  • 6-8 sample storyboards or visual designs with a 1-2 page accompanying description.
For Acting for Film applicants:
  • A DVD or hyperlink with an introduction and two one-minute contrasting monologues from either a published play or screenplay.
  • Applicants may also choose to make an appointment for an on-campus audition.
  • Acting for Film applicants should select roles that are age and type appropriate.
For Photography applicants:
  • Photographs (15 maximum), either printed (no larger than 8x10) or jpegs on a CD/DVD (1200 pixels longest side, SRGB, 72dpi), with an accompanying description contextualizing the submission.
  • MFA program candidates must meet the following minimal requirements:
    • Basic proficiency with Mac computers.
    • Understand all aspects of DSLR camera exposure, including equivalent exposures and the balancing of natural/ambient/ constant light with strobes.
    • Prepare to demonstrate proficiency in studio and location strobe systems and pass a practical grip equipment safety test.
    • Display a proficiency with Adobe Lightroom 5 (or equivalent software) and Photoshop CC.
    • Applicants who have not completed a BFA in Photography will be tested via a written and practical test on the above points. Students must be at the L.A. campus to complete the test, which will be given during Orientation week.
For 3-D Animation & Game Design applicants:
  • 5-7 drawings, paintings, cartoons, comics, conceptual illustrations, graphic renderings, digital images, slides of 3-D models, sculptures, or other visual designs which display the applicant’s creative abilities.
All portfolio materials must be submitted with an accompanying description contextualizing the submission and purpose of the project. Portfolio materials will not be returned.

If you are applying for programs at our Los Angeles Campus, please email your admissions materials to your admissions representative or mail all documents to New York Film Academy, Office of Admissions, 3300 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505. These documents will not be returned.

If you are applying for programs at our New York Campus, please email your admissions materials to your admissions representative or mail all documents to New York Film Academy, Office of Admissions, 17 Battery Place, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004 These documents will not be returned.

If you are applying for programs at our South Beach Campus, please email your admissions materials to your admissions representative or mail all documents to New York Film Academy South Beach, Office of Admissions, 420 Lincoln Road, Suite 200, Miami Beach, FL 33139. These documents will not be returned.

New York Film Academy believes that to be successful in our degree programs an applicant must have a strong command of the English language. Non-U.S. residents or international applicants, for whom English is not their first or native language, who apply to NYFA’s MFA, MA, BFA, BA, AFA, or long-term certificate programs, are asked to provide one of the following as proof of English language proficiency:
  • A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score iBT of 68 or an IELTS score of 5.5 for AFA, BFA, BA, and Conservatory programs. For the MFA and MA programs, the required score for TOEFL iBT is 79 and IELTS of 6.5.
  • A report from a valid English Language School verifying completion of course level equivalent to a 550 Paper-based TOEFL Score.
Applicants 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 his or her application; or
  • Verification that the applicant has been studying in a high school where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 3 full years at the time of his or her application.
Applicants who wish to confirm eligibility for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver can contact an admissions representative for assistance.

For short-term and long-term non-degree certificate programs, NYFA will accept a positive language evaluation via phone or Skype in lieu of the other requirements.

All courses at all NYFA locations are taught in English.

The New York Film Academy at its sole discretion may evaluate English proficiency in the form of oral and/or written tests in lieu of TOEFL or IELTS scores.

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 Feb. 3 and July 31, 2020 will be accepted.

The exam costs $49 (USD) and may be taken from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. 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 below.

Information on preparing for the exam | Take the exam or practice exam

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:

Bachelor’s Degrees: 95
Master’s Degrees: 105

Please be aware that all students attending NYFA bachelor degree programs will complete an English composition placement exam when they arrive on campus. This exam is diagnostic and intended to determine the appropriate foundation-level college English course the student will take in their first semester. Students who score below the prescribed threshold may be required to take additional college English coursework. This placement testing is independent of any English proficiency testing required for admission to NYFA.

*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 his or her application; or
Verification that the applicant has been studying in a high school where the sole language of instruction is English for at least 3 full years at the time of his or her application.

** NYFA prefers students to submit TOEFL or IELTS English Proficiency Scores – please note that TOEFL is now offering ‘at home’ testing.

As part of the admissions process, MFA applicants may be interviewed by phone, web or in person by a New York Film Academy 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 s/he fully understands the level of commitment required to successfully complete the degree.

Once admitted to NYFA, students may pay a deposit to secure their place in the MFA program. The deposit for all long-term programs (one year or longer) is $500, which is applied towards the first term tuition payment. Most of the deposit is refundable except a $100 administrative processing fee.

It is the general policy of New York Film Academy Master of Fine Arts Degree Programs neither to accept transfer credits from other academic postsecondary institutions, nor to consider prior experiential learning for application toward any degree or non-degree course of study. Students desiring credit for previous academic work or training may submit a written request for such credit to the Registrar, along with any supporting documentation(e.g. transcripts or syllabi). If credit is awarded, the length and/or requirements of the program will be adjusted appropriately, at the discretion of the Academic Dean in consultation with the Department Chair.

Furthermore, the New York Film Academy makes no representation whatsoever that credits earned in the Master of Fine Arts Degree Program or any non-degree program or workshop operated by the New York Film Academy will be accepted or applied toward the completion of any degree or certificate by any other postsecondary institution. The acceptance of transfer credits is always governed by the receiving school.

A student will be declined admission to the Academy if the Admissions Committee determines that he or she does not meet the requirements of the Admissions Policy, or if no space is available in the Master of Fine Arts Degree Program. Students who do not speak English will also be declined admission, given that all instruction is conducted in English. Students who are unable to meet the financial obligations of the workshop one month prior to the start date will also be declined admission.

For information on Financial Aid & Grants, please visit our website at

The Graduation Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the full body of work of each candidate prior to the awarding of the Master of Fine Arts. The Graduation Committee is appointed by the Director of Education and consists of the New York Film Academy Registrar, the Thesis Committee Chairperson, and several instructors specializing in a diverse range of fields of study applicable to the student's concentration. That committee ensures that each candidate has been adequately prepared for graduation, the standards of the Academy have been upheld, and that the awarding of a degree is warranted. The registrar ensures that the student has fulfilled all financial obligations to the school and academic requirements for the entire program. Student transcripts showing the awarding of the MFA degree will be withheld until the graduate meets all financial obligations.

In order to graduate, students must successfully complete every course of study with a passing grade and maintain a cumulative GPA of a "B" (3.0) or higher. Students must also adhere to the Academy's Attendance Policy and Code of Conduct. Additionally, students must successfully complete and submit all thesis requirements in a timely manner and receive a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher for their thesis production requirement.

Satisfactory completion of all semester credits is required for graduation from a New York Film Academy Master of Fine Art Degree Program. A paid fifth semester may be required to successfully complete semester credits for certain thesis options described in this book. These units satisfy semester contact hour requirements. As this is a post baccalaureate degree program, no general education units are required.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone Type*
Country Code*
Phone Number*
Mailing Address*
Zip Code
Preferred Start Date*

Program Type*
Program of Interest*

Location of Interest*
How Did You Hear About Us?*
Please Specify:*
Highest Level of Education:
High School Graduation Year:
Have You Served in the U.S. Military, or Are You a Dependent of a U.S. Military Service Member?* 
Yes      No

* Required Information
Your privacy is important to us.

By submitting this form, you give New York Film Academy your consent to contact you regarding our educational services using email, text or telephone. Msg. & data rates may apply. Please note that you are not required to provide this consent to receive educational service.

New York Film Academy Disclaimer
New York Film Academy Disclaimer