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Frequently Asked Questions

What is IMA and ITP?

NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts is launching an interdisciplinary undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Interactive Media Arts (IMA). The IMA program starts from the proposition that computation — the ability to code, learn new software, manipulate data, and create physical+digital interactions — is an essential creative capability, and that students who master those capabilities will be well-placed to invent the future. We are now accepting applications for our inaugural class in the Fall of 2018.

We believe in learning by doing. We believe you can understand a tool only after you’ve used it, rather than the other way around. We believe surprises are more educational than confirmation. We believe that making technology fit human lives requires both theoretical grounding and iterated creative practice.

This approach has been very effective for the past 40 years at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), one of the first and most prominent programs in the world for creative technology. ITP is a two-year graduate program located in the Tisch School of the Arts, whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — we describe ourselves as The Center for Exploration of the Recently Possible. Students use technology to augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people’s lives. This is the inspiration for the BFA program, and IMA BFA students will share facilities and faculty with ITP.

What is the difference between IMA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and IDM at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering?

The IMA BFA program will collaborate and work closely with both the ITP graduate program and the existing Integrated Digital Media (IDM) BS program at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering.

Prospective students can apply to either the Tisch IMA BFA program or Tandon IDM BS program based on their interests and must complete their respective degree requirements. The Tisch BFA degree is accompanied by an arts and liberal arts core. The Tandon BS degree is accompanied by an engineering core. However, the two programs will share a great deal of facilities, faculty, and elective courses.

Through our ongoing collaborations with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, as well as NYU Shanghai and NYU Abu Dhabi, we believe there is a powerful synergy in place, one that brings together the arts, technology, and engineering.

Is IMA considered a STEM program?

Yes! The IMA BFA program is considered a STEM qualified program.

What kind of students are you looking for to join IMA?

We aren’t necessarily looking for just programmers and designers. We are looking for those who may not fit nicely in a perfect mold — the biologist who also loves art classes, the geek in the theatre club who makes videos of the performances, the musician who hacks the audio software, the activist who uses technology for grassroots purposes, students who want to build solutions surrounding energy and sustainable technologies, the video gamer, the entrepreneur, the analog fine artist who wants to break into the digital realm, the dancer who wants to explore technology and movement. At ITP, which is the graduate program of interactive media, we bring in a diverse group of students from all around the world. About 60% of ITP students are women, which is unusual for a technical program. We hope for the same demographics for the undergraduate IMA program.

How can I take a tour of IMA?

Prospective IMA students can contact the department directly to arrange a tour. Email tours of the NYU campus, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions offers information sessions and tours of the NYU campus twice daily, generally Monday through Friday at 10 am, 1 pm, and/or 2:30 pm. Please call 212.998.4500 to make a reservation or go to the Undergraduate Admissions website to schedule a visit online.

How many students will be starting in the Fall?

We expect to have 60 new students for Fall 2021

Can you tell me more about the creative materials (portfolio) submission?

Beyond applying to IMA with the Common Application, you must also submit creative materials or a portfolio to help us get a better idea about you. Feel free to submit anything that shows your skills, creativity, curiosity, or generosity. Your creative materials will be DUE ONE WEEK after the specific deadline for the application type you are applying for (ie. Early Decision I, II, Regular Decision, Internal or External Transfer). Please be mindful of these deadlines. Your application for admission will not be considered unless you submit your creative materials.If you have questions or are unable to send your materials via the online form, please email it to

How do I submit an application?

All undergraduate applicants need to fill out the NYU Common application. Please also check the NYU IMA Apply page for application requirements. IMA no longer requires standardized testing scores for admission. However, we do now require creative materials submission. Students who are unable to pay the application fee can request a fee waiver.

Do I need technical or design skills before joining IMA?

No! You do not have to be a programmer or designer before joining IMA. In fact, the more diverse your background the better! We would love to see dancers, poets, philosophers, biologists, tinkerers, actors, musicians as well as programmers and designers all mix together and make something creative using interactive technology. The technical skills and learning how to code will be incorporated in the IMA curriculum.

We don’t want to solely focus on the skills though. Rather, we want our students to explore the potential of interactive media from a human and communications perspective. Your ideas around the uses of the technology is the focus, not the tools.

What sort of equipment do the IMA students have access to?

IMA is a state-of-the-art multimedia production center which will be located in the Center for Media, Technology and Arts (MTA) at 370 Jay Street building (the former Metropolitan Transit Authority Headquarters) in downtown Brooklyn NY, starting in the Fall of 2019. Students can reserve a wide variety of digital production equipment for creating and showing dynamic content. Also featured is a fabrication workshop for physical computing and carpentry, including various wood and metal working tools, spray booth, 3 laser cutters, 4 mills and a CNC machine. There are areas dedicated to PC board making, soft circuit design, microstudio and 3D printing. All classrooms and presentation spaces support projection sharing and live view cameras. The space as a whole is highly reconfigurable and responsive to support cluster work, large audience presentations and open gallery shows. New York City, the richest communications environment in the world, provides the ideal location for the department.

What kind of job can I get with an IMA BFA degree?

IMA is the undergraduate version of ITP, which is an interactive media graduate program that started in 1979. While it’s too soon to have graduates from IMA, we feel that the experience of ITP graduates will be similar to IMA graduates. They will find jobs in all industries doing many different kinds of work. Because we have such a diverse population of students coming from all different backgrounds, the type of work that is available to IMA alumni will be equally diverse. Some start their own businesses, others work for web development companies, others work for large and small media agencies in all industries such as the non-profit sector, education, the art world, exhibit design, museums, e-commerce, and the big Silicon Valley tech companies, to name a few.

When is the application deadline?

Freshman Application Deadlines

Application Type Application Deadline Financial Aid Deadline Notification Date
Early Decision I November 1 November 15 December 15
Early Decision II January 1 January 15 February 15
Regular Decision January 5 February 15 April 1

Transfer Application Deadlines

Application Type Application Deadline Financial Aid Deadline Notification Date
Fall Internal Transfers March 1 April 1 Throughout May
Fall External Transfers April 1 April 1 Throughout May


We do not have rolling admissions nor Spring admissions. All incoming students will begin in the Fall semester. Please note that students are not deferred from Early Decision, and all admissions decisions are final.

Can I apply as an internal transfer from another department at NYU to IMA?

If you are currently a matriculated degree student at NYU, you may apply for an internal transfer by completing the online application. Applicants are required to submit creative materials to supplement their application. You will be sent a link to upload your materials after you submit your transfer application. See the Creative Materials page for more details.

Students must be enrolled in their originally admitted department for one full year before they may transfer to another division. All applications for internal transfer are due by March 1.

How can I apply as a "Change of Major" from another department at Tisch?

You can find instructions for internal transfers here. Students must be enrolled in the department to which they were originally admitted for one full year before they may change majors to another department within the Tisch School of the Arts. If you entered Tisch as a transfer student, your transfer credit from your previous college may not apply towards your new degree requirements or may be applied differently. All transfer credit is subject to the policies and procedures of your new department. Tisch Internal Transfer Process:

  1. You are required to fill out the Google form for the Change of Major request by March 1.
  2. Applicants are required to submit creative materials. See Creative Materials page. You will be sent a link to upload your creative materials after you submit your application. Creative materials are due by March 8.
  3. Write a 1 page essay why you wish to change majors to IMA.
  4. Please note that we only have a Fall semester start, not Spring or Summer.

Can I apply as an external transfer student to IMA?

Yes, external transfers will be considered. All transfer students must start coursework in the Fall semester and spend a minimum of 4 semesters at IMA in order to complete the 128 credits needed to complete the BFA. The maximum number of transfer credits that a student can bring to IMA is 64 credits which are typically awarded towards general education and elective requirements. Please complete the online application for transfer which is due April 1. Applicants are required to submit creative materials. See Creative Materials page.

IMA is also participating in the NYU CCTOP program which is a scholarship and assistance program which supports the transition for up to 2 transfer students from local community colleges into NYU. Students must apply both as an external transfer to NYU and through the CCTOP program.

How can I declare a double major or minor with IMA?

It can be difficult to double major with another Tisch major because all Tisch departments are studio-based, their curriculum follows a strict schedule. As long as your double major or minor does not interfere with your department work it is not a problem. All incoming students are assigned a departmental advisor who will assist with any curricular questions. If you are interested in pursuing a double major or minor, you should start by researching the major/minor requirements, then speak with an advisor in the secondary department at NYU. NYU’s College of Arts & Science (CAS) works well with our program.

Application for a second major should be made after the freshman year has been completed. IMA will remain your primary department, but students will work closely with advisors from both departments to make sure they are on track to graduate on time.

To double-major in any department where there is an approved second major, you must first discuss the requirements of the major with a representative of that department. Please refer to the double major form on the Tisch Student Affairs website. Once approved, the second major is recorded on the official transcript.

Starting Fall 2019, IMA will be available as a Minor degree for students at the Tisch School of the Arts only. For more information, please click here.

How do I apply as an international student?

Yes, we love international students! Please view the international freshman applicant requirements and steps to apply on the Undergraduate Admissions website. Applicants are allowed to submit optional creative materials. See IMA Apply page.

NYU also welcomes applications for transfer admission from international applicants. More international transfer information can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website. Additionally, more resources for international students can be found on the Tisch Student Affairs website.

Are there classes for visiting or non-matriculated students?

During the summer sessions, all IMA classes are open to visiting and non-matriculating students.

During the academic year, NYU Tisch offers a semester long, visiting student program called Semester at Tisch. The semester at Tisch IMA program is open to visiting undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors. For one semester (Fall or Spring), a student can matriculate at Tisch and take 12 to 18 credits including some of our core curriculum. Internships are also available through this program. For more information, please visit the Special Programs site. We also offer a limited selection of classes each semester that are open to all currently matriculated NYU students. Please check our website for our current selection of non-major course offerings.

What is the cost for attending NYU?

Tuition and Fees for full-time undergraduate Tisch School of the Arts students can be found on the NYU Bursar website. Select the specific academic year and choose Undergraduate, Tisch School of the Arts.  The Cost of Attendance webpage is also is helpful.

What standardized testing do i need to apply to IMA?

No standardized tests are required.  You are of course welcome to submit them if you wish.  Instead creative materials or a portfolio are required.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid electronically – the fastest and most accurate method of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may find more information at the Tisch Financial Aid website.

Can I audit or sit in on a class?

Unfortunately no. Because of the small class size and participatory and creative nature of our courses, we do not let visitors sit in on classes. You are welcome to come to an information session though or attend one of the many special events we organize every year – please check the events listing on our website.

I already have a bachelor’s degree. Can I apply?

No. NYU does not allow for second bachelor’s degrees (except for Nursing). However, we also offer ITP which is the 2 year, full-time master’s degree program – IMA is the undergraduate spinoff of ITP. You are encouraged to apply to ITP instead for a graduate degree.

Do you allow for deferrals of admissions?

Freshman applicants who have been offered admission to NYU may request to defer their enrollment for up to one year. Students who are approved to defer their enrollment and who satisfy the requirements listed on the NYU Undergraduate Admissions website do not have to file a new application and are guaranteed re-admission for the subsequent Fall semester. Deferred students are considered Early Decision applicants for the new term of entry. They are expected to re-confirm their intention to enroll when our Early Decision students are expected to do so in January and are held to the same expectations as our other Early Decision students. In essence, students who are approved to defer their enrollment are committed to enrolling at NYU, but are simply making that commitment a year in advance.

Are there study abroad opportunities?

We are working on study abroad opportunities at our sister departments Interactive Media Arts (IMA) in NYU Shanghai and also the Interactive Media (IM) in NYU Abu Dhabi. Students are highly encouraged to do at least one semester abroad during their undergraduate studies. More information will be posted soon.

Still more questions?

Please contact us at or 212-998-1880.

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