Undergraduate Admissions - First-Year

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First-Year Students (click on the category below to expand with explanation):

  • You are a first-year student (or freshman) if: (click here)

    • You are currently enrolled in high school, even if you’ve completed college credits while in high school; or
    • You’ve graduated from high school and have never attended college; or
    • You’ve been enrolled in college but will have completed fewer than 12 academic college credits by the time you enroll at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.


  • Mason Gross offers the following program options for first-year applicants: (click here)

    Dance Performance (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA)
    Dance Five-Year Dual Performance and Education (BFA/EdM)
    Digital Filmmaking (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA)
    Music Performance (Bachelor of Music/BM)- CLASSICAL: voice, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, organ, harp, classical guitar.
    Music Education (Bachelor of Music/BM)- vocal, instrumental or jazz concentrations
    Music Jazz (Bachelor of Music/BM)- JAZZ: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, electric bass, acoustic bass, drums, guitar
    Music Composition (Bachelor of Music/BM)
    Music Performance and American Language Certificate Program (MPC/PALS) - CLASSICAL: voice, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, organ, harp JAZZ: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, electric bass, acoustic bass, drums, guitar
    Theater Acting (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA)
    Theater Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA)
    Theater Production (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA) - Includes Stage Management and Technical Direction.
    Visual Arts/Fine Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA) - drawing, graphic design, media, painting, print, photography, sculpture.

    *The School of Arts and Sciences also offers general Bachelor of Arts/BA degree programs in the major areas of Dance, Music, Theater and Visual Arts.  An application to the School of Arts and Sciences is required in order to considered for admission to the BA arts programs.

  • Academic Entrance Requirements for Mason Gross School of the Arts: (click here)

    English: four years
    Foreign Language: none required; two years of one language recommended
    Mathematics: three years, including algebra I, geometry, algebra II
    Science: none required
    Other courses: nine other academic courses - such as history, humanities, science, foreign languages, etc.
    Total: 16 academic courses
    *Academic requirements for other Rutgers colleges may be found here.

  • Application Checklist: (click here)

    Undergraduate Application for admission
    $65 nonrefundable application fee. We must receive the fee or a fee waiver before we will review your submitted application. For more information, click here.
    Self-Reported Academic Record - click here for more information.
    GED results (only for those who earned a GED) - click here to see if you need to submit a GED
    SAT/ACT scores
    English Proficiency Examination requirements (for any nonnative speakers of English) - click here to see if you need to submit an English proficiency exam. Click here to see if your home country's principal language is not English requiring you to submit an ESL exam for admission.  
    Personal statement
    Complete Mason Gross supplemental application (dance, theater, music majors) -emailed five business days after Rutgers application submitted.
    Schedule and complete your audition/interview; or submit your portfolio.

    **In addition to supplemental material needed for admission to Mason Gross, Rutgers University requires all applicants to submit the items listed above. Some items such as personal statements and fees may be required to submit to both Rutgers University and Mason Gross School of the Arts. Click here for instructions and a detailed list of Rutgers University Required Credentials.

  • How we make decisions: (click here)

    Admissions decisions for applicants to the Mason Gross School of the Arts are based upon our faculty's evaluation of talent and comprehensive review of the entire application. Our first emphasis is placed on the audition, interview or portfolio and then on the student’s academic promise as demonstrated by:
    • high school performance
    • cumulative rank, when available
    • weighted grade-point average(s)
    • grade trends
    • completion of required entrance subjects
    • strength of academic program, evidenced by the number of academic, honors, or advanced placement courses completed
    • SAT and/or ACT scores
    • English Proficiency Examination results, when required

    We also consider such qualitative factors as:
    • personal essay
    • participation in programs designed for college preparation
    • extracurricular activities
    • community, volunteer, and/or U.S. military service
    • honors and awards
    • employment
    • family obligations
    • special talents
    • socioeconomic background

    Mason Gross School of the Arts does not follow minimum SAT or ACT score standards nor do we adhere to minimum GPA or class ranks to determine a students eligibility for admission. When reviewing academics the admissions committee looks at students holistically. We consider how the student performs throughout their entire academic career focusing on the subject areas which most closely relate to the academic skills needed to complete a Mason Gross degree program. Namely performance in the subjects of English, humanities, social sciences is weighted more heavily than performance in math and science. Students should demonstrate strong skills in English composition, comprehension and communication.

    The number of applicants Mason Gross admits is determined by the quality of the applicant pool (which changes from year to year and may vary for each Mason Gross Department) as well as the space available in each department.

    We review applications when they are complete with all required credentials submitted by the due dates.

  • AP Exams: (click here)

    Although Mason Gross does not review AP exam scores as part of the student’s application for admission, students who do complete AP Exams in their junior year and are admitted to a Mason Gross program may submit their scores for certain placement test and required course exemptions:
    • English AP Credit: Admitted students who have completed an AP exam in English Language/Composition with a score of 4 or 5 in their junior year are exempt from completing the writing portion of placement testing.  Students exempt from taking the English placement tests are automatically registered for Expository Writing 101.
    • Math AP credit: Admitted students who have completed Calculus AB or BC with a score of 4 or 5 in their junior year are exempt from completing the math placement test.
    • For all other AP subjects (Foreign Language, Science, History, Music Theory, etc.) please contact the academic adviser in your department to see if placement tests are required and if your AP credit will transfer.

  • Important Dates and Admissions Timeline: (click here)

    September - University Undergraduate Application for following year is posted online.
    • October 1 - University Undergraduate Transfer Application deadline for spring admission.  Mason Gross currently will only accept current Rutgers students wishing to transfer schools within the university for spring admission in VISUAL ARTS.  Please check back her in mid September to see if Mason Gross will be accepting any more application types for spring entrance. 
    • November 1 - Early action deadline for university academic programs and MASON GROSS VISUAL ARTS applicants. No other Mason Gross decisions adhere to the early action timeline. Students who apply to Rutgers by November 1 will only receive a decision for academic majors, BFA Visual Arts and BA Visual Arts by January 31. Due to the audition/interview and portfolio process Mason Gross applications in Music, Dance and Theater will NOT post a decision by this date.
    • November 15 - Early action PORTFOLIO deadline students who wish to apply early action to our BFA or BA visual art programs
    • December 1 - Regular action deadline for all Mason Gross Applicants. Mason Gross highly encourages students to submit their application and all supporting material no later than December 1. Applications received after December 1 may face difficulty with Audition scheduling and may delay notification of their admissions decision. Students who apply by December 1 will have first choice of audition dates/locations/times and also give themselves the best chance for admission and scholarships by being part of the first group of applicants reviewed by our faculty and admissions committee.
    December - March - Auditions for Music Dance and Theater both on campus and at regional locations. Audition appointments cannot be made or confirmed and portfolios will not be looked at until student's submit their application to the University.
    January - April - Admission decision notifications sent to applicants on a rolling basis.
    • January 15- Visual arts portfolios and Digital Filmmaking Narrative samples are due online (Portfolios and Digital Narratives cannot be submitted until the University Application is received.)  
    February 1 - University application deadline for all transfer applicants.  However, because of the audition and portfolio process it is HIGHLY recommended that all Mason Gross transfer students complete and submit their application by December 1.
    February 1 - Recommended FAFSA submission deadline.
    Mid-February - University Housing Application available online.
    March - Artistic scholarship notifications begin to go out.
    April 1 - Notification deadline for all first year students who applied by December 1 and completed their audition, interview or portfolio by the designated dates. Students who submit application material later than December 1 are not guaranteed to hear from admissions by April 1.
    Early/Mid-April - invited open house for admitted students on campus.
    May 1 - Enrollment deposits due to retain scholarship and opportunity to enroll. Students who deposit after May 1 are no longer guaranteed a spot in our class and risk forfeit of any scholarship they received.
    Mid-May - Student Orientation begins. All admitted MUSIC students are required to attend an orientation date in May to complete placement exams for theory, piano and aural training.
    Late July - First Term bills are issued.