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)
    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)
    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 Art & Design, Dance, Music, and Theater.  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.

  • 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 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.