Prospective Students' FAQs
Helpful Information for Draper Applicants
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your questions are not addressed on this page.
April 1: Priority deadline date, fall
August 1: Final deadline date, fall
December 1: Spring
All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. eastern time on the deadline date. If an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal U.S. holiday, then the next business day will be the deadline date.
General Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I apply to the Draper Program?
- What do students do once they finish the Draper degree?
- As a Draper student, where else within the University may I take classes?
- Who teaches in the Draper Program?
- When may I start my studies?
- How many students are in the Draper Program?
- How long does it take to complete the Draper master's degree?
- How much does the Draper master's degree cost?
- Is there financial aid? Are there teaching or research assistantships?
- How many students apply to the Draper Program and how many are admitted?
Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions about the Draper Program's admissions procedures are addressed here, but additional information about the application process can be found on the Graduate School of Arts and Science Application Resource Center Web site.
- What are the basic requirements of the Draper application?
- GRE and TOEFL or IELTS
- What should be in my statement of purpose?
- What should be in my writing sample?
- Whom should I ask for recommendation letters? What sort of recommendation letters are most effective/useful?
- I've submitted my application--when will I receive my admissions decision?
- How are admissions decisions made?
- I've been accepted to Draper; May I defer my admission? What is the deferral process?
- May I sit in on a class session?
- May I meet with someone at Draper?
- Where can I learn more about financial aid?
- Bursar's office
- Financial Aid office
- Graduate Enrollment Services
- GSAS' Application Resource Center
- Office of International Students and Scholars
There are several possible reasons.
Many students use the Draper Program as a transition between undergraduate and doctoral studies. While completing the requirements for the Draper master’s degree, students clarify and refine questions that will be at the heart of their PhD research. Some students want to pursue a doctorate in a field that has little connection to their undergraduate work; in the Draper Program, they can begin to acquire fluency in conversations relevant to their new interests. If their doctoral intentions build on their undergraduate focus, they use Draper to establish a graduate-level scholarly record that increases the likelihood of a successful PhD application.
Other Draper students use the Program to choose among several possible PhD concentrations. If you want to earn a PhD but aren't sure which discipline best suits your research interests, the Draper Program lets you consider different disciplinary possibilities. Many of our students arrive at Draper intent on a particular discipline only to realize that they are more excited by another field of study.
Draper also suits those whose undergraduate focus does not resemble their current interests. A biology major, for instance, now wants to study urban anthropology. Or a musician or a visual artist or an accounting major and now wants to immerse in Derridian literary analyses or the philosophy of science.
Finally, Draper is a good place for you if you have no desire to pursue a doctorate but want to participate in the intellectual excitement and academic challenge of graduate school.
Because Draper student interest is so eclectic, there is not a typical alumnus profile. Many students make a successful transition into PhD programs, usually with full funding, in a diverse array of disciplines.
Many other alumni use their master's degrees to help them find jobs, to further careers they are already building, or to change careers completely. Our students work closely with NYU’s Office of Career Services, where counselors guide students in writing effective resumes and cover letters, offer the chance to brush up on interview skills, and provide thousands of employment opportunities.
Draper students have found work in not-for-profit organizations, in banking and finance, in advertising and public relations, in government, in education, in arts organizations and museums and galleries, and at various media outlets, among many examples.
You may take classes in most other departments within the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Comparative Literature, Anthropology, English, History, Sociology, Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Journalism, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Politics, among others, regularly list courses with the Draper Program. There are also many courses not listed within Draper that our students are welcome to take. Occasionally there are limitations on course choice within GSAS. Some classes are designated exclusively for upper-level PhD students. Some classes have limits on enrollment and give first priority to the host department's students. Science, mathematics, and economics courses require that you demonstrate adequate prerequisite training.
All Draper faculty hold a PhD or equivalent terminal degree; none of our courses are taught by graduate students. You can view all current faculty biographies here.
Students are admitted to the Program in the fall and spring. The deadline for fall admission is April 1 (priority) and August 1 (final); for spring admission, December 1. Admissions meetings take place frequently so if a candidate submits an application well ahead of the deadlines, notification is often made in advance.
During the 2016-2017 school year, there were 71 students enrolled in the Draper Program.
Students may study full-time or part-time. Part-time study means one or two courses per semester; full-time study is three courses. Students often choose to take courses during the summer as well, in one or both of two summer sessions. The standard pace for full-time students is about 15 months -- two semesters plus the summer for course work and then one more semester for writing the thesis. The average time to degree is about two years, but the Graduate School allows up to five years from the first semester of enrollment.
The Graduate School offers Draper Students a Hurston Scholarship, which reduces tuition by 30 percent. It will be applied to coursework that meets the program's requirements and is taken within the first six semesters of enrollment, including summers. Please note that this financial aid award is for tuition points only; it does not include registration fees or health insurance.
Draper's tuition is determined by the Graduate School of Arts & Science, and is based on the number of points a student takes each semester. Details of the GSAS tuition rate can be found here.
Students who obtain awards from recognized funding sources outside of NYU (e.g., foundations, private institutions, government agencies) can apply for additional awards toward tuition through the Graduate School's Tuition Incentive Program (TIP). Details about TIP eligibility criteria can be found here.
Applicants should also consult this page for more information about financial aid and a list of other resources for finding additional funding.
For the 2015-2016 academic year, we received 112 applications. Slightly fewer than 50 percent of them were accepted, making Draper one the more competitive master’s programs in the country. A successful applicant writes well and clearly, has an undergraduate transcript that demonstrates ability and intelligence, and can articulate a goal (or goals) for graduate study.
Since the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Humanities and Social Thought is part of NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Science, all applicants must apply to the program via GSAS' general online application.
All students applying to the Draper Program must submit the following materials with their general GSAS application:
- Official Academic transcripts from the applicant's undergraduate institution, as well as any other colleges at which he/she completed coursework.
- Three letters of recommendation
- A resume or Curriculum Vitae
- A Draper-specific statement of purpose
- A writing sample
Please note: In addition to the materials above, all applicants to Draper must submit an application fee.
The above information can also be found on GSAS' downloadable "Application Requirements and Deadlines".pdf at the NYU GSAS Application Resource Center. (Please note: On this .pdf, the Draper Program is alphabetized under "Humanities and Social Thought.")
In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Draper Program/Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.
If you have a good sense of your area(s) of interest, you are encouraged to submit a writing sample that speaks to or reflects your area(s) of interest. It should be 10-15 double-spaced pages in length. Alternatively, you may submit work (creative/professional) in other media that you feel gives the most telling evidence of your accomplishments and interests. To do so, you will be asked to use a URL to point to your work. You will find more specific instructions in the application.
Academic recommendations from professors or advisors with whom an applicant has studied are most useful to the admissions committee and are preferred. If you are unable to obtain three letters from professors or academic advisors, try to get as many as you can. (We suggest that when approaching faculty about recommendations, you provide as much information as possible about yourself—a recent transcript, CV, and/or copies of academic papers are very useful, as well as information about your plans for future study.)
If you are unable to provide letters from three academic references, professional references from people who can discuss your abilities as a researcher or writer are acceptable. Character references from friends, family, or religious advisors are less useful to our admissions committee.
For more information about submitting letters of recommendation, please see GSAS' "Letters of Recommendation FAQs" .pdf, under "Frequently Asked Questions," here.
Our admissions committee does its best to return admissions decisions to applicants within a month of receiving their completed applications. If you are facing a specific deadline and would like us to expedite your application's review, please email us at email@example.com after you have submitted your application and our admissions committee will do its best to honor your request.
The Draper Admissions Committee is made up of Draper faculty as well as the Director and Associate Director of the Program. We look for an undergraduate record that demonstrates strong academic training, letters of recommendation that speak to the candidate's specific strengths as a student and potential as a scholar, and a statement of purpose that elaborates an intellectual goal attainable through interdisciplinary study. Applicants are notified of admissions decisions as soon as possible after the meeting in which their material is considered.
GSAS Policy allows all admitted students to defer their enrollment for up to one academic year. In order to defer, please email draper.program[at]nyu.edu stating your wish to defer and the semester in which you wish to begin. Draper will forward your request, with our approval, to Graduate Enrollment Services. GES will then generate an email to you with instructions on officially logging your deferral as well as sending in your $250 tuition deposit, required to hold your space.
Please note: GES only permits students to defer for one academic year. Requests to extend a deferral will not be approved. If you are unable to enroll in the semester that you deferred to, you will need to submit a new application.
Visiting NYU and Draper
Attending a class session as a prospective student can be arranged at the discretion of our faculty. If you are interested in sitting in on a class, please review our current semester courses and if there are any Draper courses that you are particularly interested in, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if you might be able to attend a session. Draper will not be able to arrange for students to sit in on crosslisted courses.
If you are interested in scheduling a meeting to discuss your potential course of study, the program, or the application process in more detail, please contact Draper directly at email@example.com.
Please Note: These informal meetings are intended to address prospective students' questions and concerns. They are not application interviews. Draper does not formally interview applicants, nor will meetings with the program administrator have any bearing on a prospective student's application.
NYU's Financial Aid Office has counselors who will meet with prospective students to discuss potential aid and financing options. Please see the Financial Aid Web site for more information.