Birds eye view of a production

You've got questions, we've got answers. Here's what you need to know about applying to an undergraduate program in Sands College. If you can't find the information you're looking for below, please email

  • As an undergraduate training program, our applicant pool is diverse in experience, education, and exposure. We look for applicants who demonstrate talent and potential as well as a readiness to study their craft in New York City. Many factors in the audition and interview process contribute to our decision.

  • Each program has an individualized audition/interview process and selects a limited number of incoming (new first-year and transfer) students per year. The International Performance Ensemble (BA Acting and BA Directing programs) incoming class consists of 20 actors and 8 directors. The BFA Acting, BFA Acting FTVC, and BFA Musical Theater programs each have an incoming class of 32 per year. The BFA Commercial Dance incoming class is 34 per year. The BFA Production and Design's incoming class consists of technical directors, sound designers, lighting designers, scenic designers, and costume designers for a total of 16 per year. The BA Stage Management major has an incoming class of 12 per year.

  • Double majoring may or may not be an option and ultimately depends on your program. Each program has sequential curriculum (particularly the BFA degrees) and may not allow time for classes in other majors. Many BFA and BA students manage to fit an academic minor into their schedules; Arts & Entertainment Management is a popular choice for many Performing Arts majors. Double majoring is not permitted with another Performing Arts major.

  • Yes, private voice lessons are available to any Sands student on a first-come, first-served basis and limited by voice instructor studio capacity.

  • We do not have a cut system, though we have a GPA requirement to stay in the program and to progress from course to course. Each student also receives continual evaluation on his or her performance in the program.

  • Although it varies per program as to when a student can be cast in a mainstage show, BFA students are required to audition for campus productions beginning in the first semester of the freshman year. BA students in the International Performance Ensemble are required to participate in the shows they develop in the first year, resulting in multiple performances and the possibility of traveling internationally with their work. With faculty approval and support, sophomore-level students and above are allowed to seek opportunities outside of school.

  • Yes. All programs in Sands College of Performing Arts have individual industry showcases in NYC. Additionally, some programs with Los Angeles terms/semesters also are seen by LA industry professionals. Sands College maintains extremely strong ties with the performing arts industry in North America and is actively engaging with international arts communities to expand global opportunities for our students and alumni.

  • Musical Theater students have their own sequence in dance that is separate from the Commercial Dance program. They take courses in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre dance, and hip hop to name a few. There are a total of 9 required dance courses (at least one every semester) that Musical Theater students must complete over 4 years. Advanced dancers may also become part of the Commercial Dance minor which requires them to take dance courses in the BFA Commercial Dance program.

  • Interviews are scheduled for 30 minutes. Please arrive 30 minutes early and be prepared to stay 30 minutes later if your interview runs long.

  • Unlikely. Your time will be committed to working on production and design and PSM or ASM assignments.

  • The International Performance Ensemble incorporates the BA Acting and Directing programs into ensembles—or companies—that enter into a year-long process of collaborative development and production of full-length plays. Students take Performance Ensemble courses in their first and third years, alongside other core program requirements such as Acting, Movement, Vocal Production, etc. This is a highly individualized and professionally guided program, unique in the landscape of performing arts programs in the US. Students have a special travel abroad experience* in the second year of the program to present their work.