Interpreting Applications

We want your NYU Abu Dhabi application process to be as smooth and successful as possible. Keep reading for a deeper understanding of the importance of each element of your application, plus tips to make the most of each step.

Holistic Admissions Policy

As an NYU Abu Dhabi applicant, you’re more than just a number. Academic achievement is the foundation of a successful application, but that doesn’t mean we only care about a test score or grades. In fact, we are interested in knowing as much about you as possible — what you’re doing outside the classroom; how you interact with your teachers, classmates, and friends; what is unique and different about you as a person; and why you have chosen to apply to NYU Abu Dhabi. While you’re coming to NYU Abu Dhabi first and foremost as a student, you’re also joining a community as a potential roommate or teammate, as a future lab partner or dance partner. Our evaluation process will take all of this into consideration and will go well beyond the numbers.


It took me over six months to complete the application and nine months later the acceptance came in! It's such an amazing opportunity.

Asma AlAbbar, Class of 2021

Purpose of the Essay

They say you only get one chance at a first impression. For you, in your application, this is the essay or personal statement — your unique opportunity to tell us who you are in your own voice and in your own way. You’ll want to make sure you answer your chosen prompt (choose wisely!) and show us something about you that we won’t find anywhere else in the application, meaning don’t spend time telling us your life story or listing your academic and extracurricular achievements. Rather, tell us a story — about you or something that has happened to you. Every student is different and so every essay should be different. But make sure we can hear your voice and see who you are in what you’ve written. We look forward to meeting you!


Being Involved

How do you keep yourself busy? What are you passionate about? What are you doing when you aren’t in class? These are some questions you should keep in mind when telling us about your extracurricular involvement. There is no such thing as a must-do activity — NYU Abu Dhabi applicants pursue all different kinds of passions and interests. All we ask is that you stay busy and stay committed to what motivates you. If admitted, you will be joining an incredibly active student body and living on a campus with a wide range of things to do; it is our experience that the most active students on campus were already active as applicants.


Why I Applied to NYU Abu Dhabi