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Application Instructions

  • Personalized instructions are available for new undergraduate applicants to Purchase. Information is also available for  graduate, and international students.

1 We’re guessing you’re a freshman. Any of the following apply to you?

2 Now select your major:

Voice and speech, movement and stage combat, improvisation, masks and makeup, audition technique, theatre history: our BFA is one of only 5 in the nation to meet the standards of the Consortium of Conservatory Theatre Training Programs.

Anthropology is the study of people in the world – how they behave, communicate, and change. Our graduates are in demand for a wide range of fields, from social work and teaching to product design and advertising.

Art history allows us to examine ourselves – our cultures, beliefs, and theories – through time. Studying at Purchase gives you access to all of New York City, plus the on-campus museum with Warhol in the basement.

The business side of things for dance and theatre companies; symphony orchestras and operas; galleries and museums; community arts centers; festival and concert venues; and record companies and artist management agencies.

Biochemists need to understand both the living world and the chemical world. Sounds easy enough. We prepare motivated scientists for careers in biotechnology, biomedicine, medicine, pharmaceutical research, and dentistry.

Biology is the foundation – the language we use – to study of all life. Our concentrations cover seven areas of explosive scientific, intellectual, and technological advancement, including genetics and bioresearch technology.

Chemistry seeks to understand the non-living. (If you’d argue that atoms are alive, please also visit philosophy.) We cover the principal areas of the discipline: organic, inorganic, physical, biological, analytical, and environmental chemistry.

Pay your dues; study the greatsThe cinema studies major at Purchase is an intensive study of the art of film through a broad range of courses in history, aesthetics, genre, and mode.

Message received. Communication students at Purchase study the very foundations of human interaction, and then further specialize in journalism, new media, or media, society, and the arts.

People say “creative” as though this isn’t serious. Ours is a selective and structured BA program that prepares you – in skill, inquiry, and experience - to be a professional writer.

If you’re here, you already know. The Purchase College Conservatory of Dance is renowned for the successes of our alumni, the depth of our programming, and facilities that draw dancers and faculty from around the world.

The modern economic way of thinking must go beyond numbers and spreadsheets. Data and analysis is critical to how we create policy, how we understand value, and how we contribute to humanity’s growth and change.

One part of the “saving the earth” conversation that we didn’t predict was that anyone would ever disagree. We can’t study the environment any longer without documenting our impact on it: through science, policy, and communication.

The primary emphasis of the Film BFA program is on directing. Film majors who have demonstrated exceptional talent in cinematography or screenwriting have the option of specializing in those areas, subject to board approval. 

Seems to always be an uncle who mocks this area of study – let’s dive into why that might be. We identify and analyze the links among gender, sexuality, identity, power, and justice, which are essential to understanding, among others, fields such as education, medicine, the arts, business, law, and policy.

While graphic design usually solves communication problems through words, symbols, and images, its applications can be commercial, political, educational, literary, subversive, and experimental. Purchase offers a distinctive BFA in the art and practice of print- and digitally based design and experimental publishing.

What are the forces and processes that have shaped our communities, our countries, and the world at large? Using our unique location and resources, we emphasize the social, intellectual, and cultural dimensions of the historical discipline.

Now more than ever. The rules of news are changing, and a Purchase College degree ensures that your technical skills are top-notch, while your methods and sources can stay flexible.

Global events travel at the speed of light. Linguists are increasingly important as we navigate challenges, cultures, and contexts. Purchase offers full programs in French and Spanish, with opportunities to study Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, and linguistics.

In a world that is increasingly transnational and cross-racial, individuals with a solid knowledge of Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese and an understanding of Latin American and Latino history and major contemporary issues are needed for this century’s challenges and careers.

How do we create and govern a just society? A foundation of political science, sociology, and philosophy – wrapped in discourse - prepares Purchase College students for law school, public policy, and government.

The liberal arts program allows students with more specialized interests to build a unique curriculum with the help of faculty advisors. Examples have included bioethics, philosophy of science, and choreography of literature.

The most pressing concerns of our time do not fit neatly within the boundaries of a single discipline. A foundation built from the humanities, natural sciences, and the arts prepares students to choose their own more advanced path.

We study literature for some of the same reasons that we study history – to better know ourselves, our societies, and our cultures. Through close reading, analysis, and critique, we examine traditional and contemporary writing in context.

Purchase College students who choose mathematics & computer science get a broad and flexible foundation, aimed toward application. Choose between a further focus on discrete mathematics, for careers in computing, or differential equations, for careers in mathematics.

The days of “media” referring to “the news” are long gone. Students in this program create, consume, and critique media as it relates to, and protests against, institutions, technologies, industries, and aesthetics.

For aspiring music professionals, four years at Purchase College offers something rare in the conservatory world: a true musical community where the spirit of competition is better balanced by a commitment to mentoring.
Instruments Include:

Classical Guitar

Instruments for Jazz Performance:

A small, highly selective program designed to train and mentor serious singers. In addition to vocal technique, the curriculum adds stage technique, movement, language studies, and musical styles.

Voice and Opera Studies

Each Purchase College composition student is expected to compose for all traditional genres, and to master composition skills for orchestral instruments, piano, vocal music, unconventional combinations & mixed media. Electronic composition, as well as film, dance, and television scores, are all encouraged.

The intricacies of classical music acoustics versus hip-hop. Microphones, music theory, and accounting. The modern studio engineer must be trained in both the language, and the business, of music – which is why many of our students are professionals before they graduate.

Marrying a forward-thinking theoretical curriculum with plenty of opportunity for hands-on production, our new media students leave Purchase College as technologically proficient, critical, and diverse media professionals.

Students who are serious about painting and drawing require ample space and gifted mentors. Purchase College commits to your success by providing unparalleled studio space and dedicated classrooms, and recruiting practicing and exhibiting artists to guide and inspire your skill, critique, and theory.

Contemporary philosophy students tackle the classics: ethics, analysis, and critical writing – while also incorporating the arts, gender and sexuality, and social and cultural change and conflict. The BA program is excellent preparation for further careers in law, journalism, medicine, business, and government.

Contemporary photographers must have an understanding of history, technique, criticism and technology. Purchase College students engage in a comprehensive curriculum, in addition to having access to a dazzling array of darkrooms, formats, and printers.

At Purchase College, you have the opportunity to hone your writing craft surrounded by gifted actors, producers, artists, and filmmakers. Learn to write for stage and screen, in facilities that match your greatest ambitions.

Where do we go from here? Political scientists examine the challenges that shape how a world governs itself. A foundation in the age-old questions of equality, rights, and justice, prepares students for law, policy, and research.

A combination of world-class faculty and dazzling facilities puts the Purchase Printmaking program at the top of every list. Our studios are equipped for work in all of the major media: lithography, silkscreen, intaglio, woodcut, papermaking, and fiber casting.

The psychology program provides a strong foundation for students seeking ongoing study at graduate and professional schools. But many of our undergraduates move directly into impactful careers in mental health services, research, teaching, and early childhood education.

Sculpture is an ever-changing discipline that now incorporates the traditional and the digital – but the one thing it always needs is space. We have more than 25,000 square feet of shop & studio space equipped for work in wood, metals, ceramics, plaster, fabric, plastics, and large-scale fabrication. 

The study of relationships and culture helps us to better understand social class, race, gender, globalization, education, and the environment. Sociology students go on to work in education, law, journalism, public administration, social work, hospital administration, and other disciplines.

Both backstage and on-stage, we prepare students for careers in and around the world of professional theatre. The Theatre and Performance BA program combines scholarship and artistic practice, with particular emphasis on theatre as a forum for collaboration, experimentation, & social engagement.

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts BFA program puts students in direct contact with working professionals and world-class facilities. After the freshman year, choose a focus in scenic design, costume design, lighting design, costume technology, stage management or technical direction/production management.


Distinctly different from the BFA programs, the BS program in Visual Arts prepares students for careers in museums and galleries, as well as other creative careers like marketing and advertising, art journalism, and publishing.

Not sure? 

No problem. You can apply as Undeclared, and you can always change this part later.

You can also use our Majors Explorer to match your personality and interests to the perfect major for you.

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We think these would be great options for someone with your passions and goals:

Don’t feel like these options match your interests? Try again or browse all majors.