The Juilliard School, located at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is a private, non-profit performing arts conservatory. It offers undergraduate degrees in dance, drama, and music, graduate degrees in drama and music, and doctoral programs in music. Admission to The Juilliard School is extremely competitive: only about 7% of applicants are accepted each year.
The Juilliard School was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. It’s founder, Dr. Frank Damrosch, was the head of music for New York City’s public schools and also the godson of renowned Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. Damrosch sought to offer advanced musical education on par with that found in the conservatories of major European cities.
The Juilliard School gets its name from Augustus Juilliard, a French-American businessman who willed $15 million dollars of his estate for the “advancement of music in the United States” upon his death in 1919. In 1920, the Juilliard Music Foundation was established; in 1924 the Juilliard Graduate School was established. Two years later, the Institute of Musical Art and the Juilliard Graduate School merged into the Juilliard School of Music. The Dance Division was added in 1951, and the Drama Division in 1968. The school moved to its current Lincoln Center location in 1970.
The Juilliard School Music Division offers programs of study in instruments, vocal music, composition, conducting, jazz studies, and historical performance. Most undergraduates pursue a Bachelor of Music, which combines major studies with liberal arts courses. Conducting and historical performance (a full-scholarship program in the study of historical instruments) are offered only at the graduate and doctoral level. Non-degree diplomas are also offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and artist (the highest) level in many disciplines. Some of these non-degree programs are tuition free. All music students perform often: the school sponsors over a half-dozen orchestras and ensembles as well as multiple festivals each year.
The Juilliard School Dance Division offers only a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Students study ballet, modern, and contemporary forms of dance alongside choreography, music, and related liberal arts topics. The Drama Division offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting, as well as the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, a tuition-free, graduate-level fellowship extended to a select group of playwrights each year.
Juilliard also offers Pre-College programs for students from elementary through high school who are preparing to study music at the collegiate level. The school also offers the Music Advancement Program, a weekend program for intermediate and advanced music students from around the city. All accepted students receive full scholarships and Juilliard seeks out students from backgrounds underrepresented in the classical music field.
Juilliard is considered a very diverse school. The student body is 34.5% white, 28.0% international, 11.9% Asian, 6.3% Black, 5.6% Hispanic or Latino, 5.3% multi-ethnic, and 0.1% native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 8.3% are unknown.
Being a world leader in performing arts education, Juilliard has a fascinating list of alumni, including Mandy Patinkin, Sara Ramirez, Kevin Spacey, Adam Driver, and Hamilton original cast Phillipa Soo. Several successful playwrights also graduated from Juilliard, including Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who won the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play for his plays Appropriate and An Octoroon, and Katori Hall, whose work includes the Tony-nominated Tina: the Tina Turner Musical.
The Juilliard School currently operates one academic building, located at 60 Lincoln Center Plaza within the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The building is close to the 66th Street-Lincoln Center subway stop, and is only minutes from famous restaurants in New York City, including the Smith and P.J. Clarke's.
For the select few who are accepted into Juilliard’s college programming, campus life centers around the Meredith Willson Residence Hall, located just steps from the school building. The residence hall offers suite-style living: each suite features three doubles and one single arranged around a common living room with a view of the city. The school’s Health and Counseling Clinic is located in the same building as the residence hall, as is the fitness center and dining hall, Market C. Notably, Juilliard’s Health Center offers physical and occupational therapy, performance nutrition counseling, and chiropractic care—important services for students whose courses of study are intensely physical.
Students wishing to live off-campus have many options to choose from, thanks to Juilliard’s perfect location. Those looking to either bike or walk to school can consider renting in the Upper West Side. While rental prices could be on the higher end, sharing a unit with your classmates or friends can drastically reduce your monthly rent. West Harlem and Central Harlem are also popular choices among Juilliard students. Check out RentHop's subway rent map and find out which subway stops along the 1 train are the cheapest.
Many Juilliard alumni go on having amazing careers after graduating. They are spread throughout all five boroughs in NYC, with the majority in Manhattan, Northwestern Queens, and parts of Brooklyn. For alums who have been in the city longer, they'll generally migrate towards neighborhoods such as Upper West Side, Chelsea, or West Village.
For people first moving into New York City, check out the RentHop Renters Guide. The guide explains everything you need to know about renting in the Big Apple, from finding your ideal apartment to signing the lease and completing the rental process.