The School of the Arts at New York University was founded in 1965 to provide rigorous conservatory training in theatre and film in the context of a great research university. The School quickly established itself as one of the leading arts schools in the country, creating additional departments of dance, theatre design and lighting, and cinema studies within a few short years. The undergraduate Department of Drama was founded in 1974. The establishment of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (1979), the Department of Dramatic Writing (1980), the Department of Performance Studies (1980), the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (1981) and the Department of Photography and Imaging (1982) rounded out an extraordinary period of growth in terms of enrollments and breadth of programs of study. In 1982 a gift from Laurence A. and Preston Robert Tisch made possible the acquisition and renovation of 721 Broadway, where most of the School’s programs are currently housed; in recognition of the Tisches’ generosity, the School was renamed the Tisch School of the Arts. Dance and Graduate Musical Theatre Writing remain at the School’s original site at 111-113 Second Avenue. In recent years the Tisch School of the Arts has seen the establishment of the Department of Art and Public Policy (1999) and the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (2003).
Tisch School of the Arts Asia was established in Singapore, NYU's first degree granting campus outside New York City. A Master of Fine Arts degree in Film was the first to be offered (2007). Additional programs were added: Dramatic Writing, Animation and Digital Arts (2008) and International Media Producing (2010).