I'm interested in applying to arts schools: what are my options?

Sue GandySue Gandy
Director of Admissions
The University of the Arts
If you are planning to study visual or performing arts in college, you have many options. You need to first consider your past experience and training in your intended major. Are you ready for an arts school or an intensive professional training program? Have you taken classes in art, theater, music, dance? If you have, and feel that you have achieved the necessary foundational training and experience in your field, then an arts school may be the right choice for you. If you are new to the arts, but have fallen in love, you might consider looking at schools that have less competitive admission requirements. Some universities and colleges will allow you to major in an art field and pursue your passion without extensive training or demonstration of your ability.
When applying to art school or a conservatory-style performing arts program, you will need to prepare for the portfolio review or audition. Start by looking carefully at each school’s requirements: they are different for each school, and the biggest mistake you can make is not paying careful attention to those requirements.
It is best to begin your applications as early as possible in your senior year. Most performing arts programs will require an audition on campus, and many visual arts programs will have the option of an in-person portfolio review. Applying early will give you the time to schedule all of your appointments before the deadline. Always take advantage of that visit—it’s an opportunity to demonstrate your talent in person. Be prepared to talk about your work, your inspiration, and your plans for the future.
With good planning and research you will find the perfect program for you!

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