• Look out for any Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs. The National Association for College Admission Counseling sponsors these during the fall in many large cities.

    • Determine if the program is offered as a major, minor or extracurricular activity.

    • What degrees are offered? (BA, BFA, BM, etc.) Course requirements are different and students should understand that at a BFA or BM is typically more concentrated than a BA.

    • If students are interested in the business side of fine arts, be sure that the college offers courses or program related to this.

    • If a school has a graduate program in fine and performing arts, find out if undergraduates have opportunities to be cast in productions, perform solos and have access to studio time.

    • Is teacher education available? Check on teacher certification programs.

    • Find out about double majors. Is this encouraged? Can you graduate in four years

    • Animation programs that are connected with art departments are usually best.

    • Programs in video game design are also offered at technical schools, not-for-profit institutions as well as two and four year colleges. Determine which option is best given your academic background and career goals.

    • Utilize fine and performing teachers at NCHS. They are knowledgeable about what colleges have good programs and can be helpful in looking at the “fit” for particular students.

    • The more passionate a student is about pursuing their passion, the better chance that they will persist and graduate. Many of the skills/talents in the arts are applicable in other fields. 

    Application Advice

    • Check on each college’s web site to find the specific requirements for applying as a fine or performing arts major or minor.

    •  Look to see if an audition, portfolio or specific application supplement is required

    • NCHS’ fine arts, drama and music teachers have a wealth of knowledge and are always happy to help

    Porfolio Advice

    • Check each college’s web site to find out whether this is required, recommended, and where and how this should be submitted

    • Begin planning this portfolio during your junior year. Seek the assistance of one of our art faculty.

    • Check on the specific requirements for the portfolio, how many pieces of work, in what form ( e.g. slides, CD, CD in jpeg format, web site)

    • Many local colleges have portfolio review days, especially in the early fall of senior year. Use this opportunity to have your portfolio reviewed by the experts at the college level

    Audition Advice

    • Check each college’s web site for specific audition requirements

    • Some colleges require that auditions take place at the institution; some have audition days in several cities around the US.

    • Be sure to set up your audition time EARLY in the application process if possible

    • Do pay attention to your personal appearance and deportment. Show you are well prepared and have done your homework about the program and the college.

    • Dress appropriately e.g. for dance auditions invest in some dancewear that shows your body in motion

    • Do bring in sheet music and speak clearly to the accompanist. Most schools do not need you to bring your mother or friend to accompany you.

    • Do select a piece to showcase your talents. Avoid pieces that attempt to shock or with inappropriate language.

    • Do avoid current hits from Broadway, songs associated with particular artists and overly familiar material

    • Select material suitable for young performers and beware of choices that are difficult to perform under stressful conditions.

    • Do not outstay your welcome and answer any questions in a straight-forward manner that expresses your individuality.