Ask the Experts: A School of Visual and Performing Arts

By Peterson's Staff updated on Monday, January 28, 2013

Question It's my cousin's question, and she is trying to major in photography in art schools. What is the most important factor that will affect her admission? (Ex. GPA, SAT score, portfolio...) - Younjoo


AnswerColleges that are dedicated entirely to the visual and graphic arts, which of course includes photography programs, tend to put the greatest weight in their admissions decisions on an applicant's portfolio. While solid to good grades in an academic high school curriculum are important, the quality of one's portfolio means more as it is an indicator of one's talent and potential for successful studies in a specialized arts program. Test scores tend to carry much less weight. A student contemplating applying to professional arts schools should begin as early as possible in high school to build their portfolio of outstanding samples. They should also be certain to check the specific requirements of those art colleges of interest in terms of the portfolio.


Question What All Would It Take to Get into A Good Performing arts college if you've had more than 14 years of dance experience and you compete in dance competitions every year? - Kaycee


AnswerDepending on the college, academics will count more or less. If you are applying to a dance program at a larger university, there may be university-wide admission requirements you need to fulfill (take NYU as an example). So, paying attention to good courses, grades, and solid SATs is important. That said, a more free-standing program will primarily be looking at your dance experience, credentials, recommendations, and audition.


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