Admission & Audition Process for Freshmen

Freshman 2017: The 2017-18 Application is closed.

Freshman 2018-19: The 2018-19 CPS Application opens October 10th!

Please see the Steps for Admission below.  

Our application for all freshmen will now be available through CPS starting October 10th. Please visit for more information and a link to the application. Be sure you have activated your account or received an activation code from CPS.

Academic Requirements

ChiArts is a college-preparatory school, so both academic and artistic programs are rigorous. Students may apply and audition if they meet each of the following criteria:

1. Attendance: 92% attendance rate from the 7th grade year.

2. A minimum percentile score of 24 in both math and reading on the 7th grade NWEA. (Non-CPS students, please see testing information below.)

Students with IEPs may have a combined reading and math percentile total of 48 (e.g., reading 20 and mathematics 28). The absence requirement is unchanged for IEP students.

Any student who does not meet the academic requirements but would still like to be considered for admission to ChiArts can learn more about Academic Meetings by clicking here.

By completing the application, students are indicating that they are interested and willing to attend an audition. Check the posted audition dates before applying to avoid conflicts, as separate auditions will not be scheduled to accommodate individual students.

Steps for Admission


Only complete applications will be considered. A complete application includes both the CPS application and test scores/attendance record.

CPS Students: Your test scores and attendance record will be automatically uploaded through the website.

Non-CPS Students: You must take the NWEA and receive an activation code through CPS in order to apply. Please visit or contact the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment by phone, 773-553-2060, or email, as soon as possible. All testing and application documents must be submitted by the application deadline.

Students must apply no later than Friday, December 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm. It is the student’s responsibility to provide accurate contact information. Due to the high volume of applications, early submission is strongly recommended. No late applications will be considered.

Online application is strongly encouraged. Paper applications must be received by CPS before 5:00 p.m. on December 22, 2017.

School Ranking

Students, please pay careful attention to where you place schools when ranking them in your CPS application. Rank will play a very important role in the school you are placed in. If ChiArts is your top school choice, be sure to rank us #1 your list to ensure that if you pass the audition process, you will secure a seat at ChiArts. For more information, please visit the CPS website,


Students may apply for no more than two of the following disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Music (Instrumental or Vocal), Theatre (Acting or Musical Theatre), or Visual Arts.

If you are eligible to audition based on the above academic requirements, start preparing for your audition! We have helpful audition guides available on our website here.

If you do not meet both of the academic requirements, please visit our website here.


Be sure to schedule your audition! After you apply, you will be prompted to schedule your audition(s).

You will have until December 22nd to schedule your audition. If you do not schedule one, a time will be assigned to you and we will be unable to reschedule it.

An audition time is not set until you receive a confirmation email from the Admissions Department.

Auditions will take place in December, January, and February.

It is your responsibility to present a complete, prepared audition. Be prepared to present an audition with all requirements for your discipline listed on our website here.

Parents are welcome to accompany their auditioning child on the scheduled date, however they will not be allowed to observe the audition.

Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. If your child is selected for an audition, and she/he requires an accommodation identified in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that is necessary in order to audition, the accommodation will be provided. Your child’s IEP must be provided to ChiArts before the audition. The procedures for this will be communicated once audition invitations are sent.

Acceptance Letter

Once all auditions take place, CPS will match students with their best-fit schools and admission letters will be sent out March 15th. Students placed on the wait list will be notified by ChiArts.

Notes on the Audition Process

Auditions/interviews will take place in December, January, and February. Audition requirements for each discipline are available on our website here. It is the student’s responsibility to research and meet all requirements, and present a prepared audition. Auditions are scored using a rubric (samples are available on our website here), judging performance, presentation and potential. The audition panel for each discipline includes, but is not limited to, at least one of each of the following: a CPS designee, a community arts partner, a ChiArts representative; and a member of the Office of Specialized Services if the applicant has made this request.

If you become ill or unable to attend, please contact the school immediately. Written verification documenting the incident or illness from a doctor must be presented to the school within three (3) business days of the student’s originally scheduled audition date. A new audition date and time will be scheduled for the student by the school ONLY if there are additional audition dates and times available.

Students will only compete for slots in their discipline and within each subgroup of each discipline (flute students will not compete with visual artists for a slot, and beginning dance students will not compete with advanced students.) Admission slots for each freshman class include:

  • Creative Writing: 15
  • Dance: 30 (novice and advanced combined)
  • Music: 60 (guitar, percussion, piano, strings, voice, and winds combined)
  • Theatre: 30 (acting and musical theatre combined)
  • Visual Arts: 30

ChiArts reserves the right to adjust admission slots in each area based on the number of applicants.

Ready to apply? Click here!