Admission & Audition Process for Freshmen

Round 2 applications are currently open and will remain open on a rolling basis throughout the summer. If you are interested in applying to ChiArts in Round 2, please visit GoCPS to complete an application. Students who are academically eligible will have the opportunity to add their name to a participating conservatory’s waitlist. For more information on academic eligibility, please look below. 

Please see the Steps for Admission below.  

The application for all rising and current 9th graders is only available through CPS starting in October of a student’s 8th grade year. 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.

For non-CPS 7th and 8th graders, contact CPS Office of Access and Enrollment as soon as possible for more information, or visit

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 academic criteria forthcoming.

The CPS High School Admissions Test will be administered in school during the fall of 2022. This test is mandatory for all students who would like to attend a CPS high school. Students are considered academically eligible if they fall within the 24th percentile for both the Math and Reading portions of the CPS High School Admissions Test. 

By completing the application, students are indicating that they are interested and willing to attend an audition. Applicants are responsible for preparing and submitting their auditions through the GoCPS application.

Steps for Admission


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

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

Non-CPS Students: You must take the CPS High School Admissions Test. Please visit the GoCPS website here 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 with Paper Applications: Paper applications are available for students and must be received by CPS before the set deadline. Online application is strongly encouraged. Paper applicants will experience a processing delay as well as limited audition options. Please apply online, if at all possible.

Students must apply no later than the date set by CPS. It is the student’s responsibility to provide accurate contact information. ChiArts communicates primarily by email, so please ensure that the email address you provide is valid and checked frequently.

Due to the high volume of applications, early audition registration is encouraged. We have a limited number of available audition days, and late registration or rescheduling an audition may not be an option.

School Ranking

Students, please pay careful attention to where you place schools when ranking them in your GoCPS application. Rank will play a very important role in your school program placement. If ChiArts is your top school choice, be sure to rank your favorite program #1 on your Choice 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 to as many of the following disciplines as they would like: Creative Writing, Dance, Music (Instrumental or Vocal), Theatre (Acting or Musical Theatre), or Visual Arts. Please note that you will be required to audition for all conservatories for which you would like to be considered. 


We have helpful audition guides available on our website here.

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.

If your child is eligible for an audition and requires an accommodation identified in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that is necessary in order to audition, you must inform ChiArts Admissions staff prior to the audition day. The procedures for this will be communicated once audition invitations are sent.

Acceptance Process

Once all auditions take place, CPS will match students with their best-fit schools and notice of admission placement will be sent out by CPS in March. Students waitlisted will receive notice of their placement on the GoCPS application at the same time as admission placement.

Notes on the Audition Process

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, the following: a community arts partner, a ChiArts representative, ChiArts conservatory department head or assistant.

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, etc.) Admission slots for each freshman class include:

  • Creative Writing: 18
  • Dance: 30 (novice, intermediate, and advanced combined)
  • Music: 60 (brass, guitar, percussion, piano, strings, voice, and winds combined)
  • Theatre: 36 (acting and musical theatre combined)
  • Visual Arts: 32

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

Ready to apply? Click here!