• ChiArts holds auditions for all students who wish to enroll. Students are offered admission based on their audition scores.
  • In the event there are more students who have auditioned and have received qualifying scores than there are seats available, those students are placed on a waiting list for possible admission if a seat should become available.
  • ChiArts does NOT participate in the Lottery System via GoCPS. 
  • ChiArts do not participate in Principals Discretion, as that is a system reserved for Selective Enrollment schools. ChiArts is considered a “Choice” school on the GoCPS application. 
  • Non-residents of Chicago may apply, but if accepted, MUST establish Chicago residency by July 1 of the year they plan to enroll.
  • Prospective 9th-graders – click here for a step-by-step breakdown of the admissions process.
  • Prospective transfer students – click here for a step-by-step breakdown of the transfer application process.

Things to know before applying to ChiArts

  • ChiArts is a rigorous program and requires a demanding schedule. The school day runs 8 am-5 pm. After 5 pm, there are occasional rehearsals and homework. Being successful at ChiArts requires time management and a serious dedication to arts and academics.
  • Students may switch majors once accepted into a program, but it is very rare and not guaranteed. Students should only apply if they are committed to serious training in that specific arts area, and are eager to practice that art discipline 3 hours a day. All students must follow the scope and sequence of their conservatory’s major. Custom schedules will not be created for individual students and students are not allowed to major in more than one art form.
  • When a student commits to ChiArts, the school becomes their priority. Please see the individual arts department’s policies concerning non-ChiArts activities. Students may not leave before 5 pm to attend other activities without specific, written permission from the Principal’s office.
  • Non-residents of Chicago may apply, but if accepted, MUST establish Chicago residency by July 1 of the year they plan to enroll.

Things to know during application to ChiArts

  • Only complete applications will be accepted. Complete applications include the GoCPS application and an audition. Due to the large number of applications received, ChiArts cannot send out notifications when applications or materials are received.
  • Students may audition for as many areas as they would like, but will only be accepted into one.
  • If you wish to apply to ChiArts for your freshman year, you must apply either through or through the CPS paper application available on the website. Please click here for details.
  • The rolling waitlist for freshman applications will be open in the Spring for programs with any remaining seats. All prospective and current 9th graders must apply through GoCPS. See for details.
  • Live or virtual auditions are required for Illinois residents. Students submitting video auditions must adhere to audition requirements as instructed by the Admissions office.
  • If you are applying as a transfer student, you should make sure that space is available in your discipline before you apply. If the transfer application is currently closed and you would like to be contacted when it reopens, please fill out our Transfer Contact Form.
  • If you are applying as a transfer student, you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, a minimum of 90% attendance rate, and earned credits that will keep you on track to graduate at ChiArts. If you meet the minimums, you will still need to be approved by our academic team, who compare your earned credits to our graduation requirements.

Things to know after acceptance to ChiArts

  • All students accepted into ChiArts for the 2023-2024 school year must prove Chicago residency by July 1, 2024, per CPS policy. Students whose residency is in question may have their application and admission reviewed.
  • If you applied as a non-resident of Chicago, you MUST have a Chicago address by July 1 of the year you enter to remain eligible. Students who do not establish residency by the deadline are subject to having their admission canceled.
  • While ChiArts is a tuition-free school, there is a once-yearly registration fee, as well as individual conservatory expenses (leotards and tights for dance majors, private lessons for music majors, etc). Students may apply for a waiver of the registration fee. Summaries of these fees are available by contacting the admissions office.

Want more information?

Freshmen, click here to learn more.

Transfer students, click here to learn more.

International Students

Click the link for Transfer Students and follow this process. You must also follow the policy outlined by CPS on their website here. Please send inquiries to