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 not switch majors once accepted into a program. 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.
  • 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 then plan to enroll.

Things to know during application to ChiArts

  • Only complete applications will be accepted. Complete applications include the application, report card and test scores. It is the student/parent’s responsibility to ensure that report cards/test scores are uploaded and correct in the CPS Universal Application. Due to the large number of applications received, ChiArts cannot send out notifications when applications or materials are received.
  • Students may audition for NO MORE than two areas.
  • 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. Non-CPS students, you are required to test through CPS in order to apply for any CPS school, including ChiArts. Please click here for details.
  • Second round freshman application will be open in the Spring for programs with any remaining seats. All 9th graders must apply through GoCPS. See for details.
  • Live auditions are required for Illinois residents. Video auditions may be allowed for selected conservatories for out-of-state and international applicants, and will be determined by the Admissions office. 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 our 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 92% 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 2021-2022 school year must prove Chicago residency by July 1, 2021. 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 cancelled.
  • While ChiArts is a tuition-free school, there are 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