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Timeline For Artists

10th Grade

Consult with arts teachers and mentors, both at your school and outside of school, regarding the pursuit of artistic study at some level in college. Seek advice as to an appropriate path to follow over the next three years, in terms of course selection, ensemble and extracurricular participation, and summer opportunities in the arts. It is also not too early to begin conversation with arts teachers and mentors about a frank assessment of the student’s particular artistic qualifications in the selective college admission process. The summer after 10th grade is a perfect time to enroll in an intensive program or camp that will test the student’s artistic resolve and commitment and test the waters of national or even international competition. Members of the Art, Music, and Theater/Dance Department faculties are good sources of information about such summer options.

11th Grade

As the college counseling process gathers momentum this year the artist-student needs to keep his/her counselor apprised of developing plans for pursuing artistic involvement in college and whether it will be as a “hobbyist”, an arts major in a liberal arts setting, via a double major or degree program, or on the professional track (music conservatory, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and the like). Consult with the college counselor and arts teacher about the appropriateness of submitting an arts supplement and what form such a submission should take. Develop an appropriate list of prospective colleges that meet the student’s educational and career objectives. Become familiar with requirements and deadlines for the submission of artistic supplements, portfolios, videos, CD’s, audition tapes, etc. to colleges. Attend portfolio days (if ready). Meet with college representatives from colleges under consideration when they visit your school and make plans for summer visits to appropriate campuses. Begin to work with teachers and other arts advisors on portfolio and other artistic supplement entries. Develop an artistic resume and ask an arts teacher (private, studio, or classroom) if he/she would be willing to write a recommendation, both of which should accompany the arts “presentation.” The summer after 11th grade is prime time for the preparation of the audition, portfolio, or arts supplement, although the final recording, filming, or photographing might take place in early fall of senior year, using school resources and personnel. It is also a summer for more in-depth artistic exploration and challenge via an intense, rigorous, and competitive summer program.

12th Grade

Supplements, auditions, portfolios, etc. need to be in the final stages of preparation in September and October. Some colleges have arts supplements deadlines that are earlier than their application deadlines. Complete artistic resumes and confirm with teachers who are writing artistic recommendations to accompany the work being presented for evaluation. The artistic materials will be submitted to the admission office and then sent to the appropriate department for evaluation by the faculty in Art, Music, Theater, or Dance. The evaluation, which might be a numerical or letter grade and/or comments, will become a part of the student’s admission file and considered, along with the other submitted application materials, by the admission committee in making its decision. Attend portfolio days, schedule auditions, and fine-tune presentations, as appropriate. Continue to develop and showcase talent through gallery shows, solo recitals, orchestra concerti, theater productions, and dance performances.


Richard T. Greener, Harvard College's first African American graduate, graduated from Phillips Academy in 1865.

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