Getting Into a Performing Arts Degree Program

Orchestra students playing string instruments in a classroom

If you are planning to earn a degree in the performing arts, there are some things you should know before you begin your educational journey. The performing arts encompass a variety of creative pursuits that are performed in front of an audience. These fields can include theatre, music and dance. Some performing arts degree programs, especially undergraduate degrees, are multidisciplinary. Others allow you to specialize right away, though you still have to complete your general education coursework.

Preparing for a Performing Arts Degree

Most performing arts programs at the undergraduate level do not require specific academic subject preparation. However, some may want to see on transcripts that a student has studied artistic and performing arts subject matter before. Students who have not completed coursework in performing arts may want to explain why in their admissions essay. If a student applying for a dance program, for example, didn't take any dance classes through their high school, they should describe any extracurricular or after-school dance programs they participated in.

Auditioning to Enter a Performing Arts Degree Program

While academic study may not be required to begin a performing arts degree, an audition usually is. This means prospective students need to have some experience or talent in the performance field they are hoping to study. Universities will provide information on how to prepare for the audition. In some cases, prospective students will perform solo and in other cases there will be a group audition where students work with others in addition to demonstrating their talents individually. A theatre student, for example, may be asked to perform a monologue and a group scene, while a violist might perform as a soloist and with multiple other music students.

Acceptance into a Performing Arts Degree Program

If the selection committee has decided to accept a student to a performing arts degree program, the college will let them know. In some cases, if a student did not do well in an audition, the student could be provisionally admitted so long as they show growth during their coursework. They may also be admitted to the college or university itself but put on a waitlist for the specific program.

Once a student is accepted into a performing arts degree program, they can generally complete the degree in four years. An undergraduate performing arts degree will require both general education courses and performing arts-specific classes. Once the coursework is successfully completed, a student can receive their performing arts degree and enter their field.

If you are interested in making your performance talent part of your undergraduate college experience, visit our website to learn more about the performing and digital arts degrees offered at Grand Canyon University's College of Fine Arts and Production.

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