Applying to FAA

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Department of Theatre, March 2019, Photo by Darrell Hoemann

Any incoming student interested in enrolling in an undergraduate program in the College of Fine and Applied Arts must first complete the online application from the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Those interested in pursuing an advanced degree should apply to the Graduate College directly.

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Step 1: Apply Online

Complete the online application from the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Make sure you meet all requirements.

Submit one essay with your application to tell us why you're interested in your major. You may want to describe an experience related to this area of the arts or write about what you plan for your life as a creative professional.

You will automatically be considered for scholarships once you submit your materials. No separate scholarship application is needed. If your major requires a portfolio or an audition, you will also be considered for talent awards.



The early action application filing period ends on November 15, 2020.

Early action notification has been suspended for the 2021 application cycle. Students who meet the criteria for early action consideration will be notified about their admission decision in mid-February 2021. Applying during the early action period may give you the best chance for being admitted to our most selective programs and special attention for admission to honors programs and for merit awards.


The regular application deadline is January 5, 2021.

Students who meet the criteria for regular decision consideration will be notified about their admission decision in mid-February 2021.

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Design, and Urban Planning Programs

  • The application must be received by November 15, 2020, for early action filing and January 5, 2021, for regular decision consideration. No talent submission is required for these programs.

Art and Design Programs

  • The portfolio must be received by November 15, 2020, for early action filing.
  • The portfolio must be received by January 5, 2021, for regular decision consideration.

Performing Arts Programs

  • The audition/interview/portfolio requirement must be completed by November 15, 2020, for early action filing.
  • The audition/interview/portfolio requirement must be completed by February 8, 2021, for regular decision consideration. (Please complete the talent request form for your intended major by January 5, 2021, to secure your spot.)
Step 2: Fulfill the Talent Requirement

Visual and Performing Arts Programs

Most visual and performing arts programs require an audition, a portfolio review, or an interview in addition to an application to the University of Illinois.

Find your major below and follow the next part of the process.

Degree Programs with No Talent-Based Submission Requirements

  • Architecture/architectural studies (BS): submit your university application
  • Landscape architecture (BLA): submit your university application
  • Music (BA): no audition is required, but explain your interest in this particular degree, describe your musical experience, and connect your long-term goals to this degree in your application essay. Students interested in music technology should schedule a faculty interview.
  • Sustainable design (BS): submit your university application
  • Urban planning (BA): submit your university application

Majors and Talent Requirements

Art and art history—portfolio/optional research paper or essay

Art education—portfolio

Graphic design—portfolio

Industrial design—portfolio

Studio art (concentrations include drawing and painting, new media, photography and fashion, printmaking, and sculpture)—portfolio

If you haven't decided what area fits best with your talents, you may apply as Art Undeclared and choose your major when you're a sophomore. A portfolio is still required to complete your application.

Get the Portfolio Requirements

Submit a Portfolio

We want to see you in action! You must audition to join the Department of Dance.

Get the Dance Audition Requirements

Request a Dance Audition

Submit an Online Dance Audition

1. The first thing you need to do after finishing your university application is submit the supplemental music form. This form is emailed to you upon application.

2. Next you will need to fulfill some requirements for your area of interest. Find your specific major. You'll be sent to the School of Music's site for the details.

  • Computer Science + Music

Get the Computer Science + Music Requirements

  • Instrumental Performance
  • Jazz Performance
  • Vocal Performance

Get the Music Performance Audition Requirements

  • Lyric Theatre

Get the Lyric Theatre Requirements

  • Music Education

Get the Music Education Requirements

  • Music Composition
  • Music Composition-Theory
  • Music Technology

Get the Music Composition and Theory Requirements

  • Musicology (Music History)

Get the Musicology Requirements

  • Open Studies

Get Information on the Open Studies Major

Submit an Online Audition

Majors and Talent Requirements


Arts and entertainment technology—portfolio

Costume design and technology—portfolio

Lighting design and technology—portfolio

Scenic design—portfolio

Scenic technology—portfolio

Sound design—portfolio

Stage management—interview

Theatre studies (directing, playwriting, criticism, history)—interview

Get the Theatre Requirements

Request an Audition, Interview, or Portfolio Review

Submit an Online Audition

Transfer Students

Qualified transfer students from both community and four-year college programs are eligible for admission. Academic and artistic qualifications are considered equally during the admissions review process, and both may impact your placement in core courses in your major. To learn about transfer requirements and the admissions process, see our suggestions for college preparation. You might also want to review the transfer student information from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Transfer applications for fall 2020 will be accepted beginning on December 15, 2020.

Your portfolio does not have to contain material specific to your major.

Get the Art and Design Portfolio Requirements

Our performing arts programs have audition, portfolio, or interview requirements for admission. Each area has individual guidelines for assessing your talent.

Get the Dance Admission Requirements

Get the Music Admission Requirements

Get the Theatre Admission Requirements

Graduate Students

All students interested in earning a graduate degree in the College of Fine and Applied Arts must apply for admission through the Graduate College. If you have questions, contact a representative by phone at 217.333.0035 or email