FAA Summer Intensive

FAA Summer Intensive 2016, Photo by Natalie Fiol

At this immersive, weeklong program, each high school student selects a track for the week. Students stay in our state-of-the-art residence halls, and the tracks run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday. Current College of Fine and Applied Arts faculty members, graduate students, and recent FAA alums teach classes. Participants also join in evening activities such as bowling, movies on the Quad, exploring campus, swimming, scavenger hunts, a trip to Krannert Art Museum, and more. The FAA Summer Intensive concludes with an open house showcasing all work for families and participants.

See what fun our students have on campus!

Summer Intensive Tracks


Dance Intensive


Environmental Arts

Studio Arts

Theatre Tech and Design

Acting, Improv

Students will participate in rigorous acting, voice and speech, movement, and scene study classes to learn the art of acting for the stage. During the program, teens will refine and perform audition pieces and theatrical scenes that will be showcased at the open house. Students will also explore improvisation and learn techniques through coaching and warm-up exercises that will build confidence and improve theatrical performance skills.

Contemporary, Ballet, African Dance, Musical Theatre Dance Styles

In this track, teens will join the faculty and students of one of the strongest and oldest dance programs in the country. Students will be immersed in intense technical training in modern dance and ballet. Additional styles such as African dance and musical theatre dance styles, including jazz and hip-hop, will also be woven into the curriculum. A challenging modern dance piece choreographed by a summer faculty member will be rehearsed during the week and performed at the open house.

Graphic Design, Industrial Design

Are you interested in learning about graphic design or industrial design? These are two of our most popular art and design majors at Illinois. Whether you make a poster for your favorite band or create a logo for an unnamed coffee shop, you'll learn basic graphic design concepts using Adobe Illustrator. In the industrial design segments you'll create a product and gain hands-on experience with laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D printing. You'll learn about concepting, collaborative brainstorming, sketching, and prototyping by problem solving through the Design Track. You'll create multiple portfolio pieces and display your work in the art exhibit in Link Gallery at the end of the week.

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

The Environmental Arts Track is for students who are interested in solving environmental design challenges in architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability, and urban and regional planning. In this intriguing hands-on program, students will form mock firms to collaborate and solve problems in environmental science, architectural engineering, and design technology. By working on projects and taking campus excursions, you will strengthen your abilities and gain knowledge about professional fields of study:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, curiosity, adaptability, and initiative
  • Appreciate the skills and imagination needed to design, create, and use technologies
  • Explore architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability, and urban and regional planning

In this project-based track, each student will display their completed work for the exhibition at the end of the week.

Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

This track is for fine artists! Students will explore acrylic paint in its more traditional form as well as its not-so-traditional experimental uses. These will include working with gels and pastes and incorporating collage into a final mixed-media creation. Students will enhance their abilities in techniques such as shading, controlling tones, composition, and drawing methods and draw indoors and outdoors. Through sculpture students will create a three-dimensional piece by carving and casting. If you have a passion for drawing, painting, and sculpture this track is for you! You will create multiple portfolio-worthy pieces and display your work in an exhibit at Link Gallery at the end of the week.

Scenic and Lighting Design, Props, Stage Management

Experience the Department of Theatre backstage! Students will explore what it means to work "behind the scenes" in theatre. Discover the skills and techniques you need to successfully put up a show. Gain hands-on experience in a variety of backstage jobs such as lighting design, scenic design, props design, and stage management. Participate in the Open House and Showcase and demonstrate what you learned.


* Course descriptions are subject to change. Courses may have an additional course fee or required supplies.

Other Features

At the end of the week, students will showcase their talents for visiting family members from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Students are encouraged to bring their portfolios for informal feedback from Summer Intensive instructors and FAA faculty members.

Faculty and staff members from the School of Art and Design, the Department of Dance, and the Department of Theatre will offer seminars focused on portfolio tips and audition preparation.

Current FAA faculty members, graduate students, and recent FAA graduates will teach all the tracks. These enthusiastic artists and educators are dedicated to providing a profoundly satisfying experience that represents what it's like to live, work, and study at FAA.

Housing and Meals

Students staying on campus during the FAA Summer Intensive will spend the week in shared rooms in University of Illinois residence halls. Each room is furnished with beds, desks, and dressers. Students must provide their own linens and will have access to laundry facilities. Housing is staffed and supervised by resident advisors and FAA Summer Intensive counselors. Resident advisors are currently enrolled University of Illinois students trained in community building, problem solving, and emergency procedures.

Those staying in the residence halls are automatically enrolled in a plan that includes three meals per day served in the dining halls. Commuter students are automatically enrolled in a Sunday dinner and a Monday–Friday meal plan that includes lunch and dinner only.

A nightly room check of 10 p.m. is strictly enforced.


Program deposit with application: $50 (nonrefundable)

Residential program fee: $700 (includes instruction, housing, and meals)

Commuter program fee: $500 (includes instruction plus Sunday dinner and lunch and dinner Monday–Friday)

Course Supplies

Upon acceptance, each student will receive a course supply list. Supply costs range from $20 to $60 and vary by course.

Spending Money

Although it's not required, a student may appreciate having access to $50 in spending money for the week on campus. Teens especially enjoy shopping at the Illini Union Bookstore for Illinois attire.


Several scholarships will be awarded during the Discover FAA High School Competitions.


Students must have completed their freshman, sophomore, or junior year of high school by summer 2020. Teens at all ability levels are invited to apply.

Early application to the program is encouraged, as students are placed in interest tracks on a first-come, first-served basis. Although every effort will be made to assign applicants to their first or second choices, placements cannot be guaranteed.

The application process has been suspended for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Refund Policy

Application fees submitted for summer 2020 will be reimbursed. Please allow 2–4 weeks for receipt of your reimbursement.