How to Prepare

College can take your talent to the next level. A smart approach to gaining knowledge and building skills before you arrive on campus can help set you up for success.

First-Year Student Admission

Take classes in high school that challenge you and give you a broad background in lab sciences, math, social sciences, cultures, languages, and communication. Enroll in classes in your area of interest that are offered at your high school. Be curious, dedicated, and enthusiastic about learning: this is vital for creative thinkers.

Keep a sketchbook. Play your instrument. Become a character. Whatever you do, practice, practice, practice!

Get involved in organizations, sports, clubs, and performances at your high school or in your community. You’ll meet a diverse range of people, and you’ll discover other abilities to help you succeed as an artist, designer, or performer. Broaden your perspective by volunteering to make your neighborhood or community stronger. Seek an internship to sample careers you may enjoy most. If you have a hard time finding activities and groups at your school or in your community, participate in virtual programs or classes.

Attend a summer program at Illinois: Discover Architecture, the FAA Summer Intensive, or Illinois Summer Youth Music. Enter our Discover FAA High School Competition to test your talents and win prizes.

Join us for an information session during your visit to campus. We also offer a wide variety of helpful virtual events for prospective students, including an overview of the college with application details, sessions with tips on improving art and design portfolios, and presentations on talent submissions for performing arts majors.

Talk to your teachers, meet with your high school counselor, and attend college fairs and events. Develop an action plan! Of course don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you find your place in the arts.

Make sure you know the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign admissions requirements, keep track of application deadlines, and get prepared for the talent requirement for majors in the School of Art and Design, the Department of Dance, the School of Music, and the Department of Theatre.

Submit an application through the myIllini application or the Common App. Don’t forget to finish your second-step talent requirement if you are applying to a major in the School of Art and Design, the Department of Dance, the School of Music, or the Department of Theatre. Your application is not complete until you have participated in the audition, interview, and/or portfolio process.

Apply to the University of Illinois

Transfer Students

We encourage you to consult with an FAA advisor as early as possible in your community college career so that you can map out a course plan. Some of our degree programs rely on a series of courses that must be taken in order, while others may have a list of suggested classes to take before transferring.

It’s important to consult the Transfer Handbook when considering your transfer options to ensure you meet specific course and GPA requirements. Our handbook provides required and recommended course sequences, with transfer prerequisite requirements listed in bold red italics. Compare the recommended courses against your potential transfer credits. Information is subject to change and doesn’t constitute a contract between you and Illinois. View the FAA Transfer Handbook.

Transfer course equivalencies help you determine what courses transfer to Illinois, while planning guides show you how your transfer credit can be used in an Illinois program of study. Note that these things don’t constitute a contract between you and Illinois and that transfer credit for courses focused on art and design skills are subject to an audition and placement exam or portfolio review. Learn what transfers at Transferology.

FAA offers articulation agreements for some majors with specific junior colleges:

Parkland Pathway

Check out the application deadlines and requirements. Don’t forget to complete the talent requirement if you’re applying to a program in the School of Art and Design, the Department of Dance, the School of Music, or the Department of Theatre. The Applying to FAA page has details.

Learn more about Financing your Education

Are you interested in the environmental arts, performing arts, or visual arts—or all three?

Cookie Settings