Admissions Reviews

When you apply to Perpich Arts High School and are invited to audition or have a portfolio review, you may wonder what will happen during the process. A process like this can be stressful, but everyone involved in our admissions process wants you to succeed. Below is some information that can help you prepare and feel confident during your review.

Showing your talent
Performing arts applicants (dance, music, theater) will audition. 
Studio arts area applicants (media, visual) bring along a portfolio of previously completed work. 
Literary arts applicants send a portfolio of written work at least a week before the review.

Five words, five images

All applicants prepare a response to an assignment that will come in the mail two weeks before the review. Depending on the art area, you will receive either five words or five visual images to use as inspiration for a brief performance piece, written piece or visual piece to bring with you to the admission review. You will be asked how the words or images you received led to the finished piece. 

Spontaneous activity

During the admission review you will also perform a spontaneous activity related to your arts area. In the performing arts this is a group activity. In literary, media and studio arts you will perform the activity individually. For each activity you will be given directions, any needed materials and, usually, a time limit. 

An important part of the admission review is the interview where you sit with the review panel and discuss your desire to come to Perpich, what your art means to you, what you hope to accomplish while at Perpich and your academic performance to date. 

Review panel

Each review panel includes a Perpich arts teacher, a Perpich academic teacher and a working artist from the community. For the interview you will meet with them and discuss your desire to come to Perpich. The panelists will ask what your art means to you and what you hope to learn at Perpich. Please know that they want to find out who you are; they are not looking for perfection. They will answer your questions too and check on your academic performance thus far.

Topics that may be covered include: 

  • Skill level appropriate to your background and past opportunities to study in your art
  • Potential for improvement and growth in your art and academically
  • Curiosity—willingness to step beyond the work you’ve done to date and try new things
  • An ability to articulate why your art is important to you
  • A clear idea of how attendance at Perpich, rather than your current school, will further your education in ways that will impact your future

"Sometimes I think back to my interview, think about how lucky I was to have been accepted, and think about how different my life might have been if it weren't for that great fortune." — Laura Fischer, '02, visual art

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"My admission review took place in 1996, yet I remember it pretty clearly today! I was incredibly nervous as I was warming up, and terrified I was about to make a fool out of myself. What happened next? I had the time of my life. The class was fun, creative and there was much laughter. I was asked questions by the panel which allowed me to express myself freely in ways I felt I could not at my old high school. I left feeling like I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I still dance professionally today. I am so grateful to the arts high school admission review day for making such a huge impact on my life."
-Matthew Wagner, '98, dance