School Profile

Perpich Arts High School opened its doors in 1989 and graduated its first class in 1991. It is a tuition-free, public, residential high school for students in 11th and 12th grades.

Close-up of student
Quick facts:

Enrollment is no more than 310 students as juniors and seniors from all parts of Minnesota

Average class size is 23 students

The school’s residence hall can accommodate approximately 140 students

The school currently has a faculty of 16 full-time and 10 part-time teachers 

The school day is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m

The school is part of Perpich Center for Arts Education, a state agency created in 1985 and funded by the Minnesota legislature to promote access to and opportunities in arts education for all Minnesota students, teachers and schools. The Perpich agency provides outreach through K-12 professional development and supports an arts education library as well as operating the high school.

Students who wish to attend Perpich Arts High School must go through a competitive application and review process. Those accepted have shown artistic promise and a strong commitment to serious study in the arts and academics. The school stresses arts and academics equally and emphasizes creative and analytical thinking, problem solving and decision-making.

Perpich Arts High School is founded on a unique approach to learning. The school curricula are based on clearly defined, high standards of achievement and are centered on the learner. Every student is an active participant in his or her personal learning and assessment. With the assistance of their instructors, students are continually measuring progress and growth toward defined outcomes.

The school follows a block schedule system in which full-credit academic courses are taught in 90-minute periods. Half-credit academic/arts electives also are offered during 50-minutes blocks four days a week each semester. Arts courses are three hours a day every afternoon.

The teaching staff represents a broad mix of professional teachers and artists with exemplary credentials. The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling and complies with its Statement of Principles of Good Practice.

The school provides a college preparatory program with academic courses in English, mathematics, science, social studies and world languages. The arts programs include dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater and visual arts. Arts courses are college preparatory and require college-level reading and written work in addition to technical work in the particular art area.


“[Perpich] has given Ana direction, skills and shown her how to express herself through her art. She has grown enormously, and is forever inspired and changed.”
— Kelly Wray, parent

2016 class stats

  • 100% graduation of its 102 students
  • 79% plan to attend a two-year or four-year college, university or conservatory
  • $2.8 million in scholarships and grants collectively received
  • One student named National Merit Commended.