About NMSA

Contact Admissions

Fred Graham, Admissions Coordinator
fred.graham@nmsa-ai.org | 505.629.9245

Comprehensive Arts Education

New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA), based in Santa Fe, is the only four-year, statewide, public high school serving artist-scholars across New Mexico with a rigorous, award-winning pre-professional arts and academics program.

NMSA provides students in 9th through 12th grades with intensive, pre-professional instruction in five major arts disciplines, Creative Writing and Literature, Dance, Music (Vocal, Jazz or Instrumental), Theatre, and  Visual Arts. Arts disciplines are taught daily by master teachers and professional artists in a 3-hour daily arts block that takes place after the academic day.

NMSA is open to all students in New Mexico who qualify through an audition and portfolio admissions process held every February. Students can audition in up to two of the five major departments. A panel of professional artists participate as part the selection team.

Named as one of the top 10 high schools in the state for 2018 by U.S. News and World Report, NMSA has been a recipient of one of the highest national honors in education, the national Blue Ribbon Award; has received an ‘A’ grade by the New Mexico Public Education Dept. every year since 2012; and has outperformed for the past five years on state standards assessments in reading, math and science.

NMSA provides a Sunday-Thursday Residential Program to students who live too far away for the daily commute.

NMSA’s diverse student body hails from 37 communities and pueblos from across the state of New Mexico.

The school’s academic program is funded by the state of New Mexico; funding for most of the arts and all of the residential and community engagement programs are dependent on private sector and foundation support. 

“My time here has been invaluable. As I prepare to attend Juilliard, I know the rigor and support I’ve received at NMSA have given me the discipline I need to continue to grow.”

Hugo Pizano ’17
NMSA Alumnus

“The college preparation steps that NMSA takes even as early as 9th grade surprised us – it’s clear they take the advancement of these students very seriously and have established the infrastructure to back it up.”

Merridith Ingram
NMSA Parent

Where Passion Leads to Extraordinary Results

New Mexico School for the Arts, the state’s only public, statewide high school offering pre-professional arts training and academics, opened its doors in 2010 with 138 students and has since established itself as one of New Mexico’s top-performing schools.

Points of Pride

New Mexico School for the Arts fosters a culture of respect to self, others, and the community at-large. We have created an education that supports the whole student: as an artist, a scholar, and a citizen. Our reach is statewide; students from across New Mexico are positively impacted by our programs.


Retention Rate


Graduation Rate


College Acceptance

US Dept of Education National Blue Ribbon School

In 2016, NMSA was designated by the United States Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School

One of Edutopia’s
“Schools that Work”

NMSA has been recognized by Edutopia (George Lucas Educational Foundation) as one of their “Schools that Work.”

NMSA is a Digital Promise “Case Study” School

Digital Promise is a national center created by the United States Congress to advance technologies that transform teaching and learning.

Higher than Average
ACT Scores

NMSA’s average composite ACT score is 22.7, which is 18% higher than the state average and 9% higher than the national average.