Apply to NMSA!New Mexico's Public High School for the Arts
Please note: We are currently accepting admissions for
- 9th grade: Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theatre
- 11th Grade: Creative Writing, Dance, Music
Currently, New Mexico School for the Arts accepts approximately 80 students in 9th grade, and a limited number of positions may be available in the 10th and 11th grades, depending on enrollment levels. Seniors are currently considered on a case-by-case basis. Inquire for more information.
Many students begin the application process by participating in a Backstage Pass. This is not mandatory, but gives prospective students an opportunity to spend some time in their arts discipline of choice. Backstage Pass participants must be in the 8th grade or above. Backstage Passes are scheduled between October and February, in advance of the application deadline. NMSA also holds monthly, one-hour tours and two Open Houses during this period (one in the Fall, and another in the Winter) to provide prospective students and families with additional insight.
Please fill out our Inquire Now form to request a Backstage Pass or to RSVP for one of our monthly tours. Please contact Admissions Coordinator, Fred Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505.629.9245 with any questions.
Who Should Apply?
Students currently in the 8th, 9th or 10th grades who are passionate about their art and eager to meet the challenges of a professional arts mastery education are excellent candidates for NMSA. Professional training in the arts prior to entering NMSA is NOT required. Students are admitted based on their Passion, Promise and Aptitude in the Arts. Furthermore, NMSA does not factor a student’s academic background in the application process. Students attending NMSA should come prepared to participate in extended-day education requirements that may include rehearsals, performances, and/or other physically demanding commitments.
Home-schooled students are welcome to apply. They will need to provide appropriate documentation of their completed grade level and comply with state or national testing necessary to assist with placement.
All prospective students must be residents of the state of New Mexico and be able to prove residency for at least 30 days prior to the first day of school. NMSA actively seeks statewide representation in its student body and offers a Residential Program for students who live too far from Santa Fe for a reasonable daily commute.
*Please note that misrepresentation of an incoming student’s grade level and/or state residency is cause for being denied acceptance.
STEP 1: Application & Recommendation
After a student has decided to apply, they should complete and submit the application form, which includes a written essay, and then secure a letter of recommendation from a teacher, arts instructor or other community member or leader who is familiar with the student’s art.
For questions, please contact Director of Admissions Francesca Rodriguez at email@example.com or 505.629.9245.
STEP 2: Audition/Portfolio Review
Once the NMSA Office of Admissions has received these, the student will be notified by email of the day and time of their individual audition/portfolio review and interview. Auditions are generally held in late February in Santa Fe. Applicants for whom travel costs would pose financial hardship can email the office to apply for financial assistance.
STEP 3: Acceptance
Acceptance letters are mailed in March. Students accepted to NMSA must inform the school of their intent to enroll, and are required to take academic placement tests to ensure they are placed in the appropriate classes. After acceptance, students who live too far for a reasonable daily commute can also submit an application to the NMSA Residential Program.
Filling out and submitting your application form and personal written essay are the first steps in the NMSA application process, which is open to students in the 8th, 9th or 10th grades.
As part of the application process, prospective students must request a letter of recommendation from a teacher, arts instructor or other community leader who is familiar with the student’s art.
Attend Audition / Submit Portfolio
Once the school receives your application and letter of recommendation, you will be notified by email with your individual audition time and instructions. Auditions are held in late February.