Admissions Overview

New Mexico’s Only Public High School for the Arts

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2024-25 Admissions

Applications for the 24-25 school year are now open.

New Mexico School for the Arts offers passionate young artists throughout New Mexico access to an award-winning, professional arts and academic program, and we’re excited that you are interested in joining our dynamic, driven, creative community!

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.

NMSA accepts applications for incoming students from across the state through an annual admissions process in one of the school’s five core arts disciplines:  Creative Writing and Literature, Dance, Music (Vocal and Instrumental), Theatre, and Visual Arts.   There are two steps:

1. Complete an online application using the link on this page.

2. Once your application is submitted, reserve a workshop date
(email Shayla Patton at

  • February 3rd, 2024
  • February 24th, 2024

No academic criteria are used in the admission process. NMSA’s annual application period for the following school year opens in late August and closes on February 3rd.


Non-discrimination Policy

NMSA admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preference, culture, and religion or with any disability to all of the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to its students. NMSA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preference, culture, disability, and religion in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, arts and other programs.

Residential Program

Committed to making the school’s arts and academics programming accessible to all qualified young artists across the state, NMSA offers students who live too far away for a daily commute the option to board at the school dormitories Monday through Friday.

Contact Admissions

Shayla Patton, Admissions Coordinator
505.310.4194, ext 112. | 505.670.0074


New Mexico School for the Arts, along with other leading arts institutions across the country, is implementing a workshop process for admissions for the 23-24 school year.  Applicants will participate in a workshop that revolves around creating art with department faculty. Reservations are required for workshop attendance; please email Shayla Patton, Admissions Coordinator for a reservation: admissions@nmsa-ai.org.

Application Help

Anyone needing help in filling out and submitting the online application should contact Shayla Patton
at admissions@nmsa-ai.org or 505.310.4194 ext.112 | 505.670.0074