Best Summer Programs for Performing and Visual Arts

High school students who are talented in the arts often keep quite busy outside of normal school hours, starring in dramatic productions, performing in the chorus or orchestra, or painting/scrupling/drawing for hours each day in the evenings. The summer months can provide additional time to pursue one’s passion in the arts, whether independently or by applying to a competitive formalized summer program.

Our list of Best Summer Programs in the Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of 28 top-notch programs that range in duration, cost, and eligibility criteria but all share the common trait of quality in the eyes of prospective colleges. All of the aforementioned data points are provided for each school along with the location of the program, whether they offer a residential experience, and when the application window opens and closes. We also reveal when applications become available, the deadlines, whether residential housing is offered, and the geographic location where the program takes place. These selections provide you a way to sing, dance, or act your way to a meaningful summer experience that provides the added benefit of improved admissions prospects.

ProgramLocationResidentialFocusLengthCostsApp. OpensDeadlineEligibility
Berklee College of Music Summer ProgramsBoston, MAYesMusic 3 days-5 weeks~$1,150-$9,150Available Rolling Age 15 and older
Boston University High School HonorsBoston, MAYesMultiple (includng Arts)5 weeks$6550+Dec 15May 29Rising 11th, 12th
College Audition Preparation Workshop at Indiana UniversityBloomington, INYesMusic 1 week ~$1,500Spring3-JulRising 11th, 12th
Columbia University Summer Immersion - ArtsNew York, NYYesArt1, 3 weeks$2810-12,354DecemberFeb 3 Early, Mar 3Rising 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Cornell University Summer CollegeIthaca, NYYesMultiple (includng Arts)3-6 weeks~$6,750-$13,500mid-January RollingRising 11th and 12th
Curtis Institute Young Artist Summer ProgramPhiladelphia, PAYesMusic 3 weeks $6,150Available 17-JanAge 14 and older
Design Immersion Camp at North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCYesDesign1 week$1200-$1300Jan 31Apr 8Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
Harvard Secondary School ProgramCambridge, MA & OnlineYesMultiple (includng Arts)2 or 7 weeks$4000-$13,300Dec 1Jan 26 Early, Mar 2 RegularRising 10th, 11th, 12th (must be 15 years old by 12/2/21)
Miami University Summer ScholarsOxford, OHYesMultiple (includng Arts)1 week$1,080Late WinterRollingRising 11th, 12th
Notre Dame Summer Scholars OnlineOnline NoMultiple (including Arts)3 Weeks$1,900Oct 18Feb 21Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
Notre Dame Summer ScholarsNotre Dame, INYesMultiple (includng Arts)2 weeks$4250-$4375Oct 18Feb 21Rising 11th, 12th
Oregon State University JumpstARTCorvallis, ORNoArt1 week$400Dec 1Jun 3 Scholarship, Jun 10Rising 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Parsons Summer Intensive Studies NYCNew York, NYYesArt/Design 3 weeks ~$7,500-$9,300Available 1-AprAges 16-18
Pratt Institute Pre-College SummerNew York, NYYesArt/Design4 weeks$4760-6556Dec 8Ages 16-18 years old
Ringling College of Art + Design Pre-CollegeSarasota, FLYesArt/Design4 weeks$3995-6100Nov 1Mar 4Rising 11th, 12th + Graduates
RISD Pre-College ProgramProvidence, RIYesArt/Design 6 weeks $7825-$10,850Nov 9Feb 1Rising 11th, 12th
San Francisco Art Institute PreCollegeSan Francisco, CAYesMultiple (includng Arts)4 weeks ~$5,5004-Jan1-MayRising 11th, 12th
SCAD Rising StarMultiple YesArt/Design 5 weeks$6,010Sept 27Rolling (June)Rising 12th
Shakespeare on Stage at Cornell UniversityIthaca, NYYesDrama 3 weeks $6,750Available 1-MayRising 11th, 12th
Sotheby's Institute of ArtNew York, NYYesArt2 weeks$5820-6420Dec 1Mar 14 Priority, Apr 25 RegularRising 10th, 11th, 12th + Graduates
Summer Art Intensive at Cooper UnionNew York, NYYesArts4 weeks $2,900January 15-AprAges 15-18
Summer Art Intensive at NYUNew York, NYYesArt4 weeks $6,2501-Feb4/1 (Early)Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
Summer Music Programs at OberlinOberlin, OHYesMusic 1-3 weeks $575-4660Mar 1Apr 1Middle School age through Adult - depending on program
Summer Pre-College Art Program at Carnegie MellonPittsburgh, PA YesArt3, 6 weeks $6500-$10,000NovemberFeb 9 Early, May 16 RegularRising 11th, 12th, Must be 16 years of age
The Clark Scholars Program (Texas Tech University)Lubbock, TXYesMultiple (including Arts)7 weeksFree/StipendJan 3Feb 16Rising 12th + Graduates
Summer at BrownProvidence, RIYesMultiple (includng Arts)1-4 weeks$2506-$9120Jan 6Jan 14 Priority, May 6 RegularRising 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Tisch (NYU) Summer High School Drama ProgramsNew York, NYYesDrama 3 weeks $13,202Available Jan 12Rising 11th, 12th
UCLA Summer InstitutesLos Angeles, CAYesMultiple (includng Arts)1, 2, 3, 6 weeks$825-2100AvailableApr 1Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
University of Chicago Summer CollegeChicago, ILYesMultiple (includng Arts)3 weeks$7775-13,200Dac 15Jan 19 Priority, Mar 9Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
Wake Forest Summer ImmersionWinston-Salem, NCYesMultiple (including Film)1 week$1500-2700AvailableRolling, MayRising 10th, 11th, 12th + Graduates
Yale - Summer Drama ProgramNew Haven, CTYesDrama5 weeks $8,500Jan 18Apr 15Rising 11th, 12th

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