Portfolio & Audition Requirements
This is your moment to showcase your talents.
COVID-19 Update: In order to keep our community healthy, we have shifted from in-person, on-campus portfolio reviews, auditions and interviews to virtual creative requirement submissions. Follow the instructions for your program of interest, and if you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-717-6049.
You can also see more of our campus by taking a virtual tour.
Admission to UArts is contingent on a sample of your talent and abilities, whether that is an audition, a portfolio or a writing sample. Depending on which program you apply to, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your work, demonstrate your abilities through an in-person audition, schedule an interview with a faculty member or engage in a combination of these activities. This process also helps us determine your scholarship eligibility.
Undergraduate Portfolio & Audition Requirements by Program
We can't wait to see, read, hear or watch your work! Choose your major to view specific information, including submission deadlines and tips like what to wear to your dance audition or how to structure your writing portfolio.
Graduate Portfolio & Audition Requirements
Our step-by-step graduate admission process, including portfolio and audition requirements, is outlined on each program’s page.
We prefer that you audition in person, unless circumstances prevent you from traveling to our on-campus or off-campus dates. In the event that you can’t make it to one of our audition dates, you may request an exception from the Office of Admissions. In this instance, you may submit a video recording of your audition. If your request is approved, follow the specific distance audition and interview instructions for your program of interest. Recorded auditions should be submitted via the GetAcceptd online submission platform.
Audition requirements vary depending on your major. Some of these requirements include materials you’ll need to bring with you to your audition. If you are completing a distance audition and interview, visit your desired program link in the Audition Requirements by Program section above to see what you will need to bring with you.
Applicants are responsible for bringing the following items with them to their audition.
- Dance: Musical accompaniment for solos, if any, must be provided by the applicant on a smartphone or laptop. All students should wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement. Appropriate attire includes leotards, footless tights, leggings, dance pants and T-shirts. The shoes you’ll need include ballet shoes, jazz shoes and sneakers. Modern and improv portions will be barefoot.
- Voice applicants should bring their own sheet music of their audition repertoire, a copy for the accompanist (if applicable), and a copy for Music faculty.
- Instrumental applicants should bring their own instruments for their performances, with the exceptions of piano, drum set and percussion. Applicants should bring their own sheet music of their audition repertoire and a copy for Music faculty.
- Drum set and Percussion applicants must bring their own brushes, mallets and sticks to the audition.
- Guitar and Bass applicants using amplification must bring their own cable. They may bring a play-along track for their accompaniment if they choose not to use the accompaniment provided.
- Music Composition applicants must bring their portfolio—arrangements, scores, transcriptions and written compositions are preferred—and corresponding SoundCloud or YouTube links to recordings. There will be a laptop for applicants to use during the audition.
- Music Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology applicants should bring their portfolio of any work produced, which may include recordings, videos, documentation of business experience or promotional work (such as show flyers and website links). Digital copies are preferred. There will be a computer for applicants to use during the interview. Be prepared to leave portfolio materials with faculty, so they can review them after the interview.
- Theater: All applicants must bring a headshot and a résumé that lists their theater training and performance experience.
- Musical Theater applicants must bring their own sheet music for their audition repertoire, a copy for the accompanist and a copy for Musical Theater faculty. Applicants who receive a callback will be invited to participate in an optional dance class at the end of the day. If you are participating in the dance class, you should bring the appropriate attire (tights, sweats, gym shorts) and dance footwear.
- Theater Design & Technology applicants should bring their portfolio to their interview. Portfolios may include items that are three-dimensional, like carpentry work, prop construction, scale models, sculptural work or sewing samples. Applicants should bring these items with them if they do not have photographs of them in their portfolio.
- Directing, Playwriting & Production applicants should bring all portfolio materials with them to their interview. These materials can include three-dimensional items like costume designs, lighting designs or set models. Applicants should bring these items with them if they do not have photographs or renderings of them in their portfolio. Applicants who are submitting video(s) of productions should be prepared to leave a nonreturnable copy with Directing, Playwriting and Production faculty.
Every student applying to performing arts programs must pass an entrance audition or an interview. This measures not only your creative and expressive facility, but also your level of skill. Additionally, in-person auditions and interviews allow us to get to know each other; to ask questions; and for us to get a sense of your passion, interests and experiences in ways that we can’t during a digital audition.
What you should be ready for
- Arrive early to allow yourself time to find where you need to be, warm up and center yourself before your audition and interview.
- Talk about yourself, your work, experience, interests and goals, etc.
- Answer questions about your performance, respond to any critiques and make adjustments accordingly.
- Perform excerpts of prepared repertoire or choreography again, if requested.
- Leave nonreturnable portfolio materials as requested. See the Audition Requirements by Program section above to learn which materials are nonreturnable.
Helpful information and tips
- Read the repertoire requirements carefully before selecting your prepared pieces. Faculty have specifically chosen those requirements to best evaluate your technical skills, artistry and presentation.
- Prepare your materials. Auditions can be stressful, so performing arts applicants should spend enough time rehearsing their prepared repertoire to feel confident showcasing their artistry and technical abilities under pressure.
- If your accompaniment is a recorded track, be sure to bring any materials necessary, like a smartphone, a laptop or a CD play-along. Only specific programs will have materials available for applicants to use to play their recorded track during the audition. See the Audition Requirements by Program section above to learn more.
- Each program conducts auditions differently, so there is no set length of time for an audition. Applicants can expect to be on campus at least half a day.
- Warmup and rehearsal spaces will be available. They may be shared spaces with other applicants, so be prepared to warm up and rehearse accordingly.
- In the case where an accompanist is required, you must bring a copy of your music to the audition. If you are performing an excerpt from a larger work, you do not need to notate this on your music—just let the accompanist and faculty know what part you will be performing.
UArts has specific dates for portfolio reviews, auditions and interviews. Students are asked to select their preferred audition or interview date when completing their application. You’ll receive an email confirming your requested audition date within 48 hours of submitting the application. Do not make travel arrangements until your audition date is confirmed.
An application for admission must be submitted to the Office of Admissions at least two weeks before your requested audition/interview day.
Q: Do I need to audition to be a music major?
A: Yes, every student applying to performing arts programs must pass an entrance audition or an interview. This measures not only your creative and expressive facility, but also your skill level.
Q: Are there pre-screenings?
A: No, UArts does not conduct pre-screenings. If you are unable to attend an audition and have gotten an exception from Admissions to conduct a distance audition and an interview, you might be required to submit a video performance. Contact the Office of Admissions if you are unable to attend an audition.
Q: What if I am unable to attend the audition?
A: We prefer that you audition in person, unless circumstances prevent you from traveling to our on- or off-campus dates. In the event that you can’t make it to one of our audition dates, you can request an exception from the Office of Admissions and learn about distance auditions and interviews.
Q: What are the repertoire requirements?
A: Each program has different requirements for repertoire. Visit the Audition Requirements by Program section above to select your desired program and learn more about your repertoire requirements.
Q: Do I need to declare a concentration?
A: UArts does not have concentrations in its performing arts programs. Certain programs in the School of Art, the School of Design and the School of Film offer concentrations for students to choose from. Find your program to learn more.
Q: Will I be accompanied by a pianist?
A: Accompaniment varies depending on your major’s requirements. In some cases, you’ll be accompanied by a pianist, and in others, you might be accompanied by a recording. Visit the Audition Requirements by Program section above to learn more.
Q: Do I need to schedule my audition?
A: Yes. Students are asked to select a preferred audition or interview date when they complete their application for admission. You’ll receive an email confirming your requested audition date within 48 hours of submitting your application. Do not make travel arrangements until your audition date is confirmed. An application for admission must be submitted to the Office of Admissions at least two weeks before your requested audition/interview day.
Q: How long is the audition?
A: Applicants can expect to spend at least half a day on campus during audition days. Each program’s auditions are executed differently, and there are additional tours and information sessions that applicants can attend. Some applicants, especially ones whose majors conduct same-day callbacks, can expect to spend a full day on campus.
Q: Is it possible to re-audition?
A: If you are not accepted to UArts, you can reapply. If you have any questions about the application process or would like to schedule a portfolio review, contact the Office of Admissions.