St. Ignatius

College Readiness Information


Majoring in Drama or Musical Theatre (Performance)

Freshman Year of High School: Consider doing a show outside of SI during the summer. Find vocal coach and take dance class

Sophomore Year of High School: Look for a summer workshop that is connected to one or more colleges. Do an outside show during the summer. Work with an outside drama and vocal coach / take a dance class

Junior Year of High School: Contact colleges to find out when auditions typically take place, and what the requirements are for the audition. Continue working with a drama and vocal coach. Begin work on college application essays. Attend a summer workshop that is connected to one or more colleges.  Begin work on text analysis of monologues (read full play). Do an outside show during the summer. Gather all information needed for each audition. Begin work on applications – finish essays.

Senior Year of High School:  Final prep of Monologues. Prepare and submit prescreen videos. Finish all applications. Auditions are usually in person, in January & February

General Info:

Each school has different requirements for auditioning.  Many have prescreens which means they look at a video and only invite a few people to audition in person.  You need to research each school’s requirements. Attending workshops where the colleges are represented is very important.  It’s a chance to meet and work with the people who are holding the auditions. Working with an outside coach is highly recommended.  The competition is very high and using an outside coach can help your odds.  Check out . Adding drama and dance classes and other shows to your resume is also important



Majoring in Music (Performance)

Sophomore Year of High School: Contact colleges to find out when auditions typically take place, and also what the requirements are for the audition. Begin working on this repertoire with your private teacher. Find out if the professors you are interested in working with have summer camps/festival/workshops you can attend so that you can meet them and work with them a little bit.

Junior Year of High School: Prepare Audition Materials/Contact individual teachers at the colleges you are interested in - try to set up an in-person meeting for the same time as your audition in the fall. Ask if the teacher with whom you'd like to study has summer workshops, festivals or camps you can attend so that you can work with the teacher to find out if you might be a good fit. Contact colleges to sign up for the audition for the following fall semester

Senior Year of High School:  Regular written application. Audition in person at the college anywhere from Oct-March during senior year of high school. Visit campuses, listen to their orchestra/bands. Try to attend a rehearsal if possible. Meet with the teacher(s) you are most interested in studying with/ arrange a private lesson with that teacher if possible.

General Info:

The school is very important, but it is also very important for performing musicians that you find a professor that you really want to work with because that person will be the one teaching you your instrument and making sure you get opportunities and that you will progress. Therefore, it is not too early to research great professors in your freshman year to see if they have summer opportunities to learn so that you can work with them; that will help you find out if you want to work with them, and they with you. If a professor likes you they will make a big effort to get your scholarship aid, acceptance, etc.



Freshman & Sophomore Year of High School: 

Explore local opportunities and summer programs that can give you the foundations of visual techniques and various approaches to image making.  Most colleges have “pre-college” programs that are designed to give high school students the opportunity to take college level classes on a college campus. There are local, state and out of state programs geared to high school students...ranging from daily classes to one, two and six-week programs on college campuses across the country.

Develop an “art practice”- you can make art EVERY DAY...a simple sketch from observation in pen or pencil or materials exploration. A commitment to daily artistic expression is a healthy can start now!

Check out college requirements for application to their visual arts majors.  Each school has specific requirements for specific majors. Begin to identify your area of interest and work toward fulfilling requirements for portfolio building and submission.  Consider participating in a summer “pre-college” program and apply.  Utilize local opportunities to do work in a studio setting or take a college class at a local college or a Saturday/ after school course.

Every year many colleges come to San Francisco for the annual NATIONAL PORTFOLIO DAYS.  This is an event specifically for aspiring visual artists and designers. It is an opportunity for those who wish to pursue an education in the visual arts and design fields to meet with representatives from colleges and universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.You can bring your work to the designated location (usually a local college campus) and speak to representatives who will be available to review your artwork, discuss their programs and answer questions about professional careers in art and design.  

Junior Year of High School:

Begin to formally identify your desired major (2D, 3D, architecture, animation etc.) Work on creating at least 15 pieces of your strongest work.  This is a good beginning to compile a “body of work” to bring to National Portfolio Days and show to visiting college reps at S.I. Breadth and depth of work as well as level of skill are important, but your original, conceptual expressions are equally important.  Colleges want to see competency in your skilled use of observation, use of materials, composition and design AND original approaches to design challenges- both are important.  Consider attending another “pre-college” program.

Senior Year of High School:

Visit colleges if at all possible to see how the “feel” of the place suits you.  Make appointments to meet with departments and professors at the schools you visit and bring a body of work to show admissions teams.                  



Students can receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography (B.F.A.)  There are also terminal degrees in Photography completing a Master in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Some colleges require a personal portfolio in the application process. Every school is different and students will need to research to find out what are the requirements for admission. A polished portfolio is often required in most schools before graduation. This portfolio must demonstrate a strong technical background and in some cases thematic unity is also required. 

Students who major in photography must study classes like history of art and history of photography, aesthetics, marketing and business, studio lighting, advertising, large format photography, darkroom techniques, digital photography and photo manipulation, documentary and photojournalism, architecture photography, etc,.. and students can focus on different disciplines like commercial, photojournalism, photography as a fine art and others.

Some of the schools in the country with the strongest programs in photography are: Yale University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California in Los Angeles, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of New Mexico, Rhode Island School of Design, California Institute of the Arts, School of Visual Art and Arizona State University.

For seminars and workshops in photography: International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in New Mexico. 

 In the San Francisco Bay area these three schools offer photography: San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts and Academy of Art University.