If you are still in high school but looking longingly forward to art school, the wait might be shorter than you think.
Art schools around the country and abroad put together pre-college art and portfolio camps with you in mind. These programs are multipurpose.
What might be most exciting for students buzzing with anticipation about art school is that they give you a chance to experience college before you are finished with high school. You can get a feel for the atmosphere at the school you are interested in attending, explore campus, meet teachers and just have fun learning before the pressure is on to graduate.
Applying for pre-college programs will give you a taste of what admissions processes will be like. And, just being on campus could help you keep the freshman jitters at bay when you actually start college later.
In terms of practicality, pre-college programs offer a chance to build your portfolio under the guidance of faculty. Your portfolio is the body of work you will show to colleges when being considered for admission and even to future employers. The more diverse your portfolio is the better. Art and portfolio camps will more than likely allow a chance to work with mediums that you might not have experienced in your high school classes.
As an added bonus, many schools offer pre-college programs for credit. Any adviser will tell you that getting ahead in college credits is a great thing.
Age and grade eligibility for pre-college programs vary by college. So, be sure to check the specifics for the classes offered at your school of interest. Many programs are geared toward high school juniors and seniors. However, some schools offer classes for students as young as middle school.
Here, we’ve provided a list of schools that offer art and portfolio camps. But there are many more options out there. Do your research and find a college, university or institute that best fits you as an artist.
Pre-College Programs At A Glance
Academy of Art University
Pre-College Art Experience Program offered in fall, spring and summer
California College of the Arts
Pre-college summer art program
Pre-college Art, Portfolio and Creative Writing Summer Programs
Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Pre-College Portfolio Camp
Massachusetts College of Art & Design
Summer Intensives and Summer Studio Classes
Montana State University – School of Art
Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Pre-college Summer Session
New Hampshire Institute of Art
Pre-college Summer Program
Parsons The New School of Design
Pre-college Summer Intensives
Penn State School of Visual Arts
Pre-college Summer Art Camp, Portfolio Thinking
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pre-college portfolio workshops and art classes
School of Visual Arts NYC
Southwest University of Visual Arts
Summer Art Camp
Summer College For High School Students
Temple University – Tyler School of Art
Pre-college Portfolio Boot Camps, offered Monday through Friday for 2 weeks during the summer or weekends during the school year.