Visual Arts & Design Admissions

Admissions Process for Visual Arts & Design

The admissions process for Visual Arts & Design consists of two parts: the online Audition Application and a Virtual Audition (Portfolio Submission).

Audition Application/s

Deadline: Friday January 15, 2021

We are recruiting for school year 2021-2022. We encourage students to apply to BAA by submitting their Audition Application here! All applicants should save the information for their online application log-in and password and should provide the email address they use most often. Students are welcome to audition for up to 2 arts departments and if so must submit 1 application per arts audition.

*Boston Arts Academy accepts students for the 9th, 10th and 11th grades, however we do not admit any 12th graders. 10th and 11th graders are placed on a standby list until a seat becomes available.

Virtual Audition/s (Portfolio Submission)

Deadline: Friday January 15, 2021

Students auditioning for Visual Arts and Design will be asked to submit a portfolio as their virtual audition. All Virtual Auditions will have an open window to be submitted between mid-Nov and mid-Jan through our application database. The deadline to submit the portfolio pieces online is the same as the application deadline Friday, January 15, 2021.

*More information on how to submit your videos/portfolios via our database and full arts audition requirements will be posted in November. If this method is not possible for you, please contact Ms. Rodríguez at*

A panel composed of staff from BAA, the ProArts Colleges, local community arts organizations conduct virtual auditions. We expect every student to be prepared for the virtual audition submissions and to review audition requirements prior to sending in their virtual audition/s. We have several events lined up to help prospective students prepare for their audition. BAA offers an Audition Workshop on Saturday, November 21 from 9:30am – 11:00am to help students prepare for their virtual audition submissions. Find out more about workshops and other important admissions dates here.

Callbacks (By Invite Only)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Some students may receive a Callback after their Virtual Audition. Not all students will be invited to do a Callback.  Students must be invited to attend a Callback in order to attend. Receiving a callback does not mean the student was accepted or not accepted, it simply means the panel wants to see them one more time before coming to a final decision. All Callbacks will be held live on Zoom (information will be provided in the callback email).

Audition Requirements 

*Updated audition requirements for Virtual Submissions will be posted in November.*

Because our Visual Arts and Design program is a Perkins Chapter 74 program, we are required to follow the admissions guidelines for Visual Arts and Design set by the state of Massachusetts.

The Chapter 74 process requires that there are five categories in the admission process: audition/interview; grades; attendance record; discipline/conduct record; and a recommendation from the sending school. Students are given a composite score based on all 5 areas. All 5 areas will be considered in the composite score according to the following percentages:

  • 50% of the score: audition/interview scored on a rubric. A panel composed of ProArts College representatives, artists from community arts organizations, and BAA staff conduct the audition/interviews
  • 20% of the score: whether the student has received sufficient academic credit to complete the necessary grade. For example, a student applying to be a 9th grade student at BAA will have to show sufficient academic credit to complete the 8th grade by June of the application year.
  • 20% of the score: whether the student has an attendance record sufficient to complete the necessary grade. For example, a student applying to be a 9th grade student at BAA will have to show sufficient attendance to complete the 8th grade by June of the application year.
  • 5% of the score: discipline/conduct record
  • 5% of the score: sending school recommendation

Portfolio Requirements for Audition

Create a Portfolio (a collection of 10-20 strong art pieces)

Please Include:

  • As much work from observation as possible.
  • Pieces that show your strengths.
  • Pieces that show a variety of subjects and ideas.
  • Experiments with techniques and methods that are new to you.
  • 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works on paper, canvas, ceramics, etc.
  • A variety of different art materials, such as pencil, colored pencil, ink, paint, charcoal, pastel, etc.
  • Sketchbooks, photography and photos of large-scale or mural art if you have them.
  • Digital Art (on a clearly sorted flash drive or website) if you have them.

Please Note: Take your time with each of your art pieces. Cartoons and Anime must be ONLY original work, and not copies of existing comic images, by other artists. Professional portfolio cases are not necessary, but students must present their collected work in at least a folder or neat container.

Judging Criteria

Visual Arts & DesignPortfolios will be judged on the following:

  • Craftsmanship
    (how well is each piece and the portfolio as a whole presented in a neat and organized way?)
  • Skill
    (how well does the work show your ability to use appropriate materials to accurately draw, paint, etc.?)
  • Originality
    (how well does the work represent your invention and not copy someone else’s work?)
  • Variety
    (how well does the work include multiple styles, materials and/or themes?)
  • Concept
    (how well does the work incorporate personal and/or social ideas?)


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