You can continue growing in the visual and performing arts after high school. In fact, continuing studies in the arts will sharpen your technical and critical thinking skills, which are necessary to be successful in your college and career pathway.

Additionally, the visual and performing arts are a career field in and of itself. Studio artist, musician, professional dancer, and actors are the typical careers that come to mind when you think about pursuing the arts further. However, pursuit of the arts can also lead to other career fields such architecture, design (visual communication and graphic design, fashion design, industrial design, and automotive design), communications (film making, editing, visual and sound effects), marketing and advertising, and even writers and novelists, fine and performing arts teaching, historians, librarians, and businessmen and women.

Looking for more college and career resources?

Click here to view helpful links regarding financial aid, student loans, scholarships and career choices in our Resources section.

Chicago Post-Secondary Schools

Here are some links to local post-secondary institutions that have arts programs available:

Beyond Chicago

Perhaps you’re interested in looking into fine and performing arts programs in colleges and universities in other states? The links below provide a good starting point to learn what programs are available.

The Chicago Performing & Visual Arts College Fair is held annually in October for those interested in any of the performing arts- music, theater, dance, vocal. It is free to the public. This fair allows students to meet admissions representatives from a wide range of programs.

Review our Audition and Portfolio Review Tips.

Visual Art

Thinking of going to art school after high school? Check out the admissions information and profiles of schools and colleges at The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

National Portfolio Day (NPD) is a free public college fair specifically for visual artists and designers. Representatives will be available to review your artwork, discuss their programs and answer questions about professional careers in art. There are NPDs all over the country, but we have one of the largest right here in Chicago at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago annually in Late October. Check out thier site for a list of US and Canadian colleges and schools of art and more information about NPD.

Performing Arts

Interested in studying music after high school? See this list of frequently asked questions that students and parents have about applying to and attending a college-level music program.

Additionally, the National Association of Schools of Music includes a list of music programs that their organization accredits.

Is theatre and acting what you’re thinking of studying and pursuing after high school? The Educational Theatre Association posts some useful info and tips for students exploring theatre in college.