VCUarts is ranked #1 among public art schools by US News & World Report


Who may apply and who is accepted? 

Focused, serious art students who demonstrate high levels of initiative and responsibility for their work are accepted to the Intensive. This is a rigorous program with a challenging curriculum. Summer Intensive classes explore art at a level not readily available in high school. Students are expected to excel in classes six to eight hours per day.

Grade point average (preference is given to those with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 and above), teacher recommendations, and an essay about why they want to attend the Intensive are all taken into consideration before an admissions decision is made. The average GPA for students admitted to the Intensive is 3.59.

Students who have completed their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years in high school, and are serious about improving their artistic abilities, developing portfolios, and/or learning how to audition for college admission are encouraged to apply.

Participants will meet students from across the country and around the world. Through working on common projects and sharing a living space strong bonds are formed among the participants. Many students have formed long-term friendships through the Intensive.

Who should complete my Teacher Recommendation? 

We suggest that you have an art, theatre, sewing, writing, or computer arts teacher complete the recommendation for you.  These teachers can work at your school or give you private lessons.  Also, if you are trying out a new field and have not taken this particular subject at school, any teacher who can speak to your creativity will be fine. You might select your English teacher or anyone who can speak about your creativity and passion for the arts.

Are there any scholarships available for the VCUarts Summer Intensive? 

Unfortunately, we do not offer any scholarships for the Summer Intensive.

Some students take on part-time jobs to help out with tuition. Others ask their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to give them money for birthdays and holidays so they can use the money to attend the program. Some students inquire with local community organizations such as the Rotary, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council, etc. to see if they have scholarship money available.

What are the faculty qualifications? 

We invite some of most distinguished faculty members from the nationally recognized VCU School of the Arts to work with participants each summer. VCUarts is ranked the #1 public university arts and design program in the country (US News & World Report). Professors are working artists and designers, selected for their artistic and professional accomplishments as well as for their well-honed teaching and mentoring skills. Students also benefit from the expertise and feedback provided by graduate students assisting professors.

How large are the classes? 

The average class size is 10 students. Smaller classes enable the professors and teaching assistants to provide more one-on-one feedback and support to the students.

Will my son/daughter be safe? 

Student safety and security are top priorities at VCU. The University has one of the largest and best campus police forces in America. VCU is patrolled on foot, on bicycles, on scooters, and via automobiles by highly-responsive campus police 24-hours a day and provides a safe, well-lighted environment. Well trained counselors escort residential students everywhere they go – to and from all meals, classes and all activities. Unless accompanied by program staff, it is expected that students stay within the confines of the VCU campus at all times.

Participants in previous years have been asked on their program evaluations to rate how safe they felt while on campus. The rating scale ranged from 1 which meant “Totally Safe” to 4 which meant “Completely Unsafe.” The students’ average rating was 1.2 which fell between “Totally Safe” and “Above Average.”

Entrance to the residence hall requires an electronic key card and passage by a security desk that is staffed by security guards around the clock. The front door is the only way to enter and exit the building. The VCU Police monitor dorm access and exit according to student card key swipes. Students found entering or exiting the building after curfew will be dismissed from the program immediately.

Who are the counselors? 

Counselors are upper-level undergraduates, graduate students or teachers who have completed a rigorous application procedure, provide references, and pass a background check.  The Counselors complete an extensive training program prior to the Summer Intensive.

What do students do on the weekends? 

Participants will have a choice of going home for the weekends (or one weekend) or participating in the Art Adventure Weekends. Students who decide to engage in the Art Adventure Weekends will select from five course offerings each weekend. These students will receive eight additional hours of instruction each weekend for a fee of $50 per weekend. Past course offerings have included an Introduction to Jewelry Making, Introduction to Typography, Screenplay Writing, Enameling, and Bookmaking to name a few.

Are there art supply stores close to campus? 

If students are unable to find the necessary art supplies before they arrive there are a number of art supply store within walking distance of the residence hall, and the VCU Bookstore carries a wide range of art supplies in case students run out of something during the Intensive.

What is the weather like in Richmond during July? 

A typical summer day consists of average low temperatures in the mid to upper 60s and average high temperature in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Richmond tends to be very humid.  Students should come prepared for possible thunderstorms.

What is Richmond, Virginia like? 

Richmond, known locally as “RVA,” has been the capital of the Commonwealth since 1779, and offers a wealth of opportunities for cultural, educational and recreational experiences. Richmond is a mid-sized city. The population of the Richmond metropolitan area, including Richmond City, and Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover counties exceeded 1.2 million people.

Richmond offers easy access to the ocean, mountains, Washington, DC, and Williamsburg, VA. It also offers trendy boutiques and restaurants, outdoor pursuits among one of the nation’s largest river park systems, and a treasure trove of historic landmarks provide fun times galore.

VCU contributes greatly to the culture and entertainment of the city with collegiate athletics as well as dance, music and theatre performances by VCU School of the Arts students.  Richmond life is also enhanced by a number of professional sports teams, professional theatre companies, the Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Opera, and a rich selection of museums and historical sites.

How large is VCU? 

VCU is an urban, public institution enrolling nearly 32,000 undergraduates and graduate students on two campuses. More than 2,020 full-time faculty members and 897 adjunct faculty members comprise the university’s teaching force.  The total workforce of the university – faculty, physicians, nurses and administrative and support staff – is more than 15,000.