Admission FAQ

Admission FAQ

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Applications for the 2020-21 school year are no longer being accepted.

Q: Who is eligible to audition for Asawa School of the Arts?

A:  All 8th grade students who are residents of San Francisco and demonstrate talent and interest in the arts.


Q:  Can I apply if I'm a current 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student?

A:  No, we are not accepting applications from rising 9th, 10th, or 11th grade students, as we are currently at capacity.


Q:  What are the entrance requirements?

A:  All students enter Asawa SOTA by auditioning.  Admission is based on audition results.  Academic criteria is not considered. 


Q:  Can I visit the school?

A:  We offer 3 school tours - no appointment or registration necessary. All students, parents/guardians welcome.  Tours are on Mondays, October 7, October 28, November 18, 2019, from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm, in our main theater.  Parking is limited. We do not offer shadow appointments.


Q:  When will I apply?

  • Applications for the 2020-21 school year are available for completion now.
  • Applications are accepted between Monday, October 7, 2019 and Friday, December 13, 2019, 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. 
  • Submit applications to the main office at Asawa SOTA, located at 555 Portola Drive, SF, CA  94131.
  • Applications will not be accepted after December 13, 3:30 pm. 


Q:  What will I include with my application?  

  • application page
  • recommendation form
  • student essay - prompt:  "How has art shaped your world view?" Be specific regarding the department you are applying to.
  • a portfolio - only required if you are applying to Architecture + Design, Creative Writing, Media + Film Arts, Spoken Arts, Technical Theater, or Visual Arts.  Please note that portfolio instructions are listed by art department. 


Q:  How do I get an audition?

A:  Submit a complete application packet and portfolio (if required) to the main office at Asawa SOTA before the application deadline, December 13, 2019. You'll receive an email with an audition assignment including date, time, and other details by December 20, 2019.

Q:  May I audition in more than one art department?

A:  No. Students audition for one art department only.

Q:  When is the audition?

A:  All Auditions (except Guitar) are Saturday, February 1, 2020 or Saturday, February 8, 2020. Guitar Auditions are Friday, January 31, 2020 or Friday, February 7, 2020. Please note that we not able to re-schedule auditions and there are no re-auditions. 


Q:  Am I guaranteed an audition date?

A:  We try our best to provide auditioning students the audition date they request but please note that auditions are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  Late application submissions may require a change of date.   


Q:  What happens if I don't get an audition assignment?

A:  If you submitted a completed application and portfolio (if required) and do not receive an email notification with audition details:

  • check your spam folder
  • contact admissions and when we return from the winter break January 6, 2020 and will respond to your email.


Q:  If I apply to Asawa SOTA do I also apply to the San Francisco Unified School District?

A:  Yes, students who apply to Asawa SOTA must apply to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Educational Placement Center (EPC). Please note that Asawa SOTA and SFUSD each have their own application process, procedures and deadlines.


Q:  How will I list Asawa SOTA on the SFUSD application?

A:  If Asawa SOTA is your first choice high school, list it first. The EPC will make high school assignments based on your preference - the priority order you put on your application. Follow the protocol as you would for any high school.  If Asawa SOTA is your first choice and you do not pass the audition you will automatically be considered for your lower choice schools. If you place other schools higher (above Asawa SOTA) and pass the audition you may receive the higher choice placement request and will not be assigned to Asawa SOTA.  After you receive your high school placement you must register to guarantee placement for the following school year.


Q:  Is Asawa SOTA strictly an art school?

A:  No, in addition to 2 to 3 hours of art class per day, Asawa SOTA  is a rigorous, comprehensive college-prep high school that prepares students for the University of California, other colleges, universities, and conservatories worldwide. Students are offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes in general subject areas.


Q:  How long is the school day?

A:  Growing as an artist and also stretching your mind takes time. The school day begins at 8 am, with 5 academic classes (in rotating blocks) followed by lunch, then  a minimum of 2 hours of art, generally ending about 3:10 pm. However, after-school rehearsals and studio time are required and vary by department.


Q:  What if I decide not to pursue a career in the arts?

A:  We understand that not all of our graduates go on to careers as artists.  But, the discipline, time management, and resilience you'll build here will help you be successful no matter what field you choose.