Overview

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. 

Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. 

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (The City of Arts and Innovation) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.

More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state's only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts.

The School of Dance identifies and prepares talented young dancers for careers in professional companies throughout the world. Our curriculum includes traditional training of both ballet and contemporary dance techniques, yet remains flexible and innovative so that our training, as well as our students, may continuously evolve with the world of dance. Exemplary facilities for dancers include nine air-conditioned dance studios with spring floors and two performance spaces.

The School of Design & Production attracts a wide range of talented students, from those interested in fashion (costume design and technology) to those who excel at shop class (scene design and technology). Unlike many other schools that hide design and production with a Theatre Studies program, we offer a full-fledged, stand alone program with an investment in state-of-the-art facilities and an outstanding faculty. The School of Design & Production is ranked in the top 5 schools of design and production in the world.

The School of Drama prepares talented young artists for successful careers in the profession, whether on stage, film, or television. Our training encompasses both the classical values and the more specialized skills and methods that shape the technically skilled, yet creatively inspired artists who are sought after in today's world of theatre. The School of Drama is ranked in the top 25 schools of drama, and students receive broad performing experience through workshops and major productions.

The School of Filmmaking prepares talented students for professional careers in the film and television industries. We provide funding for all student films and give our students the opportunity to experience hands-on training from day one, across all concentrations. Our training aims to produce the complete filmmaker, a storyteller of unusual videos who values and knows hot o use all the components of the filmmaking arts to realize her or her vision. The School of Filmmaking is ranked in the top 25 schools for filmmaking.

The School of Music gives talented young musicians the opportunity to perfect their musical talent and prepare for life as a professional musician. Our training includes both private instruction and public performance experience, including more than 150 recitals and concerts held each year. This performance experience, combined with career development opportunities and studies in music theory, literature and style, provides the ultimate training to help young musicians grow as both artists and professionals.

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