"Yes, learning about the Civil War in the morning and hearing one of Haydn's violin concertos is pretty cool … but seeing a movie on the Civil War made by my classmates and playing that concerto for my peers in class is even better. This is where the true beauty of our high school experience lies." —Montserrat Picado Campos (IAA 13-14), 2015 Commencement Speaker

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    Art Lives Here.

    Find out why.

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    A History Dedicated to Your Future

    Interlochen's history stretches back to 1928, starting as a national camp for young musicians. But since Interlochen Arts Academy opened in 1962, it has grown to become a destination for high school students looking to sharpen their artistic talents while also getting accelerated academic instruction. This is where artists come to grow and experience and thrive. This is where art lives.

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    Why Interlochen is the Smart Move

    You're an artist. And no matter what discipline you're focusing on— Music, Creative Writing, Theatre, Visual Arts, Dance, Comparative Arts or Filmmaking —we've got courses led by professional-grade instructors that will help move you and your art to that next level.

    Our postgraduate year offers professionally led workshops and classes for students interested in focusing on greater artistic preparation before entering college, conservatory or university.

    See What We're All About

    Click around this site to find info on student life and links to all of our programs.
    Take a look at our Campus, Facilities and Performance Venues.
    Want to schedule a tour of our grounds? Not a problem.
    The more you see, the more you'll understand why we say: Art Lives Here.

    Still Have Questions?

    Wondering about Costs? Find out about Financial Aid!
    Worried about How to Apply? We've got step-by-step guidance.
    Want more information?

    No Questions?

    Ok! Start your application today!

    The Best of Both

    Interlochen provides college preparatory courses designed to give you the tools to achieve your goals. Top-level academics blend with fine arts instruction to produce an integrated education. This is one of the few places in the country that exceeds at combining academics and art.
    This is Interlochen.

    A Partnership

    As a gifted artist, you want to attend a school that recognizes your talents but also provides high-level classes that will prepare you for college. Interlochen Arts Academy has been doing that since 1962, when we became the nation's foremost boarding fine arts high school.


    Our college-preparatory classes go beyond standard curriculum to bridge the gap between academia and art. Courses are rigorous, while complementing many fine arts studies. Each day from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. you will attend courses in Liberal Arts and Math and Science divisions.

    The Liberal Arts Division includes courses in English, English as a Language, History and Political Science, and World Language. All courses are taught by certified instructors committed to maintaining an individualized and supportive educational experience.

    Math and Science courses include Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Advanced Placement Calculus and Advanced Placement Statistics, along with Biology, Ecology, Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry and Physics.

    Thanks to a faculty of 80+ artists and educators, you will receive exemplary instruction in classes of small size, affording one-on-one interactions and personalized feedback. Interlochen fosters a conducive learning environment where you can reach your personal level of success while creating your goals for the future.

    Interlochen also provides Academic and College Counseling for any student wishing to explore their educational options upon graduation.


    Inter*mester term provides exciting new curriculum designed with an emphasis on collaboration, interdisciplinary themes and the creative spirit of the artist. These shorter, all-elective classes introduce students to new skills, topics and ideas that expand student knowledge and interests.

    Inter*mester occurs in January during the first two weeks of Academy following winter break. It is an independent grading period, and the curriculum is separate from the academic/artistic offerings of semesters 1&2.

    January 2015 Examples:

    Your Next Move:

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: High-Performing Alumni

    Many of our alumni go on to satisfying careers within their chosen arts discipline. A large percentage also choose to pursue careers outside of the arts, citing their Interlochen education as a valuable component of their success. Here are just a few of these high-performing alumni.

    Compare. Combine. Create.

    The focus of the Comparative Arts program is to explore what art is and stretch each student's idea of what art can be.

    Comparative Arts

    Interlochen Arts Academy's Comparative Arts program attracts artists who are eager to combine mediums and create connections between art and the everyday. As a comparative artist, you'll use aspects of creative writing, dance, theatre, music, visual arts and motion picture arts to produce projects that combine art with academic study.

    An important part of our curriculum is devoted to collaborating with other departments on campus in the creation of original works. As an individual artist involved in various projects, you will focus on the many aspects of the creative process, participating as dramaturgs, performers, event managers and branders of art. By generating ideas and taking ownership from idea to performance, you will engage in art-making from a collective, individual and social point of view.

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    Your growth as an artist will come from working with your classmates, as well as our professional arts instructors and distinguished guest artists who teach our many master classes. Once completed, your original works will be shown in the galleries and performed on stages here on campus, including the Harvey and Phoenix Theatres.

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    The Next Step.

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: The Faberge Egg

    Recently, students in the comparative arts program partnered with composer Joseph Murfin to create an original performance that serves as a metaphor for the creative and artistic process. Watch a performance and hear about the concept behind the Faberge Egg.

    Find Your Voice

    Interlochen's Creative Writing program provides the tools young writers need to take their talent to the next level. From workshops and masterclasses led by renowned guest authors to readings and opportunities for publication, our classes introduce you to innovative authors, new styles and fresh approaches to the writing process.

    Our faculty and guest writers will become your mentors, working with you in one-on-one tutorials to provide constructive feedback.

    Classes cover a diverse array of literary forms, and you will take part in intensive workshops that explore story elements and ideas of imagery, rhythm and figurative language. The courses are designed to help you reflect on your writing style and come to a deeper understanding of the nature of language itself.

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    A Place for Writers

    As a creative writing major at Interlochen, you will spend most of your arts class time in The Writing House—the only building in the United States dedicated entirely to the craft of writing at the pre-college level. Here's the view from inside.

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    In Print

    Submit your original work to the "Red Wheelbarrow," a student-run and student-edited quarterly publication, as well as "The Interlochen Review," the student-run online journal. Interlochen also makes available a full tuition writing scholarship on a biannual basis, good for every year a winner attends Interlochen.

    Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship

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    Your Next Step:

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: Engage With Us on Social Media!

    Interlochen Arts Academy invites you to interact with us on our Writing House Tumblr page: http://writinghouse.tumblr.com/

    Leap Forward

    Set against the shores of a freshwater lake bordering campus, our spacious dance studio looks out over the water, offering inspiration as the evening sun sets behind the treetops.
    This is a place that exceeds your expectations.
    This is Interlochen.

    Interlochen provides a beautiful backdrop to express yourself without distraction. Our ballet-based program is supportive and encouraging, but is designed to challenge you both artistically and technically.

    Our small class sizes allow you to receive targeted and personalized critiques from our instructors, who are professional dancers, choreographers and seasoned dance experts.

    You will get to rehearse in the amazing Hildegarde Lewis Dance Building, which some have said is the most beautiful dance studio they've ever seen. You'll practice daily, embark on exciting challenges that take your training to unexpected heights.

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    The Interlochen Dance Program immerses you in a focused study of dance, while remaining true to the foundations of classical ballet technique. Dance majors will train for five hours each day in either ballet or modern dance. In addition, your instruction will cover aspects of technique, health, nutrition and injury prevention. Your experience at Interlochen will culminate in three live dance ensembles: the traditional holiday ballet, a winter dance performance and a spring performance.

    Dance majors often enjoy opportunities to work with guest choreographers and perform in collaborative events off campus, as in 2016 when Interlochen partnered with the NY Phil for their Biennial event in New York City.


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    The Next Step

    Auditions are required for attendance, and you can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: Advice from an ABT Principal

    Misty Copeland recently sat down with some of our dance students to give them some advice.

    The Time and the Place

    At Interlochen, we offer young filmmakers the opportunity and the instruction to bring your ideas to life.

    Interlochen's Motion Picture Arts program is designed for students like you who have stories to tell. It offers a comprehensive and challenging hands-on application of the cinematic arts, from screenwriting to cinematography to state-of-the-art digital editing.

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    You'll work in small groups instructed by faculty and featured guest artists who have real-world experience in film and television, and learn the essential components of movie production.

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    Interlochen's Motion Picture Arts program is housed within the only facility in the United States dedicated to the educational development of young filmmakers, the DeRoy Center for Film Studies. In this setting, you'll receive instruction that culminates in the production of student-made original films that are shown twice a year before live audiences.

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    The Next Step

    If you're ready to be a part of the Interlochen Motion Picture Arts Program and move your talent forward, you can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: The Future of Cinema Film Festival

    Surround yourself with the next generation of movie making at the Future of Cinema Film Festival. From film screenings and lectures to one-one-one discussions with notable guest artists, this film festival has been specifically designed for high school filmmakers. You'll watch films, see new ideas and network with international students poised to create the next generation of great cinema.

    Make Music

    At rehearsals and recitals, in courtyards and classrooms, out on the lawn and down by the lake—music is everywhere at Interlochen.

    Music is as much a part of Interlochen as the forests and the fieldstone buildings. It drifts among the trees; pours from dorm rooms; flows along the paths between classrooms.

    Music Lives Here.

    Interlochen built its foundation on music, forming the very first National High School Orchestra Camp in 1928. And with the creation of the Arts Academy high school boarding school in 1962, Interlochen continued its commitment to music and quickly became one of the finest pre-professional schools for young musicians. Interlochen offers high-school students a wide range of musical opportunities, from voice to instrumental to composition. This diversity, with its concentration on excellence and high level of skill and standards, has attracted both talented teachers and students from around the world.


    Today, Interlochen offers more than 20 instruments and specialties, surrounding you in a collaborative community of artists. Combined with high-level academic courses, classes in music theory and numerous performance opportunities, these programs provide students with a well-rounded and in-depth education.

    These programs, combined with high-level academic courses, allow Interlochen to offer you a well-rounded and in-depth education. Interlochen also offers classes in music theory, numerous performance opportunities and a supportive staff and peer group.

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    Develop as a Musician

    Interlochen's faculty includes leading music instruction educators and professional musicians who take the time to get to know you as an individual performer. We put an emphasis on smaller class sizes, which allows for more personal attention and one-on-one feedback.

    We are here to help build your confidence and skill, and to prepare you for the rigors of conservatories and universities. We offer private lessons, studio classes and ensemble experiences in Band, Orchestra, Chamber Singing, Chamber Music, Choir, Opera, Jazz, Percussion, Brass and Blues.

    Interlochen provides learning experiences with professional musicians, singers and composers as guest artists from around the world come to Interlochen to hold master classes with students. Top performers such as jazz drummer Peter Erskine, trumpeter Jim Thompson, pianist Yun-Soo Cho and Broadway star and Tony-winning alumna Victoria Clark, along with many others, have all interacted directly with students in small-class settings, providing valuable insight and personal direction.

    Interlochen collaborates with music organizations across the nation, providing our students with opportunities for real-world, life-shaping experiences, such as our recent partnership with the New York Philharmonic's Biennial Celebration, where Interlochen was the only high school in the nation chosen to perform at this prestigious event.

    And in addition, music majors get to perform in professional-level venues here on the Interlochen campus, including the 950+ seat Corson Auditorium.

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    Recent high school graduates are invited to learn about our Postgraduate Year, a one-year, immersive experience for those seeking a college-level music program.

    What's My Next Step?

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: Mini Music Lessons

    For a glimpse into the type of instruction offered in our Music Program, here are a few Mini Lessons presented by some of our faculty.

    Raise the Curtain

    Interlochen Arts Academy is a theatre school unlike any other.

    The Hollywood Reporter called it the "nation's No. 1 high school drama program."

    Since 1962, Interlochen's Theatre Arts department has generated a growing list of successful alumni, including Emmy-winner Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Transamerica), multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban, Ana Gasteyer (SNL, Wicked), multiple Tony winner and nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin, Wedding Singer, Elf the Musical), four-time Emmy winner and judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" Mia Michaels, Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Sarah Ruhl, Barrett Foa (NCIS Los Angeles), Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer), Elizabeth Marvel (Heather Dunbar on House of Cards), Zach Woods (Jared on Silicon Valley), Sydney James Harcourt (Hamilton) and many more.

    You Can't Ask For Better

    Performance training within the theatre program is designed to help you explore your full potential. Each year, the Interlochen theatre arts department presents four mainstage productions, two studio productions and a one-act festival, allowing you opportunities to explore a wide variety of repertoire and roles.

    Our faculty and guest artists will help you develop your skills in every aspect of theatre, with distinct classes ranging from Voice and Diction to Design and Production, which gives students opportunities to study stagecraft and design in the classroom and use Interlochen's state-of-the-art facilities to make their ideas a reality. Classes for each grade level include studies in Acting Technique, Elements of Production, and Play Structure and Analysis, and electives range from Improvisation, to Dance for Musical Theatre, to Fundamentals of Design, to World Theatre.

    The goal of the program is to ensure that when you leave Interlochen you have a broad range of instruction in both the arts and academics, and are prepared for success in university, conservatory or professional theatre.

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    The size and style of the many performance venues on campus vary from the 170-seat "black box" format of the Phoenix Theatre to the 950-seat Corson Auditorium to the 173-seat Harvey Theatre. Interlochen's theatre program productions are truly autonomous, with on-site costuming and professional-grade set design and construction facilities.

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    Interlochen's Theatre Program productions are truly autonomous, with on-site costuming and professional-grade set design and construction facilities. Students see how a performance is produced from every angle.

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    The Next Step.

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: Master Class

    Take a sneak-peek as Tony Award-winning actor and Interlochen alumna Victoria Clark conducts a masterclass with theatre students at Interlochen Arts Academy.


    Interlochen Arts Academy allows you to express your art through the discovery of your own distinct voice. We nurture your use of imagery to convey emotion, and encourage you to experiment with different types of media. With quality instruction and constant support, you'll see why we say "Art Lives Here."

    Take Chances. Make Statements.

    Visual Arts at Interlochen lets you explore your creative process through more than 20 different course offerings, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, metalsmithing and more. These varied applications allow you to experiment with different mediums, gain a broader understanding of design, and have the freedom to take expressive risks.

    In Interlochen's supportive atmosphere, creativity and risk-taking are encouraged, creating a community of growing artists who are all concentrating on expression and craftsmanship. The result? YoungArts winners, Scholastic winners, and numerous exhibitions and portfolios that reflect the individual artist.

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    This is Great! What Do I Do Next?

    For even more information on the Visual Arts courses, please contact our office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 231.276.7472 or admission@interlochen.org. You can also find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid. Or, if this sounds like the perfect program already, you can start your online application today.

    Bonus: Watch the making of a gallery exhibition

    Interlochen Arts Academy guest artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum recently created the "Omphalos" mural in the Interlochen Center for the Arts Dow Center for Visual Arts gallery. Check out this timelapse of the artist at work.

    Make Memories

    Interlochen Arts Academy is more than just a school. It is also much more than simply a fine arts institution. Interlochen is a family.

    What You Can Expect

    Interlochen is more than just a school. It's a place to make friends, focus your energies, and experience all the positive things that life has in store.

    Join impromptu jam sessions after classes with students from around the world. Grab a coffee at our coffee bar and enjoy the campus. Walk along the shore of Green Lake and marvel as the trees change color in the fall. No matter the weather, you can work-out, rock-climb or play basketball inside our state-of-the-art Dennison Recreation Center. You'll even enjoy your trips off campus! You can be a part of spring break and other special trips to places like China, Wales, Australia, and more. We even have off-campus field trips to spectacular Michigan attractions like Sleeping Bear Dunes, or you can take a shuttle to the local mall with friends.

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    Dorm Life

    At Interlochen, you'll be a part of a real-world educational and social environment. Our well-maintained dormitories are like the ones you'll find at major universities, complete with common areas, practice rooms, work spaces and laundry facilities. You'll spend your time living, learning and laughing with other young artists in various arts areas who have come to Interlochen from all around the world.


    Hungry? You'll be enjoying three fresh-cooked meals every day in the newly redesigned Stone cafeteria. Each meal features a variety of choices, including hot, cold, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, not to mention soups, cereal, salads and more.

    Daily Dress

    Since 1962, Interlochen students have worn our traditional, blue-on-blue uniforms. While some students enjoy "personalizing" the dress code each year, these uniforms have become an honored part of Interlochen's history, and always spark fond memories in our alumni. You'll look great. We promise.

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    Discover more about our academic courses or different arts areas, or find out about admissions and applying for financial aid.

    I'm Ready!

    If you're ready to hear more about enrolling, feel free to contact the Office of Admission at 231.276.7472 or admission@interlochen.org.

    Focus on Your Art

    It's called the Art World for a reason.

    Dedicated to the Promotion of World Friendship through the Universal Language of the Arts

    The strength of Interlochen's legacy comes from its diversity.
    The diversity of its arts areas, instructors, academics, and international learners.

    Since the Arts Academy opened in 1962, thousands of young people like you have travelled from dozens of countries to live, study, rehearse and grow together on our campus, making lifelong friends and gaining global perspectives on life and art.

    Each school year, roughly 30 countries are reflected in the Interlochen student body. We are well-acquainted with the challenges of studying abroad, and we are equipped to help make it an enriching experience for all students. The Academy makes every effort to place international students with English-speaking roommates in order to help with their English and cultural adjustment.

    Interlochen Arts Academy values its international population, and we strive to incorporate all cultures into our programs, both artistically and educationally. Students hear the voices of different cultures and exchange ideas and viewpoints They gain from discussions on artistic heritage, technique and perspective, and create lasting international friendships.

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    Interlochen provides live webcams of many on-campus performances, allowing opportunities for family members and friends around the world to experience their children's events. In addition, Interlochen offers English Language Learner courses tiered to individual student progress which ensure that our students receive the highest possible educational experience available.

    The success of our students while here and in their future educational careers is imperative to Interlochen. With care and support, roughly 74% of our international students have matriculated to conservatory or professional art programs, while 26% have gone on to college/university programs.

    Your Next Move:

    You can find out more about the admissions process, application deadlines and financial aid, or you can start your online application today.


    Considering Interlochen?

    Here's A Quick View Of What To Do And When To Do It

    To help make the admissions process even easier, here are some important dates to keep in mind.

    Early Decision Timeline:

    • Early Decision Admission and Financial Aid Application Deadline: mid-November
    • Early Decisions Sent: mid-December
    • Early Decision Reply Date: mid-January

    Regular Decision Timeline:

    • Regular Decision Admission and Financial Aid Application Deadline: mid-February
    • Regular Decisions Sent: early March
    • Regular Decision Reply Date: early April

    Applications received after decision deadlines will be reviewed on a rolling basis as space and funding permits.

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    There is no better way to get to know Interlochen than by scheduling a campus tour, if at all possible. We strongly encourage visitations during the academic year to get an idea of what it's like to be a student here. Touring the grounds will allow you to view all the buildings and venues, talk to our faculty and staff, sit in on a class, conduct an audition or just get a chance to tour the amazing Northern Michigan area.


    The basic steps for applying include:

    • A $65 non-refundable application fee ($100 for international applicants).
    • Providing current school transcripts covering the last three years (International students must provide a translated transcript).
    • Creating an essay of approximately 500 words.
    • Submitting an online recommendation of a school principal/head or guidance counselor. For students with a non-traditional school background, please submit an additional recommendation from an adult non-family member in lieu of the principal or guidance counselor. This recommendation should speak to the student's citizenship qualities.
    • Providing an online recommendation of an adult, non-family member.
    • Making available results of standardized testing, e.g. PSAT, SAT, SSAT, SLEP, TOEFL, state or district tests, etc. (OPTIONAL)

    Keep in mind that many programs require an audition or portfolio which can be submitted online. Individual audition and portfolio requirements can be found on each program's web page. Families should complete the Application for Admission before submitting any auditions or portfolio work, though.

    When considering the next step in your education, you'll have many concerns that will need to be addressed, such as the costs involved, the level of education you can expect, and the benefits that Interlochen provides. That's why our staff are here to answer any questions you might have, including how the application process works and how to look into financial aid possibilities. To speak to someone directly, feel free to contact our Office of Admission and Financial Aid at your convenience at 231.276.7472 or online at admission@interlochen.org.

    Applying for Financial Aid

    Did you know that Interlochen Arts Academy offers more than $10 million in financial aid each year? In fact, more than 70 percent of our Academy students receive some form of financial assistance. We are happy to provide this help so that as many families as possible are able to consider attending Interlochen.

    If you wish to apply for financial aid, you will need to do two things:

    • Indicate your interest in applying for financial aid in your online application.
    • Upload a copy of your family's federal income tax form 1040 for the previous two years (families outside the U.S. should submit an official letter, in English, from the employer of each working parent verifying employment, current salary and any other compensation).

    Let Us Help

    Still have some questions? Contact the Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 231.276.7472 or admission@interlochen.org.