Red Hawk with red flowers below

College of the Arts Admissions FAQs

What majors require a portfolio or audition?

If you are applying to Animation and Visual Effects, Illustration, or Visual Communication Design, a portfolio is required. If you are applying to Dance, Music, Music Therapy, Musical Theatre, or Theatre (Acting and Design Technology and Management concentrations), an audition is required.

How do I sign up for an audition?

Within 48 hours of submitting your application for admission, you will receive an e-mail from Undergraduate Admissions with instructions on how to sign up for your audition. You’ll also receive information on what to expect at your audition and what to prepare in advance.

Should I audition first, or apply first?

You should apply first. Students do not receive audition results unless they have a completed application. You will not be able to register for an on-campus audition without applying.

What if I am auditioning at the Unifieds, Moonifieds, or other off-campus audition?

Some programs audition students at regional or national audition events. In order to avoid a delay in receiving a decision on your application, you should still register for your audition through our audition page that is e-mailed to you after applying. You will see options such as “Unified Audition – Chicago” or “Off-Campus Audition”. If you have any questions about this process, contact your audition coordinator.

Can I apply to multiple programs?

You may only apply to one program. If you are not admitted to your program of choice, you may ask to be considered for or audition for another program.

I have a financial need for a fee waiver. Can my audition fee be waived, too?

Yes. If you have a fee waiver for your application, your audition fee will be waived automatically.

What do I need to include in my Animation and Visual Effects, Illustration, or Visual Communication Design portfolio?
How do I upload my portfolio?

Our application system has a user-friendly upload interface for your portfolio. You may upload your portfolio while applying or after you have submitted. We recommend submitting all of your pieces at the same time. This will ensure that your application is not prematurely reviewed by the faculty before you have uploaded all the required pieces.

We support media files as large as 5GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages. We support the following file formats:

  • Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv (Apple ProRes is not currently supported. If uploading a .mov, please use an alternate codec.)
  • Audio: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma
  • Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff
  • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd
Who do I contact with questions about my audition or portfolio?

Questions specific to the content or process of your audition or portfolio review should be directed to the academic department. You are always welcome to reach out to Undergraduate Admissions first at, but below are the specific contacts for admission to the respective majors:

What happens if the faculty do not accept me to the program of my choice?

Sometimes students are admissible to Montclair academically, but the faculty decline to admit them to their individual program. In this case, the student may be admitted Undeclared. Transfer students who have more than 45 credits cannot be admitted Undeclared, and will receive a communication asking that they choose an alternate major.

Other times, the faculty believe the student’s unique talents are better suited for another arts program at Montclair. In that case, your decision letter will explain that to you.

In both of these scenarios, you are welcome to change your major to something else, or, re-audition or submit a new portfolio during a later semester.