MSA Admissions

MSA Admissions

Marin School of the Arts

Admission to Marin School of the Arts is through an application and audition review process for all incoming students. Students are accepted both from within the Novato Unified School District and all areas of Marin, Sonoma and surrounding counties through an inter-district transfer process. Prospective students and their parents are invited to participate in an MSA Shadow Day/Parent Tour before beginning the application process (Shadow Day/Parent Tour information is provided below). Admission to MSA is based on the criteria described on the Audition and Portfolio Requirements page.
Marin School of the Arts is a specialized secondary program within Novato High School for students who are passionate about the arts and wish to pursue college-level arts training. Students need to maintain over a 2.0 grade point average and good attendance and discipline records.

The Application Process

Acceptance to the Marin School of the Arts is based primarily on the student’s audition and review of the student’s application. In addition, students are required to have above a 2.0 GPA, good attendance and discipline records.


1. Please fill out an MSA Application. These are available below or in the MSA office. This is a two-part process:

Student Information page should be complete along with;

Discipline Application page (for more disciplines, just attach additional Discipline Application pages). Students are permitted to apply for up to three disciplines.

2. Applications will be accepted from Nov. 1, 2017 until the deadline of Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. We prefer applications be submitted before the Winter Break on Dec. 22, 2017.

3. You will be contacted regarding your audition schedule at the end of January 2018.

4. Auditions or portfolio presentations will be held on the weekend of  Feb. 3 & Feb. 4, 2018 depending on the discipline.

5. The Audition appointment may include:
a. Audition or Portfolio Presentation.

b. Interview – a short interview with the teacher(s) in your discipline about experience, goals and aspirations.

c. Writing prompt – a short essay to be completed within a maximum time of one half hour on an arts related theme.

6. FINAL APPLICATION DATE: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
7. FINAL AUDITION DATE: Monday, Feb. 5, 2018

8. Students will be notified of their admission status during the week commencing Feb. 24, 2018

9. LETTERS OF INTENT RETURNED BY: Friday, March 2, 2018

For additional information or questions contact: Rhian Robinson, MSA Office Manager Marin School of the Arts, 625 Arthur, Novato, CA 94947.
 Phone: (415) 892-7915 or email:


Choose your desired Application forms provided below by discipline. Please click on the form title to download your desired form(s), fill out completely and return to the MSA Office.

APPLICATIONS for the 2018-19 school year will be available soon. Forms below are for reference only.

Please be sure to submit both the MSA Student Information Form, as well as the Program Application Form(s) for the arts discipline(s) your student would like to apply to. Students may apply for up to three MSA programs.

MSA Student Information Form (FOR EVERY APPLICATION)

MSA Student Information Form 2017-18

MSA Program Applications (For reference only – application forms for 2018-19 will be posted in October)

Cinematic Arts Application 2017-18

Creative Writing Application 2017-18

Dance Application 2017-18

Digital Arts Application 2017-18

Instrumental Music Application 2017-18

Musical Theatre Application 2017-18

Painting and Drawing Application 2017-18

Photography Application 2017-18

Product Design Application 2017-18

Sculpture and Ceramics Application 2017-18

Theatre Arts Application 2017-18

Vocal Music Application 2017-18

Teacher Ari Gorman leads a strings class during an MSA Shadow Day.

Teacher Ari Gorman leads a strings class during an MSA Shadow Day.

MSA Shadow Days

MSA holds eight Shadow Days leading up to the application deadline to give prospective students and parents the chance to experience a day in the life of an MSA student. Eighth grade students are matched with current MSA students based on their area of artistic interest to shadow an MSA student class schedule for the day. Lunch is provided. Parents are given the opportunity to meet with the MSA Director, receive an overview of the MSA program and tour a number of MSA classes in progress representing all MSA departments.
To schedule a student shadow/parent tour day for the next school year, sign up using our online form or call MSA Office Manager Rhian Robinson at 415-892-7915.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhian Robinson at or 415-892-7915.