MSA Applications

MSA Admissions

As a community within Novato High School, we are both proud Hornets (NHS mascot) and proud Servals (MSA mascot.) In the MSA community, we value creativity, passion, hard-work, and diversity. Our MSA admission process reflects our desire to continually develop our MSA identity as talented and committed artist scholars that represent the best of the Bay.

Admission to Marin School of the Arts at Novato High School is through an application and audition review process. Students are accepted both from within the Novato Unified School District and all areas of Marin, Sonoma and surrounding counties.

Prospective students and their parents are invited to participate in activities that help families understand the breadth and depth of our program offerings including MSA Family Tours and Student Shadow Days. While these activities will be modified to a virtual format during the current public health crisis, they will be offered before the application process opens (see information below).

Admission to MSA is based on the criteria described on the Audition and Portfolio Guidelines page.  No preference is given to where an incoming student lives, their socioeconomic status, gender, race or religious beliefs.  MSA is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in our programs.

We are currently only accepting new applications for for Instrumental and Vocal Music for the current school year.

Applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available in November.

The application process and schedule can be found below.

Questions? Please contact MSA Program Specialist Shannon Miller.

As a specialized program within Novato High School for students who are passionate about the arts to pursue college-level arts training, students must maintain a 2.0 or higher grade point average and have good attendance and citizenship. These qualities will be verified after auditions and before communicating an official offer.

We welcome the opportunity to get to know all interested applicants! In light of public health concerns, MSA Family Tours will be virtual this fall, but we look forward to the opportunity to provide more information for interested students and their families through remote channels!

The Application Process

Acceptance to the Marin School of the Arts is based on a student’s audition and review of their application, portfolio and interview by the program faculty. We are looking for students who are passionate about their art form—it is not necessary for applicants to have previous professional training. We are an inclusive community open to all – regardless of socio-economic standing, race, gender or personal beliefs.

Once ALL required application forms have been submitted (see instructions below), applicant families will be contacted to schedule audition(s)/interview(s).


Current MSA applications are only open for our music programs for the 2020-21 school year. Contact to inquire about spring 2021 admissions.

STEP ONE:   Complete the MSA Student Information Form

Submit your applicant’s “master” record with MSA, you will then receive an email with links to the MSA Program Applications page.

STEP TWO:   Program Applications(s)

After submitting your Student Information Form you will receive an email with links to the MSA program applications. You may submit applications for one to three programs. At least one program application must be submitted to complete your application packet.


Unofficial school transcripts (for all middle school), attendance and discipline records must be submitted with your application.

You may use this Records Request by Parent form (click title to download) to request records from your school. Please send your student’s records to the MSA Office via email or mail to 625 Arthur St., Novato, CA 94947, attn: MSA Applications.


If you require an Inter-District Transfer (reside outside of Novato) or an Intra-District Transfer (reside within San Marin High School boundaries), you must begin your transfer request with NUSD at the time of application. Please visit to begin your transfer request process.


November, 2020– Applications open for 2021-20 school year. Please do not begin the applications process until 2021-22 are posted above.

December 16, 2020–Early Bird Deadline. Submitting your program applications early allows you early choice of audition time(s) slots and allows us to process your application more quickly.

January 6, 2021–Final deadline for all program applications and school records – your audition(s) will not be schedule until your application packet is complete AND your school records have been received.

January 23-24, 2021Auditions and portfolio interviews for all programs. Late auditions/interviews will be considered on a case by case basis.

Please visit the Audition and Portfolio Guidelines page for more information about each program’s audition process.

February 2-8, 2021—Notification of admission status letters are mailed. These are snail mailed an envelope personally designed by an MSA Visual Arts student (a time-honored MSA tradition).

Monday, March 2, 2021—Letters of Intent must returned to the MSA Office by this date if you wish to accept your admission invitation and guarantee your placement.

For additional information or questions, please contact:  Marin School of the Arts, 625 Arthur, Novato, CA 94947.
 Phone: (415) 798-5063 or email MSA Program Specialist Shannon Miller:

MSA Family Tour Days

MSA offers Family Tour Days to give prospective students and their parents or guardian a chance to experience all that MSA has to offer. Tours begin in the Performing Arts Center with a brief overview with MSA and NHS administrators followed by a tour of MSA classes in session. Reservations are required to attend a Family Tour Day.

Given COVID-19 safety restrictions, we are reformatting our MSA Tours to an online format.

Please check back at the end of September for details. It is not necessary to tour MSA in order to apply.

MSA will offer a Spring Tour for prospective 7th grade students, tentatively scheduled for April 30. More information will be posted soon.

MSA Student Shadow Days

Due to Covid-19 and our current campus access restrictions, MSA Shadow Days are suspended until further notice.

Prospective students who would like a more in-depth experience in their MSA program of interest may request a Student Shadow Day after attending an MSA Family Tour. Parents will receive an email following their tour to set up a potential Shadow Day. During Student Shadow Day, prospective students are matched with current MSA students based on their area of interest.  Parents do not attend Student Shadow Days.

For additional information about MSA programs please visit our MSA Programs section or email the MSA Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit another program application at a later date?

Please contact us for assistance. We will review each request as they occur. Applicants are allowed to apply for a maximum of three programs. We can add an additional forms if it is for a program already identified on your Student Information Form.

Can I remove a program application?

YES! Please contact us if you no longer would like to apply/audition for a program for which you have already submitted an application.

Can I make changes to previously submitted forms?

Yes. Please contact our systems administrator Karen Vais for assistance.