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Young performers strike a pose on stage



Could Duke Ellington School of the Arts be for you?

Do you hang out at Smithsonian museums instead of the shopping mall? Do you dance to the beat of a different drum? Are you having a romance with the written word? Are your days infused with music? Are your doodles masterpieces?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it may be time to set your creative self in motion—to become the artist you know you can be—Duke Ellington School of the Arts could help you do just that!

Ellington guides 9th to 12th grade students through a full academic course of study and an arts major: Dance, Literary Media and Communications, Museum Studies, Instrumental or Vocal Music, Theatre, Technical Design and Production, or Visual Arts. Ellington auditions incoming 9th and 10th graders and verified D.C. residents attend tuition-free. (Non-residents must pay tuition to the District of Columbia Public Schools.)

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Visit MySchoolDC to Apply!

Our Application Window is OPEN NOW!

Make your online application and upload all supporting materials to secure your audition spot – click here to view the audition schedule & process page. Each department has its own audition process.


Students should upload all their application materials through My School DC as soon as possible. Please be sure to review all the requirements outlined on each department page. 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the Admissions Office at first, or call 202-807-0538.

Explore Arts Majors

You’re welcome to audition for one or two artistic fields. However, while attending Ellington, you will major in a single art. Preview our arts majors by clicking on an arts area below. 

Arts Majors

Workshops & Auditions

  • All departments offer Audition Workshops will help students prepare for their official audition. Students who participate will be able to learn what to bring, review the audition procedures, learn how to build a portfolio, present their work with confidence and prepare their work for the audition. Visit the Open House & Workshops page for more information and how to sign up – workshops cost $10. This fee can be waived for special circumstances, please email if you would like to request one.

  • Auditions begin after the application deadline! Make sure to visit the Schedule & Process to review the audition schedule.

Duke Ellington School of the Arts does not discriminate in the admissions process based on an applicant’s disability in conformance with the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.  Admissions candidates who have passed their audition are requested to submit their IEP or 504 Plan prior to testing in order that we may be sure to give an applicant their appropriate testing accommodations.

If your student is in need of any accommodation with the application, audition, testing or family interview, please let Admissions know as soon as possible so we can ensure all needs are met in a timely manner.

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