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Admissions Process & Application

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Ready to Apply to Ellington? Let’s get Started!

The admissions process for Ellington is as easy as 1-2-3-4-5:

STEP 1. Online application

(Available in December 13, 2021 – February 1, 2022)

Applications to Duke Ellington School of the Arts and all other DCPS and DC public charter high schools are submitted via the MySchoolDC website.  For more information on the application process, see Please note that there are no paper applications – all applications must be submitted online through the site by February 1, 2022!

The online application will request the email addresses of three people, in order for them to submit recommendations.  After the student’s application is completed and submitted, these individuals will receive an email requesting that they complete the recommendation.

Upload a photo of the student, report cards, test scores and short essay(s) on why you believe Ellington and the art department are a right fit for you.

If you have any issues submitting application materials, contact the MySchoolDC hotline at 202-888-6336 or email them at

STEP 2. Audition


Applicants may audition for one or two arts majors. Start preparing for your audition now – Audition Procedures for 2022 can be found here

See our Admissions Calendar for audition schedule information. Please note due to the ongoing global pandemic caused by COVID-19, all dates and times are subject to change. Details will be shared soon.

STEP 3. Academic Placement Test


Students who pass their audition will be scheduled for an academic placement test. The assessment is an important tool for us to understand your report card, and to place you in the proper class sections should you attend Ellington.

The test itself takes approximately 2 1/2 hours, requires no advance preparation, and we will supply all testing materials. NOTE: If you have an IEP or 504 plan, be sure we have a copy in advance so that we can give you the appropriate accommodations.

STEP 4. Family Interview

Art Department Presentation Night will take place on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 for all students who passed their audition and their families.

SPECIFIC DATE TBD: Interviews typically held late February 2022 – March 2022 (Virtual or In-person TBD)

The family interview is the second to last step. We’ve become acquainted artistically – this is the chance for us to get to know the whole you better.

Family interviews are held with the applying student and at least one supporting adult, the Director of External Affairs, staff from the relevant arts department, one of our administrators or Principal. Interviews are approximately 20 minutes long. They give us a chance to get to know each other better and to see if Ellington seems to be a mutual fit.

STEP 5. Admissions Committee Final Review

After your family interview is completed the Admissions Committee (Principal, Director of External Affairs, Administrations, Teachers and/or Department Chairs) review your total application and make a final admissions determination.

Official decisions are only made at the end of five rounds and are confirmed through MySchoolDC and an official welcome letter from Ms. Overton Williams with next steps regarding enrollment. MySchoolDC Lottery Results will be announced on April 1, 2022.

All non-DC residents, who may be extremely qualified are subject to space-availability.

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 accommodation.

Have questions? Email the Admissions Office at ADMISSIONS@ELLINGTONARTS.ORG.


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