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Are there forms for the recommendation letters?

Individuals who are writing letters of recommendation on behalf of a student will receive a notification via email once the student has submitted their online application via MySchoolDC. Each applicant has to provide an email address for each of the three teachers (Math, Art/Other, School Counselor) who are submitting letters of recommendation.

How do I arrange for an audition/portfolio review?

Submit the DCPS online application by the deadline in order to be eligible to audition.  The DCPS application can be reached from our Admissions Process page – click here to learn the details of the admission process and go to the application.

I’ve read all this and still have questions – who can help?

Still have a question?  No problem – please contact our Admissions Office at

May I apply even if I don’t live in the District of Columbia?

Yes. If you are accepted and decide to attend, there is a tuition requirement for non-residents. Please click here for more information about non-resident attendance.

May I audition for more than one area?

You may audition for up to two arts areas.  If you pass 2 auditions, you must then choose one concentration. Please refer to each arts discipline’s audition requirements by clicking here.

What do I bring to the audition / portfolio review?

Click here to see what to bring to any Ellington audition, and to check the specific requirements for each art discipline of interest.

What happens after the audition?

Admission to Ellington is a five-step process. After the initial audition you will be notified the following week whether or not you have been selected to continue in the process. Selected students will be invited back for an academic placement assessment followed by a family interview. Final admissions decisions will be made some time after the Admissions Committee Review, but no later than late March.

Why do you ask for an IEP/504?

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 and who have an IEP or 504 plan are requested to submit them prior to testing in order that we may be sure to give an applicant their appropriate testing accommodations

Why may students only apply for 9th and 10th grade?

Students who attend Ellington graduate with a DCPS diploma and an Ellington arts certificate.  In order to earn the credits necessary for the Ellington certificate, students must be with us for three years.  Exceptions are considered for students of active-duty military families or students transferring from an arts high school, who bring along sufficient acceptable arts credits!