FAA Summer Intensive

Anamnesis Choreographed by Noa Greenfield, Studiodance Fall 2021, Department of Dance, Photo by Natalie Fiol

College of Fine and Applied Arts at Illinois
arts intensive for high school students interested in art and design, theatre, dance, and the environmental arts

June 26–July 2, 2022

At this immersive program, each high school student selects a track for the week. Students stay in our state-of-the residence halls, and the tracks run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday. Current College of Fine and Applied Arts faculty members, graduate students, and recent FAA alums teach classes. Participants also join in evening activities such as bowling, movies on the quad, exploring campus, swimming, scavenger hunts, trips to Krannert Art Museum, and more!

See what fun our students have on campus!

FAA Summer Intensive Tracks
  • Acting
  • Dance Intensive
  • Design
  • Environmental Arts
  • Studio Arts
  • Theatre Tech and Design

Acting and Improv

Students will participate in rigorous acting, voice and speech, movement, and scene study classes to learn the art of acting for the stage. During the program, teens will refine and perform audition pieces and theatrical scenes. Students will also explore improvisation and learn techniques through coaching and warm-up exercises that will build confidence and improve theatrical performance skills.

Contemporary Dance, Ballet, African Dance, and Musical Theatre Dance Styles

In this track, teens will join the faculty and students of one of the strongest and oldest dance programs in the country. Students will be immersed in intense technical training in contemporary dance and ballet. Additional styles such as African dance and musical theatre dance styles, including jazz and hip-hop, will also be woven into the curriculum. A challenging modern dance piece choreographed by a summer faculty member will be rehearsed during the week and performed.

Graphic Design and Industrial Design

Are you interested in learning about graphic design or industrial design? These are two of our most popular art and design majors at Illinois. Whether you make a poster for your favorite band or create a logo for an unnamed coffee shop, you'll learn basic graphic design concepts using Adobe Illustrator. Through industrial design courses you'll create a product and gain hands-on experience with laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D printing. You'll learn about concepting, collaborative brainstorming, sketching, and prototyping by problem solving through the Design Track. You will create multiple portfolio pieces and will display your work in the art exhibit in the Link Gallery at the end of the week.

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Design, and Urban and Regional Planning

The Environmental Arts Track is for students who are interested in solving environmental design challenges in architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability, and urban and regional planning. In this intriguing hands-on program, students will form mock firms to collaborate and solve problems in environmental science, architectural engineering, and design technology. By working on projects and taking campus excursions, you will strengthen your abilities and gain knowledge about professional fields of study:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, curiosity, adaptability, and initiative
  • Appreciate the skills and imagination needed to design, create, and use technologies
  • Explore architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability, and urban and regional planning

In this project-based track, each student will display a project for the exhibition at the end of the week.

Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture

This track is for fine artists. Students will explore acrylic paint in its more traditional form as well as its not-so-traditional experimental uses. These will include working with gels and pastes and incorporating collage into a final mixed-media creation. Students will enhance abilities in techniques such as shading, controlling tones, composition, and drawing methods. You will draw indoors and outdoors. Through sculpture students will create a three-dimensional piece by carving and casting. If you have a passion for drawing, painting, and sculpture this track is for you! You will create multiple portfolio-worthy pieces and display your work in an exhibit in the Link Gallery at the end of the week.

Scenic and Lighting Design, Props, and Stage Management

Experience the Illinois Department of Theatre backstage! Students will explore what it means to work behind the scenes in theatre. Discover the skills and techniques you need to successfully put up a show and gain hands-on experience in a variety of backstage areas such as lighting design, scenic design, props design, and stage management.

* Course descriptions are subject to change. Courses may have additional course fees or required supplies.

Other Features

Students are encouraged to bring their portfolios for informal feedback from Summer Intensive instructors and FAA faculty members.

Faculty and staff members from the School of Art and Design, the Department of Dance, and the Department of Theatre will offer sessions focused on portfolio tips and audition preparation.

Current FAA faculty members, graduate students, and recent FAA graduates will teach all the tracks. These enthusiastic artists and educators are dedicated to providing a profoundly satisfying experience that represents what it's like to live, work, and study at Illinois.

Housing and Meals

Students staying on campus during the FAA Summer Intensive will spend the week in shared rooms in University of Illinois residence halls. Each room is furnished with beds, desks, and dressers. Students must provide their own linens and will have access to laundry facilities. Housing is staffed and supervised by resident advisors and FAA Summer Intensive counselors. Resident advisors are currently enrolled University of Illinois students trained in community building, problem solving, and emergency procedures.

Those staying in the residence halls are automatically enrolled in a plan that includes three meals per day served in the dining halls. Commuter students are automatically enrolled in a meal plan that includes Sunday dinner and lunch and dinner Monday–Friday only.

A nightly room check of 10 p.m. is strictly enforced.


Program deposit with application: $50 (nonrefundable)

Residential program fee: $800 (includes instruction, housing, and meals)

Commuter program fee: $500 (includes instruction plus Sunday dinner and lunch and dinner Monday–Friday)

Course Supplies

Upon acceptance, each student will receive a course supply list. Supply costs range from $20 to $60 and vary by course.

Spending Money

Although it's not required, a student may appreciate having access to $50 in spending money for the week on campus. Teens especially enjoy shopping at the Illini Union Bookstore for Illinois attire.

Talent Scholarships

Several scholarships will be awarded during the Discover FAA High School Competitions.


Students must have completed their freshman, sophomore, or junior year of high school by summer 2022. Teens at all ability levels are invited to apply.

Early application to the program is encouraged, as students are placed in tracks on a first-come, first-served basis. Although every effort will be made to assign applicants to their first or second choices, placements cannot be guaranteed.

1. The application deadline is May 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted after May 1 if space is available. The $50 application fee must accompany the application to secure space in classes.

2. Send an optional letter from a parent or guardian in support of a need-based course supply scholarship by April 1, 2022, to kmartin2@illinois.edu.

3. International students must prove competency in the English language at the time of application by submitting TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS scores or a supporting letter from a school counselor or English teacher.

4. Applicants will be notified of their admission status on a rolling basis beginning in April 2022 and will be assigned to their track on a first-come, first-served basis.

5. Submit the program fee no later than May 15, 2022, unless otherwise approved. Any accepted student who has not paid the program fee by May 1 will be dropped from all courses. For convenience, fees may be paid in installments. Contact Kristi Martin-Hoss at kmartin2@illinois.edu to create a payment plan.

COVID-19 Policy

All University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign summer programs must adhere to COVID-19 operating and safety protocols.

Refund Policy

All withdrawals must be requested in writing. The postmark date or email date will be honored as the withdrawal date.

  • Withdrawal before May 20, 2022: 100 percent refund minus $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • Withdrawal after May 20, 2022: 50 percent refund minus $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • Withdrawal after June 1, 2022: No refund

If a student is asked to leave the program for violations of school policies or regulations, no refund will be issued.