University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Winston Salem, NC, USA

Reviews

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

3.20 Average Rating

Carissa from Sacramento, CA

a current student here
18 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It has been called the magic hill and I believe it is. Magic is made, created, imagined, seen, and discovered here. YOU WILL WORK HARDER THAN YOU EVER HAVE AND BE MORE EXHAUSTED THAN YOU'VE EVER BEEN AND, HOPEFULLY, THE MOST FULFILLED YOU HAVE EVER BEEN SO FAR.
Academic Rigor
Well, here's the thing. Academics definitely come second here to art. However, you must stay in good academic standing which can be difficult with the schedule. There are some really tough courses and a lot of medium level (for toughness) courses. All require more time than you probably have so be prepared to improvise. Luckily, a lot of them have to do with art in some way.
Dorm Life
I gave this four stars because they are not the best dorms, not the worst and because it depends on what you are looking for. No crazy parties in dorms. Not enough time or continuity in schedule for it. But people are friendly and generally respectful. Most of my friends never locked their doors when they lived in the dorms. It's such a tiny school filled with people who are really passionate about what they do. Not a lot of drifters.
Food and Dining
I eat at home.
What to do for fun
See the amazing art exhibits/shows happening around campus. $2.50 movies downtown (movies that are in theatres or about to go to DVD in a real movie theatre with real popcorn and all that fun stuff). Play volleyball. Collaborate on some art projects. Go to the gym. Ha. There is not a lot of free time here.
Bang for the buck
Oh myyyyyyyy. Yes. A public conservatory style BFA training program? YES! It is 20,000 cheaper than a lot of private conservatories and the training is just as good or better! Plus, I go to classes (I'm required to, although I would anyway) everyday from 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Most of my friends at public schools pay about the same as me but only go to one or two classes every other day.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Our mascot is the Fighting Pickle. Our cafe is called the Pickle Jar. Sometimes we do Humans Vs. Zombies which is ridiculously fun. We have a place called the elephants which is a bunch of stone structures that, when it was built (fewer trees/buildings around), the sun would hit it a certain way and the shadow of an elephant was seen. Kids use that as their smoking area. There is a picture online somewhere of Mary-Louise Parker sitting on them when she went here. We have an annual cross-dressing fashion show. We have Beaux Arts every year which is a weekend of partying and dancing on the film school studio stages before finals. It's the time when people really let loose after the crazy schedule of arts classes is over.
Great for these types of students
Dedicated, focused students who are looking for one of the best arts educations/training the entire country can offer.
Clubs and Activities
Our activity is our art and supporting others' art. Beyond that, there is little time for extra clubs.
Greek Life
What? There's a good Greek restaurant downtown. Beyond that, Greek life doesn't exist. Nobody has time to have much of a life outside of school. There would be little point in it here because nobody could actually do stuff with their sororities and fraternities. If students are basing their college choices on Greek life, this is definitely not the school for them. Most people here are very focused on the training.
Campus Safety
SO MANY COPS EVERYWHERE! We only have about 1,100 students (that is including a high school boarding school, and the undergraduate and graduate schools). YET, there are so many cops on campus at all times. Very safe.
Sign in to rate & review

Kaleigh from Winston-Salem, NC

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
the university of north carolina school of the arts boasts a wonderful public high school and college program dedicated entirely to the performing arts. this conservatory nurtures students from all over the world who wish to strengthen and enrich their craft. the campus is littered with dancers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and stage designers who are all considered artists in their own right.
Tips for prospective students
flexibility is the key to sanity at this conservatory. whether you are dancing or playing an instrument, you are physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted after each long, arduous day. when you come to this school, your entire self will be needed to endure the stress you will encounter. you will also learn fairly quickly that what you thought you knew about your art discipline is completely wrong, and you must be open to helpful criticism from your professors. the best teachers, however, are your classmates who will be some of the most talented and dedicated artists you will ever meet. your best work is always expected and your heart must be in everything you do.
Academic Rigor
this school bases its education primarily on the arts, but a fair amount of importance is placed on academics. there is a wide range of gpas at this school and, unlike other colleges, it does not define the person and their worth. most of the courses are geared towards the arts and are engaging.
Dorm Life
the dorms are fairly old in both the high-school and college residence areas. the bathrooms are shared but are cleaned everyday. there is a great student life on this campus and it will be very difficult to avoid making friends. the dorms are in walking distance of all academic and arts classes and the school itself is walking distance from the city.
Food and Dining
the cafeteria food has improved in these last few years and caters to both vegetarians and meatarians alike. gluten-free and vegan options are also available. there is always a full salad and fruit bar as well as fresh pizza. there is also a couple frozen-yogurt machines. the school also has a cafe' known as the pickle, where you can buy candy, chips, fresh burgers, smoothies, and whatever your heart (and stomach) desires. the food is pretty good there.
What to do for fun
there is not a lot of chances for social interaction on the weekdays because school is so demanding, but on weekends there are a lot of parties. the school also screens movies, has dances, hosts ice cream socials, etc.
Bang for the buck
this is a private conservatory education for half the price. because it is public and in the north carolina university system, the tuition is drastically cheaper.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
the elephants are concrete blocks that everyone goes to smoke cigarettes.
Great for these types of students
artistic, smart, goofy kids.
Clubs and Activities
uncsa has it all; student government, environmental club, etc.
Greek Life
there is no greek life... but there are toga parties.
Campus Safety
they are inconveniently always around...
Sign in to rate & review

Julia from Winston-Salem, NC

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is more than just a school, it is a community. It's a place where students are passionate about their majors and work hard in and outside of class. The friends you make here become the connections you keep forever.
Tips for prospective students
Come into school with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. Utilize every aspect of the school from library to the extended work hours. Don't take the school from granted because while you're here to have fun you are also here to work.
Academic Rigor
The classes are designed to further your knowledge in your intended major. They are specifically designed to test your abilities and to make you work. A lot of what you learn in class then becomes applicable towards your craft.
Dorm Life
Dorm life gives a great sense of community and living with your classmates helps to further your relationships. However, the rooms and a bit small and out dated. The hall shares two bathrooms and two showers which can get a tad gross.
Food and Dining
When you arrive the food seems to be above average. However, after having gone home for break you will find that the food is less than satisfactory. But there are many options of meals so you will never go hungry.
What to do for fun
Mostly you will find that just hanging out with friends is the funnest thing to do. There is also Old Salem which is a treasure to be explored as well as the downtown area. The campus also offers free screenings of new and old movies on the weekends.
Bang for the buck
While the school is on the higher end on the price scale it is well worth it. You work first hand with the latest technologies in your field as well as accomplished professionals as your professors. The school is one of the leading schools for the arts in the country.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The school mascot is the Fighting Pickle so there is the common theme of pickle motifs everywhere. You can also find student art work showcased in every building. Down the street is Old Salem, a town that is teaming with 18th century Moravian culture.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for anybody looking to have a career in Theatre, Design and Production, Film, Music, and Dance. It's great for students willing to work hard for their dreams.
Clubs and Activities
The student chapter are always putting together social gatherings from movies on the hill to smore's nights. There is also USITT for Design and Production Students to join. As well as school wide dances in the winter and at the end of the year.
Greek Life
There is no Greek life on campus due to how small the school is already,
Campus Safety
Campus police is stationed on campus and are on clock 24/7. There is an emergency line as well as a non-emergency line for use as well as campus police call boxes around campus. They are always ready to help no matter what the circumstance.
Sign in to rate & review

Chloe

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UNCSA is a tight-knit community of truly talented and ambitious artists. The rigorous courses prepare students to be truly immersed into their desired careers. This school may not have as much of a typical college experience, but it definitely is a refreshing approach to education.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure before accepting to attend that you are positive that you truly want to pursue your art form. While at UNCSA, students live and breathe their art/major and it is pretty binding (you can't easily switch between programs.) UNCSA is an art school in every way- the students are talented and love to share their passion, so if what you would study here isn't truly your passion it may not be the school for you.
Academic Rigor
Well, in terms of arts classes the rigor is very intense. Students are expected to keep up with their courses and are often expected to practice their art on weekends and breaks (film students crew on movies, music, drama and dance students have performances which they need to prepare for.)
The academic classes at the school however... are quite relaxed. Academics certainly are not the focal point of this school. Students have often have the mentality that the academic classes are just the mandatory thing they have to endure in order to take their arts classes. There is not a diverse variety of academic classes offer either, but the school is also very small.
Dorm Life
The dorms are adequate, but they're no palace. They just re-painted a lot last year so they look better, but they are small and basically just a place to go to pass out after a long day of classes.
Food and Dining
Once again, the food is good but not great in terms of college dining. Since the school is so small, however, you can't expect them to have unlimited options. They do cater well to vegetarians and vegans, and the food is usually pretty healthy. Students can get Meal Exchange at the school cafe The Pickle Jar if they miss a cafeteria meal, which is pretty convenient. They often have themed nights at the cafeteria which adds some fun to otherwise predictable meals.
What to do for fun
The school is right next to downtown Winston-Salem, which is an enjoyable arts community with gallery hops, live music and thrift shops. It is also next to historic Old Salem which is a very scenic and enjoyable area, all themed like 1700's North Carolina. The Hanes Mall is nearby. The campus itself normally has great activities happening- you can go see your peers in a ballet, play, or show, you can go to a movie screening in the film school's ACE theater, and there is an on campus coffee house, The What, where open mic nights are often hosted.
Bang for the buck
You aren't going to find many art conservatories for this price that have such a hands-on and intense education. Students who graduate from UNCSA are ready to take on their field, and the community of this school creates amazing close friendships.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a place outside of the student commons called The Elephants where students smoke cigarettes and talk. The school's mascot is also pretty unusual- The Fighting Pickle- so expect a lot of pickle things. Most of the parties are themed.
Great for these types of students
Open- minded and dedicated indivduals.
Clubs and Activities
There really isn't any clubs at the school, but there is plenty to take part in when not in class. Students fill their time in practice rooms or painting movie sets.
Greek Life
No greek life.
Campus Safety
The campus police always seem to be around. They are helpful and caring, but sometimes it seems they are there even when students may not want them to be. Overall the campus is very secure.
Sign in to rate & review

James from Winston Salem, NC

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
this school is absolutely amazing. i have grown so much in my art, and as an artist. i know i will have a great career when i leave.
Tips for prospective students
be on your game and take this opportunity very seriously.
Academic Rigor
the load is heavy in the fall but light in the spring. study hard and pass, because you only get one chance
Dorm Life
i live off campus.
Food and Dining
great food for a school
What to do for fun
winston salem is great for looks and experience. mall is great and cities are nearby.
Bang for the buck
the best education around for basically free. there is no other school around that offers the effect on your education like this one. teachers are wonderful but expect you to work hard. they want the best for you.
Campus Safety
great safety with its own police department.
Sign in to rate & review

Ehinomen from Winston-salem, NC

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Wonderful Faculty and Student Body. Students all share a common passion and drive for their art. Wonderful relationship between the major schools such as between the school of film making and school of drama.
Tips for prospective students
Be ready to learn
Academic Rigor
Intense program that requires a students up most attention and determination.
Dorm Life
Just awesome
Food and Dining
Great Food!
What to do for fun
Shows are presented by the different departments, one could go and see them.
Great for these types of students
Determined and focused students. Students in love with their art,
Greek Life
None.
Campus Safety
As safe as safe can be.
Sign in to rate & review

Alexander from Winston-Salem, NC

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The programs at this school are intended for those that are serious about theater and performance. 5 schools of study, music, theater, film, dance, and design & production, make up the various aspects of the UNCSA experience and each school is top notch. It is a hard but worthwhile school to go to.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared for long hours, long assignments, and little satisfaction initially, it takes time to come into your talents and skills at this school.
Academic Rigor
design and production specifically is going to be a HARD program, 20-60 hours of theater crew a week on top of both arts and academic classes.
Dorm Life
decent dorms, mostly coed, decent apartments and cheap housing easily available around campus for upperclassmen.
Food and Dining
my least favorite part of the school, a truly underwhelming cafeteria and snack bar.
What to do for fun
whatever you want?
Bang for the buck
arguably the best value for a theater education money can buy.
Great for these types of students
Avid theater lovers, hard workers, dedicated souls.
Sign in to rate & review

Caitlin from Jamestown, NC

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
uncsa is one of the top filmmaking schools in the world. the teachers are well-educated and care about their students. the education is hands on and practical.
Tips for prospective students
make sure you know that making movies is what you want to do before coming to the school.
Academic Rigor
you will be extremely busy with academic classes and arts classes your first two years.
Dorm Life
the dorms themselves are pretty bad, but it's a small and tight-knit family amongst the artists.
Food and Dining
not a fan.
What to do for fun
downtown winston has a lot of options for dining out, getting drinks, or seeing a movie.
Bang for the buck
one of the best kept secrets for filmmaking.
Great for these types of students
students who want to learn about making movies by making them.
Greek Life
none.
Campus Safety
very safe!
Sign in to rate & review

Kai from Winston Salem, NC

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
this is an excellent school to attend for getting a stellar education in technical theatre. the wig and makeup design mfa program is one of only two such programs in the country, and it is incredibly thorough and informative. the standard of work that is expected is very high.
Academic Rigor
the more you put into your work, the more you get out of it.
Sign in to rate & review

Sarah from Lawrenceville, GA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
uncsa is very challenging, but immensely rewarding. you're going to a school to learn exactly what you want to do. i've learned more in my first semester at uncsa than i did in 13 years of public schooling.
Academic Rigor
the classes are extremely demanding and very difficult, but you will learn a great deal.
Sign in to rate & review