Qualifications & Application
The Bert C. Bach Fine & Performing Arts Scholars program offers 10 in-state, 10 alternates and out-of-state, and 5 international scholarships each year for fall matriculation. The application deadline is March 1st each year. The program welcomes applications from international students, though the criteria, process and priorization for these applications is a little different (see below). Please read all of the following prior to downloading the application.
To be considered for admission, all applicants must provide evidence of:
- ACT of 22 or higher composite (without the writing score) or comparable SAT score;
- High School GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 unweighted scale;
- Excellent artistic portfolio;
- Community and leadership activities;
- Writing skill and academic references.
For International Students, all applicants must provide evidence of:
- High School GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 unweighted scale;
- A Certificate of English Proficiency equal the requirements of ETSU’s Graduate School (https://www.etsu.edu/international/proficiency-requirements.php);
- Excellent artistic portfolio (with relevant information translated into English when necessary);
- Community and leadership activities;
- Writing skill and academic references (in English);
- Oral communication skills (in a scheduled interview).
Applications received from International Students by March 1st receive priority consideration, but may be considered after that date with the recommendation of ETSU faculty.
Click HERE to receive more information on the FPA scholarship.
Click HERE to download the Arts Application form.
- Currently enrolled ETSU students, transfer students, non-degree seeking students, and second baccalaureate degree students are not eligible for this program.
- If you are graduating from high school Spring 2021 and are considered by ETSU to be an incoming freshman by ETSU then you are eligible for the FPA program.
- Before you start your application we strongly suggest you become familiar with the departments and programs at ETSU that you're interested in. Contact them by email or phone, schedule an appointment, visit ETSU and the Honors College!
Applying to the Bert C. Bach Fine & Performing Arts Scholars program is now an entirely online process. Here’s how to apply:
- Review the minimum requirements for admission to the Bert C. Bach Fine & Performing Arts Scholars Program to make sure you are eligible.
- Download the Arts Application Form and read the instructions (page 1) thoroughly. Please note that there are two parts to the application: the Scholarship Application Form and the Scholarship Application Material.
- Prepare your Scholarship Application Material – your Résumé, Evidence of Artistry, Narrative Statement and Contact Information for References – for submission via an ETSU Dropbox. Information about the different material required for your area of artistry can be found in the Guidelines for Evidence of Artistry section of the Honors College website (below). If you have questions about how to prepare your Scholarship Application Material then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Email the completed Scholarship Application Form (the first page) to email@example.com.
- After the form is received and processed, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org providing a link to upload your Scholarship Application Material to an ETSU Dropbox folder. Upload your Résumé, Evidence of Artistry, Narrative Statement and Contact Information for Letters of Reference to that folder.
- Receive an email from email@example.com for confirmation that everything was received.
You also must have completed the general application for admission to ETSU and submitted it to: East Tennessee State University Office of Admissions PO Box 70731, Johnson City, TN 37614. For more information concerning the application process for admission to ETSU, please visit the Admissions How to Apply web page.
Remember, the application deadline is March 1st, 2021! All of your application material must be received and uploaded by the end of that day.
Some Tips Before Applying
- Remember, review the application for before applying!
- When preparing your application, remember that we're trying to get a feel for how you approach the work that you do, what moves you to do it, what or who inspires you, your history with this type of work, and what is most satisfying about the work for you.
- Get letters of recommendation from people who have taught you how to make art! We’re looking for letters from adults that know you and know your art.
- Make sure your résumé is focused on your art.
- Follow the guidelines listed below for submitting your portfolio or other evidence of your artistic work. Definitely ask your arts teachers for help when doing this, and feel free to contact the Honors College for more details.
- Upload your completed application and all materials to the provided Dropbox folder NO LATER THAN MARCH 1st for students resident in the United States and to receive priority consideration for international students.
ETSU Art Departments and Programs Guidelines for Evidence of Artistry
- Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies
Submit a digital recording of your vocal or musical performance in audio or video format. Audio files work best in wav or aiff format. Please do not exceed 15 minutes. Please note that admission to the degree programs requires a live audition in addition to your application to the Fine & Performing Arts Scholars program. Please visit the Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music Studies program website at East Tennessee State University for further information:.
Broadcast & Film
Submit three samples of writing from your area of interest (e.g., commercial writing, script writing, news, etc.). These samples are in addition to the narrative requested on the application. Be sure that your resume includes your proficiencies with equipment and software that relates to your area of interest. In addition, submit materials associated with one of the following areas: >
Production: Submit a demo reel, no more than 15 minutes in length, with at least three samples of creative productions that showcase your abilities. Each production should show a different area (nonlinear editing, linear editing, camera, directing, graphics, producing, etc.). The student should clearly indicate his/her role in each production.
Performance: Submit a demo reel no more than 15 minutes in length, with at least three samples of talent demonstrations (e.g., acting skits, commercials, hosting, etc.).
News: Submit a demo reel with a three-minute segment presenting news, sports, or weather report.
All video should be in a wav, mp4 or wmv file format.
Please visit the Radio,Television and Film website at East Tennessee State University for further information.
Submit a portfolio of creative writing examples. This can be poetry, short stories, scripts for a theatrical, television or cinematic production, or other forms of creative writing, and should be between 10-15 pages in length.
Please visit the Creative Writing Minor program website at East Tennessee State University for further information.
Digital Media & Animation
Submit a portfolio containing 5-10 examples of work that has either been created digitally, or using traditional media. These could include web sites, digitally edited video, motion graphics, animation, 3D models, or digital music, computer illustration, digitally retouched photography, drawings, paintings, sculpture, photographs, prints, graphic design, and other art in traditional media. Links to youtube or vimeo are preferred for videos but mp4, mov, or wmv files work fine.
Please visit the Digital Media at East Tennessee State University website.
Submit a recording of your vocal or musical performance. Audio files work best in wav or aiff format. Please do not exceed 15 minutes. Please note that admission to the degree programs in music requires an audition beyond your application to the Fine & Performing Arts Scholars program (for more information on the audition process see Auditions & Scholarships).
Please visit the Department of Music website at East Tennessee State University for further information.
Submit a portfolio containing 5-10 examples of work that has either been created digitally or images of actual space/rooms/buildings. These could include but not limited to plans/sections/elevations, 3D models, or digital computer illustrations, photographs of actual spaces, hand renderings/sketches. Other art work is acceptable to show your drawing abilities.
Please visit the Interior Architecture at East Tennessee State University website.
Studio Arts, Graphic Design & Art History
For students interested in Studio Arts (painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, etc.) and Graphic Design (design, illustration, typography, studio photography, commercial art, etc.), submit a portfolio of 10 recent arts works for review. Digital images should be in jpg format, websites can be submitted as links, and video work can be submitted through youtube or vimeo.
For students interested in Art History please provide examples of research, criticism or personal response to art, approximately 8-10 pages.
Please visit the Department of Art & Design website at East Tennessee State University for further information.
Theatre & Dance
Submit a 5 to 15 minute performance digitally, a resume, and a specific letter from your drama mentor/director attesting to your potential as an actor; OR submit a 5 to 15 minute DVD telling us about yourself and your work in the theatre, plus a resume, portfolio, and/or stage manager's prompt book and a specific letter from your drama mentor/director attesting to your potential as a theatre technician, stage manager and/or designer.
For dance, submit a dance portfolio of between 5 to 15 minutes of you performing, a resume of your artistic achievements and experiences, and letters from your dance instructors attesting to your potential as a dance.
Please visit the Division of Theatre website at East Tennessee State University for further information.
If you have any questions, please contact Scott Contreras-Koterbay, Ph.D., Director (423-439-5692), firstname.lastname@example.org. Assistance will be provided to help you find the information you need.