Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy?

  • For students to explore artistic techniques and gain knowledge in their primary discipline and the disciplines of the Academy.

  • For students to learn processes for creating, revising, rehearsing and presenting work in their major discipline and interdisciplinary pieces.
  • For students to participate in and contribute to the cultural community of the Academy.

2. When and where does the Academy operate?

MFAA 2024 is scheduled for June 2-15, 2024. The Academy is on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

3. How are students selected?

Students must submit a comprehensive application that includes a portfolio or video performance in their primary discipline, an essay and a student evaluation form.

A selection committee composed of artists and arts educators evaluates all application materials before selecting qualified participants.

4. How does the Academy differ from regular high schools?

The Academy is a residential school that operates seven days a week, enrolls only artistically motivated students, and provides a curriculum different from that found in a public or private school. It offers unique opportunities for students to enhance their artistic abilities and creative energies, to explore the various roles the arts play in society and to encounter the arts in an interdisciplinary forum.

5. What is the curriculum for the Academy?

The Academy's curriculum is designed to give participants an opportunity to pursue studies that differ from traditional approaches to arts education. Students pursue three areas of study:

  1. Interdisciplinary Class: Every Academy student is enrolled in this class that meets each morning to study arts in an interdisciplinary format. 
  2. Discipline Specific Class: This class meets early each afternoon to pursue techniques and knowledge in the student's primary discipline.
  3. Electives and Artist Workshops: These meet late afternoons and several evenings. Students may choose any elective or workshop for which they have the necessary skills and knowledge to participate.

6. What is the extracurricular and recreational program?

A full schedule of diverse activities is offered on evenings and non-academic days (Saturdays and Sundays) to enhance the Academy curriculum. In past academies, the students have attended concerts, Missouri State's Tent Theatre and other performances. There are also opportunities for students to participate in performances, presentations and special events which they play a role in creating.

Jogging, basketball and other recreational activities are organized based on student and staff interest and availability.

7. Who teaches at the Academy?

Faculty and staff for the Academy are artists and educators representing K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and public/private art enterprises. They are chosen based on students' needs/interests and on their willingness to participate with students in rigorous and challenging work.

8. What grades and credit are given?

All students who successfully complete MFAA will receive college credit (IDS 101-Interdisciplinary Seminar) from Missouri State University at no additional cost.

9. What is the cost to students?

The Reynolds College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Missouri State University works with the Missouri state legislature in managing the affordability of the Academy. For MFAA 2024, the full cost of tuition is covered by funding provided by the state in concert with privately-supported scholarships.

10. What can students expect from residence hall life?

Students live in campus dormitories located relatively near all facilities utilized by MFAA. Each Academy student shares a room with another participant from another school and discipline to encourage a sense of community within the Academy. Academy officials make room assignments. Each Resident Assistant works closely with approximately 15-20 students to supervise the residence life experience. In addition, university residence life and security personnel ensure a safe environment for participants.

11. Are participants allowed leaves of absence or visitors?

The MFAA program is concentrated and progressive. Departures from and visitors to the Academy compromise the academic and artistic experience and disrupt the culture and community of the Academy. Absences are only allowed in extenuating or special circumstances at the discretion of the MFAA director.

12. Are participants allowed to bring vehicles?

No. Automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and other kinds of vehicles are prohibited.

13. What entertainment and cultural activities are provided?

Academy participants are able to take advantage of a full range of cultural activities, including concerts, exhibits, and theatre productions. Daily, all students receive a full explanation of the calendar of events, including those for which they must sign up in advance.

14. What health services are available?

University health services are available to Academy students, if needed. Magers Health and Wellness Center is located on the Missouri State University campus.

Students will be charged at the time services are rendered. All charges from physicians, hospitals or pharmacies are the families' responsibility.

If a student has special health or dietary needs and/or medication requirements, Academy officials must be notified prior to the start of the Academy. Students are responsible for self-administering medication.

15. Do students have an opportunity to participate in religious services?

Arrangements for optional attendance at religious services at several churches located in town are made during registration.

16. Do students have unscheduled time?

The Missouri Fine Arts Academy maintains a rigorous schedule. While there is some unscheduled time on non-academic days and in between events, students who apply should be prepared for two weeks full of classes, performances, guest artists and other special events.

17. What personal items should students bring?

  • Clothing should be appropriate casual dress for daily classes; dress attire for performances and convocations; a jacket, sweatshirt or sweater; athletic shoes; rain gear or umbrella; bathrobe; flip flops or slippers; and personal care items.
  • Other useful items may include a laundry bag, detergent, postage stamps, radio, alarm clock, clothes hangers, hair dryer, extension cord, personal sports equipment, camera, games, etc. Televisions are not allowed.
  • The use of cell phones during the Academy is firmly restricted to specific times and places. Phones are not permitted in assemblies, classes, meetings, rehearsals, evening events or any other situation where their use could be disruptive. Specific expectations regarding cell phone use will be provided in the Student Handbook and in house meetings.

  • Bed linens, blanket and pillow are furnished for every bed. The residence hall is air-conditioned; students are advised to bring an extra blanket. Students are to bring their own towels and washcloths.
  • Basic classroom needs such as pencils, paper, notebooks, etc., are the student's responsibility. If needed, these items may be purchased at the campus book store.

Because of the sense of community established at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, theft and disappearance of personal items has not traditionally been a problem. Although the Missouri Fine Arts Academy staff takes reasonable precautions to protect students' personal items, when feasible, the Academy does not take responsibility for personal items, including musical instruments. Academy classes, events, and business take place in public spaces that cannot be totally secured. It is recommended that students lock personal items in their residence hall rooms when they're not being used and that families be certain that their personal property insurance cover items of value.

18. What is appropriate dress for the Academy?

The Missouri Fine Arts Academy maintains a quality learning environment for students. Student appearance is an important aspect of the environment. Students are expected to dress tastefully and may wear jeans, slacks, shorts, dresses, and skirts and blouses while attending classes. Students wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to change. Both the opening and closing convocations are dressy, as are several evening events.

19. What behaviors will result in immediate expulsion?

  • Possession or use of illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products
  • Possession or use of firearms, other weapons, or fireworks
  • Destruction of property
  • Physical harm or abuse or threat of physical harm or abuse to oneself or others
  • Violation of any state or federal law
  • Violation of Academy or Missouri State University rules and regulations
  • Refusal to comply with directions from Academy officials
  • Activities that might place students at risk of physical harm

For a complete list of student rights and responsibilities, visit Missouri State's Policy Library, Chapter Five: Student Policies.

20. What is a typical daily schedule?

Sample schedule
Time Event
7:00-8:15 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-9:30 a.m. Self-directed time
9:45-11:45 a.m. Interdisciplinary class
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:00-1:30 p.m. Academy Assembly
1:45-5:00 p.m. Discipline-Specific class
5:15-6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00-10:00 p.m. Evening activities: workshops, presentations, performances (times vary)
10:00 p.m. Curfew and house meeting
11:00 p.m. Lights out

21. What is the schedule for the first day of the Academy?

A detailed schedule of opening day activities and suggested arrival times will be provided to participants in May.

22. What is the schedule for the last day?

A detailed schedule of the final day of activities and suggested departure times will be provided to participants in May.

23.  What is your non-discrimination policy?

G1.05 Non-Discrimination Policy Statement

Missouri State University is a community of people with respect for diversity. The University emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict non-discrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff, and students. In accord with federal law and applicable Missouri statutes, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including ancestry, or any other subcategory of national origin recognized by applicable law), religion, sex (including marital status, family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other subcategory of sex recognized by applicable law), age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence, and is strictly prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

This policy shall not be interpreted in a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

The University maintains a grievance procedure incorporating due process available to any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against. Missouri State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Minority/Female/Veterans/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity employer. Inquiries concerning the complaint/grievance procedure related to sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, should be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator, Carrington Hall 205, 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, Missouri 65897,, 417-836-4252, or to the Office for Civil Rights. All other inquiries concerning the grievance procedure, Affirmative Action Plan, or compliance with federal and state laws and guidelines should be addressed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance, Carrington Hall 205, 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, Missouri 65897,, 417-836-4252, or to the Office for Civil Rights. (Res. Board Policies No. 70-11; Bd. Min. 10-28-11.)