Idyllwild Arts Academy

Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #1 - Idyllwild Arts Academy is home to approximately 270 students from 30 countries and 26 US states, all devoted to intensive study of the arts. Located 2 hours from Los Angeles, 2 hours from San Diego, and 1 hour from Palm Springs, the Academy is an artistic crossroads for Southern California.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #1 - Idyllwild Arts Academy is home to approximately 270 students from 30 countries and 26 US states, all devoted to intensive study of the arts. Located 2 hours from Los Angeles, 2 hours from San Diego, and 1 hour from Palm Springs, the Academy is an artistic crossroads for Southern California.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #2 - The Film & Digital Media program offers pre-professional training in film, television and new media production. As the industry is undergoing constant change, in both production technology and business practices, the program gives special attention to preparing students for a career that is not entirely predictable. Applying traditional skills to new digital environments and global platforms is the key.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #3 - Krone Library is home to countless resources and study spaces for IAA students as well as the College Counseling Office. Our College Counseling staff work with our students throughout their time at the Academy, helping them prepare for the next step in their artistic journey.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #4 - The Academy's Dance Department offers students training in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. Students spend many hours in the studio each day, honing their talent with American Ballet Theatre trained faculty.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #5 - There are performance opportunities on and off-campus throughout the school year.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #6 - InterArts and Fashion Design offers students the chance to explore and combined multiple art forms or to focus in Fashion Design. Students present their work in two fully choreographed Fashion Shows each year.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #7 - The Visual Arts at Idyllwild Arts Academy encompasses many things. Our students ground their work in Drawing and Painting, but also explore Sculpture, Ceramics, Printmaking, Graphic Design and Photography.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #8 - Creative Writers have the chance to study fiction, nonfiction, poetry, dramatic writing, and screenwriting in an intimate, workshop-driven department.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #9 - Theatre students can choose to focus in Acting, Musical Theatre or Theatre Design and Production while at Idyllwild Arts. With at least 9 performances a year, our students stay busy learning about all aspects of theatre and graduate with resumes that show skill in performance, costume design, lighting, sound, set construction, stage management and directing.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Photo #10 - The Music Department offers concentrations in Classical Music, Voice and Piano; Jazz Music, Voice and Piano; and Songwriting. Our curriculum combines performance opportunities with music academics and private lessons with some of the top musicians in Southern California.
Idyllwild Arts Academy offers intensive, specialized arts training and challenging college-prep academics to talented young artists from around the world.
On our idyllic mountaintop campus, students learn from a distinguished faculty of working professional artists.Graduates of Idyllwild Arts excel in every professional arts discipline, including Broadway theatre, primetime television, classical and jazz music, motion pictures, graphic design, dance, and more.
Our arts majors include: MUSIC | VISUAL ARTS | DRAMATIC ARTS | CREATIVE WRITING | DANCE | FASHION DESIGN | FILM & DIGITAL MEDIA | INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTS Outside of our regular school year, Idyllwild Arts offers summer workshops that include Jazz in the Pines, ESL, Native American Arts, and a full menu of Arts Intensives.

Quick Stats (2024)

Top Rankings

Idyllwild Arts Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12
Offers Post-Graduate Year
ADD/ADHD Support
Learning Difference Programs
Learning Programs Supported
Support offered on an individual basis.
Year Founded
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
271 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 51%
Students by Grade
Idyllwild Arts Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
75 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
12 students
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
Advanced Honors Biology, Honors Acting Seminar, Honors American Literature, Honors Calculus, Honors Calculus II, Honors Counterpoint, Honors French IV, Honors French V, Honors Government & Economics, Honors Literature of Western Thought, Honors Physics, Honors Pre-Calculus, Honors Spanish IV, Honors Spanish V, Honors Technical Theatre Seminar, Honors US History
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
No dress code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
For the 2024-2025 Academic Year California Resident Tuition is $65600 International Boarding Tuition is $78700 Domestic Day Tuition: $34000
Summer Program Cost Notes
Varies according to program
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Tara Sechrest
Admissions Associate
Megan Berg
Endowment Size
$7 million


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
24 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Activism Club, Asian Culture Club, Black Student Union, Chess Club, Contemporary Arts Research Club, Cooking Club, Dharma Club, Disabled Students Support Club, Environmental Club, Feminist Club, Film Scoring Club, Gay Straight Alliance, Grupo Latino, Indigenous People's Club, National Honor Society, Photography Club, School Magazine, Soccer Club, Student Government, Student of Color Alliance, Swiftie Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Arts Enterprise Lab, Arts in Society, Coffee House

School Notes

  • Idyllwild Arts sits a refreshing mile above sea level in the San Jacinto Mountains, two hours from Los Angeles and San Diego and an hour from Palm Springs.
  • Graduates go on to Juilliard, Dartmouth, Brown, Northwestern, Tufts, University of the Arts London, Parsons, Swarthmore, Bard, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Rhode Island School of Design, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Carnegie-Mellon, NYU, Eastman School of Music, and other elite institutions of higher learning.
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Shepard Fairey - Graphic Artist and Designer
    • Neal Beasley - Princess Grace Award Winner - Modern Dance, Trisha Brown Dance Company
    • Orpheo McChord - Percussionist, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
    • Casey Abrams - American Idol 2011 Finalist
    • Trevor Hall - Recording Artist
    • Marin Ireland - Tony Award Nominated Actress
    • Elora Hardy - Founder of IBUKU in Bali, Indonesia
    • Cristy Candler - Broadway Musical Theater Actress
    • Vesselin Gelev - Associate Concertmaster - London Philharmonic
    • Liang Wang - Principal Oboe - New York Philharmonic
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Idyllwild Arts Academy cost?
Idyllwild Arts Academy's tuition is approximately $75,900 for private students.
What is the acceptance rate of Idyllwild Arts Academy?
The acceptance rate of Idyllwild Arts Academy is 65%, which is lower than the national average of 84%. Idyllwild Arts Academy's acceptance rate is ranked among the top private schools in California with low acceptance rates.
Who are famous alumni from Idyllwild Arts Academy?
Idyllwild Arts Academy famous alumni include: Shepard Fairey, Neal Beasley, Orpheo McChord, Casey Abrams, Trevor Hall, Marin Ireland, Elora Hardy, Cristy Candler, Vesselin Gelev and Liang Wang.
Does Idyllwild Arts Academy offer a summer program?
Yes, Idyllwild Arts Academy offers a summer program. Visit their summer school page for more information.
What is Idyllwild Arts Academy's ranking?
Idyllwild Arts Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for: Lowest average acceptance rates, Highest percentage of faculty with advanced degrees, Largest student body and Most extracurriculars offered.
When is the application deadline for Idyllwild Arts Academy?
The application deadline for Idyllwild Arts Academy is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
My daughter is studying music at Idyllwild Arts. She often shares with me about her campus life, such as she loves to play cello in the cabin, and it makes her feel great. Mr. Walz gives her advice on cello technology and constantly encourages her to be mentally tough. I am so glad to see she has made significant progress in the past two years. Idyllwild's teachers are so patient and the management of the school is also reassuring. My girl is getting more and more confident. I see her growth and independence.
- Posted by
As the parent of a graduate of Idyllwild, I am grateful to the school, professional teachers, and all teachers for their guidance and help to my children. Thank the school and teachers for their education and support. It provides children with a high-quality platform and opportunities to show themselves, and can fully explore and improve students' potential and learning ability. The mutual learning and subtle influence of each major enable children to draw on others' strengths and improve their comprehensive quality. We will always remember the teachers' love and teaching of children!
- Posted by
Attending IAA has been a truly lovely, magical experience for me. The lifestyle alone is something all teens dream of, with an abundance of freedom, independence, and exploration balanced out by protection, care, and stability. The students you`ll encounter are so so colorful and sensitive and in touch with themselves as well as their art. The campus offers a perfect environment for deep, fulfilling friendships. The staff feels more like genuine guardians rather than distant teachers. Some of my favorite memories have been sharing tea and having spiritual afternoon talks with my dorm mom and making a film about mushrooms with my movement and wellness teacher. Overall, I have felt swaddled by this school and owe so so much of my creative and emotional well-being to my ability to attend it.
- Posted by
My child just completed her Freshman year as a boarding student at IAA. Although initially hesitant to allow our child to attend a boarding school, the experience has been amazing for our child. Firstly, the arts education is incredible. It's such an immersive environment and was truly transformative for her as an artist and individual. She was allowed the freedom to complete several projects that she would not have had the opportunity to do at a traditional school. She was supported in her art endeavors, and encouraged to both enter various competitions and showcase her work in so many exciting ways! Additionally, we were very impressed faculty/staff there. They provide a nurturing and supportive environment both for her artistic endeavors and personal growth. She has formed several strong bonds with several staff, faculty, and students. As parents, we felt so at ease seeing how the staff and faculty truly cared about her and were always available to help anytime day or night. She loves it there. She feels so happy and has the freedom to creatively express herself at this school. We are so grateful for this unique opportunity and highly recommend IAA to anyone looking to grow as an artist and individual while being supported by a top-notch faculty and staff while living in this peaceful oasis in the woods!
- Posted by
Idyllwild Arts Academy has been the perfect school to fulfill a lifelong dream. The faculty there has given me opportunities I never would`ve received that have helped me more in my career than I could`ve ever imagined. The overall environment of support and unique perspectives has been eye-opening yet comfortable. If you want a career in the arts or even a different pathway and simply have an individualistic passion for the arts, this school is the perfect gateway, not only for a name on a resume, but a wonderful education to go along with it!
- Posted by
A safe place for my child to grow as an artist physically and mentally. Academically challenging while providing the space to grow his art as a dancer. Supported his development and provided the training to compete and gain acceptances to summer intensive programs and top ten universities and conservatories domestically and internationally. This is a safe space to grow! The staff from the health center, admissions office to teachers are amazing.
- Posted by
I am currently a theatre major and attending my first year at Idyllwild Arts. I also considered attending both Walnut Hill and Interlochen Arts Academy, and while both schools are exemplary, Idyllwild just seemed right. One of my biggest worries about attending an arts school was lack of focus on academics. However, I could not be happier with the education I am attaining from Idyllwild Arts. The difference in learning from the past schools I have attended is the focus on concepts. Instead of memorizing dates or formulas, the curriculum concentrates on understanding and comparison. Another surprising quality of Idyllwild is the supportive community. I was concerned on the level of competition present among the students of the same art form. When I arrived at Idyllwild Arts, none of my colleagues were interested in my vocal range or the monologue I was planning to use for my first audition. Members of the Idyllwild Arts were genuinely friendly, helpful, and very welcoming to all the new additions to the community. As for my art form, I have never been more challenged. Not only am I learning information about myself as an actress, but also I have learned so much about my self as a person. Idyllwild is sincerely an environment for positive self-growth. With the great diversity of students and faculty and countless opportunities, Idyllwild has given me more than I could ever ask for. I am incredibly grateful to attend this amazing school.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Riverside County, CA is $7,368 for elementary schools and $14,734 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Riverside County, CA is 91% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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