Corcoran Scholars; students dancing on stage

Corcoran Scholars

Each year, an exceptional group of undergraduate students joins the Corcoran Scholars program at the George Washington University. The program engages talented students across many disciplines who are driven by challenging academic and artistic growth. Recipients are supported in artistic pursuits while exploring a diversity of practices and interpretations across disciplines, gaining a deeper understanding of the creative process and its place in a greater cultural context.

Corcoran Scholars are chosen as incoming first-year undergraduates, and join a cohort of talented arts and design students who are driven by academically robust programs that exemplify creative expression. They explore our nation’s most important museums, stages, libraries, centers for performing arts and art organizations. Washington, D.C. is recognized as an epicenter for art and culture, and provides Corcoran Scholars with a rich palette for creative inspiration among a vibrant community of practitioners and supporters of the arts.

Corcoran Scholars benefit from a variety of learning opportunities throughout their time at GW — working one-on-one with faculty, who are both dedicated artists and teachers, interacting with invited guest artists and speakers, and participating in special exhibitions and performances that showcase their work.

Beginning for Fall 2020 admitted students, Corcoran Scholars are given priority placement in the Arts + Design Living Learning Community (LLC), an Academic Residential Community that is available to admitted first-year students. Admitted first-year Corcoran Scholars students simply indicate this preference on their Housing Application.




students hanging posters on wall


Corcoran Scholars must be undergraduates who either major or minor in their arts discipline, depending upon the academic program.

  • Dance, Music and Theatre: Priority consideration is given to students wishing to major in these areas; however, those intending to minor may apply.
  • Art and Design: Students must major in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Interior Architecture, or Photojournalism.



group of students posing in front of prints on wall


The selection process for the Corcoran Scholars program and scholarship is competitive, and successful candidates demonstrate excellence as talented scholars in the performing and visual arts and design. Scholarships are awarded to students of exceptional talent, maturity and commitment. A committee of faculty members evaluates applicants based on their creative work, academic record, life experiences and understanding of the program, as well as program-specific audition, portfolio review or interview requirements.

Corcoran Scholars awards are renewable for up to 10 consecutive semesters of undergraduate study, assuming continuous full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress. First-year applicants applying for Fall Admission to GW, including Early Decision I, Early Decision II or Regular Decision may apply.

To apply to the program, students must:

1. Submit an application for admission to GW via the Common Application

2. Complete a program-specific audition or portfolio review, based on your programs requirements (below). 


Important Dates

The deadline to submit Portfolios and Audition Applications in SlideRoom is January 5, 2020.

Candidates will be notified of the decision in late March at the same time as their GW Admissions decision.




Students will receive an email by early January from the program of application with a confirmation of their audition time and program-specific details about the Auditition Day.

Friday, January 24, 2020 (optional, but it’ll be fun!)

Friday Jazz Jam and Pizza Party at 5pm
Phillips Hall B120 (801 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20052)

You are invited to join us for Friday Jazz Jam, our weekly, informal, student-run event where students and community members experiment, listen, and learn in a group setting. We welcome all listeners and performers to hop in, relax, and make the best use possible of the community of students, faculty, and friends of the GW Music Program.  

Following the Jazz Jam, enjoy pizza and hang out with our current Corcoran Scholars!


Saturday, January 25, 2020

8:30-9:00am - Check-in and Breakfast (Marvin Center Great Hall and Betts Theatre -  800 21st St NW)

9:00am-10:00am - Welcome (Marvin Center Great Hall and Betts Theatre -  800 21st St NW)

Join us for check-in, breakfast, and welcome with Kym Rice, Interim Director for Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Faculty, and current Corcoran Scholars.

10:00am-2:30pm - Auditions Begin for All Programs (detailed information will be sent via email from your program of application)



Corcoran Scholars who wish to study performance arts must complete an audition as part of the application process. Each performance area has different requirements.

Dance, BA and Minor Guidelines

Dance Corcoran Scholars applicants must complete the Dance Audition Application in SlideRoom by January 5, 2020. Upon completion of your SlideRoom application, you will be contacted by Theatre & Dance ([email protected]) to confirm your audition date, time and details.

In Person Audition Dates

Auditions will be offered on-campus on:

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 (SNOW make-up day for January 25)

If you audition in person you must participate in a class and perform a modern dance solo in bare feet. For in-person auditions, the solo must not exceed 3 minutes in length. The solo may be choreographed by you or by a teacher. Please supply your own music on digital device or CD format.

Virtual Auditions

Virtual Auditions must be submitted through SlideRoom by January 5, 2020.

For virtual auditions, you are encouraged to visit campus and participate in a technique class at another time, when possible, but your Corcoran Scholars application will be considered complete by completing your SlideRoom Audition Application and solo. For your virtual submission of a solo, the dance should be 3-5 minutes in length. The solo may be choreographed by you or by a teacher.


Music, BA and Minor Audition Guidelines

Music Corcoran Scholars applicants must complete the Music Audition Application in SlideRoom by January 5, 2020. Upon completion of your SlideRoom application, you will be contacted by the Music Program to schedule your audition.

All Music Corcoran Scholars candidates must be prepared to sight-read and to take a music theory quiz.

Audition Dates

Auditions will be offered on-campus on:

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 (SNOW make-up day for January 25)

Virtual Auditions must be submitted through SlideRoom by January 5, 2020.

Specific musical instrument audition guidelines:

  • JAZZ: Perform three (3) selections in contrasting styles that demonstrate technical and musical facility. Some reference to the blues is encouraged and jazz rhythm players will be asked to demonstrate accompaniment techniques. An accompaniment will be provided.
  • PIANISTS: Perform three (3) selections from different style periods, including one lyrical piece; also be prepared to play major/minor scales and arpeggios.
  • STRINGS: Perform two (2) or three (3) pieces of contrasting style that demonstrate technical and musical facility. No accompaniment.
  • VOCALISTS: Perform three (3) selections, all to be sung from memory. Two (2) selections must be from the classical/art music repertoire, of which one must be in a foreign language. One (1) selection may be from the pop/jazz/musical theater repertoire. All selections must be accompanied; a departmental accompanist will be provided or you can provide your own. All sheet music for voice Corcoran Scholars Program candidates must be sent to the GW Music Program at least one week prior to the audition. Make sure copies are clean and complete and always bring the originals to your audition.
  • WOODWINDS and BRASS: Perform two (2) or three (3) contrasting selections that demonstrate technical and musical facility. Be prepared to play major, minor and chromatic scales throughout the range of the instrument. Please bring three (3) photocopies of your music for the audition panel. No accompaniment.
  • CLASSICAL GUITAR, PERCUSSION and COMPOSITION: Please contact GW Music Program at [email protected] for specific audition requirements in these areas. Indicate “2019 Classical Guitar/Percussion/Composition Candidate” in the subject line.


Theatre, BA and Minor - Acting Audition Guidelines

Theatre Corcoran Scholars applicants must complete the Theatre Audition Application in SlideRoom by January 5, 2020. Upon completion of your SlideRoom application, you will be contacted by Theatre & Dance ( [email protected]) to confirm your audition date, time and details. You must choose to audition in-person or virtually.

Audition Dates

Auditions will be offered on-campus on:

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 (SNOW make-up day for January 25)

Acting Corcoran Scholars candidates must perform two contrasting age appropriate monologues from contemporary plays that have been read by the applicant in their entirety (e.g. have not been drawn from monologue books or online sources). Monologues are not to exceed a combined total of 3 minutes in length. Acting Corcoran Scholars candidates also participate in an interview with Theatre faculty members.

Applicants must choose to audition virtually or in-person.

Theatre, BA and Minor - Technical Guidelines

Technical Theatre Corcoran Scholars applicants must submit the application in SlideRoom, including a portfolio of your work by January 5, 2020. Upon completion of your SlideRoom application, you will be contacted by Theatre & Dance ([email protected]) to confirm your interview date, time and details.

As part of your SlideRoom application, you will select an interview date. Interviews may be completed in person or virtually. (We encourage you to come to campus for your interview if financially and otherwise feasible.) We will be in touch upon submission of your portfolio application to confirm your selected date and details about that day.



portfolio review is required as part of the GW admissions application for certain programs, and with the portfolio submission, applicants to these programs are automatically considered for the Corcoran Scholars program:

  • Fine Art, BFA
  • Graphic Design, BFA
  • Interaction Design, BFA
  • Photojournalism, BFA

portfolio review is not required for these programs as part of the admissions application to GW, however, it is required if applicants wish to be considered for the Corcoran Scholars program:

  • Fine Arts, BA
  • Interior Architecture, BFA


Kayla Cooper-Gamble

“I've learned so much about music, voice, and myself through my coursework and vocal lessons. I am very thankful to the Corcoran Scholars program and all of the faculty and staff who have taught and coached me throughout my college years at GW.”


Kayla Cooper-Gamble, Music



Daniel Debner

“The Corcoran Scholars program at GW has permitted me to pursue my career through incredible internship experiences with several professional theatre and dance companies in Washington, D.C.”


Daniel Debner, Theatre

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR Corcoran Scholars



Important Note:  Starting in Fall 2019, all current Corcoran Scholars students receive regular emails to their GW email through the Corcoran Scholars listserv.  If you are not receiving them, please contact us.


Save the Dates!

The spring semester will be here before we know it!  Save the dates for these Corcoran Scholars events in January!

Corcoran Scholars Welcome Back Social
Wednesday, January 15
Building XX, Black Box Theatre
See email 12/17/19 for details and a link to RSVP.


Corcoran Scholars' Fridays at Five
Friday, January 24
Phillips Hall, B-120
Event Details


Corcoran Scholars Exhibition
Friday, January 24-Feburary 21
Gallery 102


Corcoran Scholars Valentine Card Making
Friday, February 13
District House B206


ScholArs Student Planning Committee

We heard through the survey that there’s a lot of interest in helping plan Central Corcoran Scholars events for all Corcoran Scholars students.

Want to help plan Corcoran Scholars events for the future?

Sign up here to be a part of the Student Planning Committee! 

We’ll set regular meeting times starting in January 2020 based on availability for students who sign up.


Share your Creative Work

Do you have an upcoming exhibition, performance, or presentation of your creative work? Let us know!  

Complete this form, and we’ll include information in Corcoran Scholars Listserv emails throughout the semester to let your Corcoran Scholars peers know about the exciting work you are doing!

Corcoran Scholars Creative Work



Contact us at [email protected].