skip to main content

Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts

Enrollment Process

Grad Banner 2020
thank you for your interest in oakland school for the arts!

thank you for your interest in oakland school for the arts!

Oakland School for the Arts is a free, public school chartered by Oakland Unified School District. OSA does not discriminate in admissions on the basis of academic history, academic preparation, citizenship, color, creed, English proficiency, ethnicity, disability, gender expression, gender, home language, home living situation, immigration status, learning differences, national origin, parental/guardian marital status, political affiliation, race, religious or spiritual practice, or sexual orientation.

2023-2024 School Year Enrollment Update:

The application deadline for Oakland School for the Arts for the 2023-2024 school year was February 3, 2023.
  • If you missed the February 3, 2023 application deadline, you will still be able to submit an online application for the 2023-2024 school year. OSA applications submitted after the February 3, 2023 deadline will be considered a Late Application - you will be placed on a waiting list at each of your selected schools, and/or offered enrollment if space becomes available. 
  • Applications for all incoming middle school students are available through the Oakland Enrolls charter school online application platform
  • There is no audition required for middle school.
High School Only: Oakland School for the Arts will begin instruction on Monday, August 14th  and we still have high school spots available for the 23-24 school year. Though we have many students on our waitlist in sub-pathways at full enrollment, we have a variety of grade levels and sub-pathways that have limited available space which do not currently have a waitlist:
  •  9th Grade - Instrumental Music, Theatre, Vocal Music
  • 10th Grade - Dance, Instrumental Music, Production Design, Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual Arts
  • 11th Grade - Dance, Instrumental Music, Production Design, Vocal Music
  • 12th Grade - Dance, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Production Design, Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual Arts
If you are interested in applying for one of these spots, please email  to discuss the application and audition process. You can also call Katy Zaugg, Director of Enrollment & Student Services, at 510-873-8824.
For further information regarding our program you can visit our website at Each pathway’s audition guidelines are outlined for the audition.

2023-2024 School Year Enrollment and Lottery Process:

OSA has phased out auditions. All incoming middle and high school students are entered through a lottery system without auditions.

Applications will be accepted starting November 13, 2023 through February 16, 2024. 
OSA often has more applicants than available seats. When the number of applicants in a particular program exceeds the available seats at grade level, the students are selected based on OSA's enrollment lottery. Selection of students who are invited to enroll is determined by the lottery; no other factors are considered.
Enrollment Notes:
  • We accept applicants from all over California but give priority to Oakland residents. Please see the Oakland Residence guidelines for more information on verifying your Oakland residency status at the time of your application. 
  • Oakland School for the Arts gives a preference in admissions to students who are currently enrolled in title one school, students who reside in the school attendance area where the charter school site is located and students who have completed the Step It Up program. 
  • Siblings: A sibling with the same home address as an OSA student who will be attending the same year is given priority consideration.
  • OSA enrolls approximately 120 6th graders each year. 
  • Enrollment spots for grade 7 and 8 are limited due to our returning students each year. 
  • Waitlists vary by art pathway size and grade level.  Smaller departments like fashion, media arts, literary arts, audio production & engineering have fewer “spots”  than dance,  theatre, vocal, visual arts and instrumental music.  
Application Notes:
  • Applications will open in November and will be completed through the Oakland Enrolls charter school online application platform.  
  • Application: All information on the application must be complete, current, and accurate. The parent or guardian must sign the application in order for the student to apply.
  • Students may apply for one or two arts programs. Select the art pathway(s) that your student is interested in pursuing at OSA. The selected pathway (s) cannot be changed once your application is complete. Students cannot change pathways mid year and must audition for an internal transfer for the following year. 
  • Letters of recommendation are not accepted. 
Lottery Notes:
All lotteries are held in early March. You will be notified of your results by text and/or e-mail. There are two possible outcomes: 
  • You could receive an offer, or
  • You could be placed on the school’s waitlist.
*Results will be mailed out the second week of March 2024