Home Governor’s Schools of West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts

School for the Arts

The Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) offers a transformative, free-of-charge program to sophomore students interested in expanding their artistic talents and experiences.


West Virginia Wesleyan College


June 23–July 13, 2024

2024 Application Window Has Closed for GSA

Download the 2024 Governor’s School for the Arts flyer

(for 10th grade students)

In This Section

School & County Information
Apply Online
Parent Information

About This School

About This School

The GSA provides students a unique opportunity to enhance and build artistic skills in creative writing, dance, digital literacy, instrumental music, painting and drawing, theater, and vocal performance. The program provides an inclusive community for artists of all types.

Governor Gaston Caperton established the GSA in 1994. The first GSA occurred at Fairmont State University, housing 63 accomplished and growing young artists studying dance, instrumental music, theater, and the visual arts. In 1998, the GSA broadened the curriculum to include vocal music. Creative writing was added to the curriculum in 2003, and digital media in 2008. Previous hosts of the GSA include Fairmont State University, Marshall University, West Liberty University, Davis & Elkins College, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Current 10th grade students are eligible for the GSA. Auditions and portfolios are reviewed for admittance. The summer 2024 session will be at the West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

School & County Information

The West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) requires high school and county boards of education to actively recruit and assist students during the application window. The school counselor should not be the only individual involved in recruitment. Please use the flyer attached to share this information in classrooms and with teachers who may be able to promote the program.

2024 GSA Flyer (for 10th grade students)

High School Responsibilities

  • Inform all qualifying students of their eligibility. Speak with students about the merit of GSA.
  • Post the flyer in multiple areas of the school.
  • Inform students of the application.
  • Applications are due by March 1, 2024. Please share this deadline with interested students.
  • The school counselor must print transcripts and first-semester student grades as required in the application.
  • The school principal is required to sign a certification form. Please assist student applicants with this section of the application.
  • The application requires two teacher recommendations. Please inform students to ask teachers for recommendations promptly.

County Contact Responsibilities

  • Review all the information about the GSA on the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) website.
  • Share information from the WVDE with all high schools and CTE centers.
  • Share the PDF flyers with all high school principals and counselors to post and share with students and parents.

If you have questions, please contact Dustin Lambert, WVDE State Coordinator of West Virginia Governor’s Schools – dllambert@k12.wv.us or (304) 558-5325.

Apply Online

Thank you for your interest in the GSA. Please review the qualifications listed below before completing this part of the application.

Required Qualifications

  1. Must be a current high school student in West Virginia with plans to attend next school year.
  2. Must be a West Virginia resident.
  3. Must be a sophomore at the time of application.
  4. Must have a grade-point average of at least 2.2.
  5. Must have a recommendation from the school principal (include in Part II application).
  6. Must satisfy all immunization requirements according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Non-public school and homeschooled students must provide proof of immunizations.
  7. Must acquire two teacher recommendations, one from a teacher who has worked with you in your arts area. Both letters must be submitted on professional letterhead. Please provide sufficient notice to your teachers before applying.
  8. Must exhibit a strong personal commitment to artistic development in one of the following areas: acting (theater), creative writing, dance (ballet and modern), instrumental music, studio art, vocal music, or digital media.
  9. Students may apply for more than one area listed above, but they must submit an audition piece for each one as specified in Part II of the application. In addition, if an offer is extended in more than one area, the student must decide which discipline they will pursue while at GSA. Only one discipline is permitted for each student. 

The school counselor must be involved in the application process for GSA. Please provide sufficient time for school personnel to secure the required documents for the application.

Application Part I

Application (applications are closed)

A PDF version of Part I is provided here. We recommend collecting all required documents within the application before starting the online form. We do not accept PDF version of Part I. Please submit this part online only.

Part I goes directly to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Students must complete this part of the application before starting Part II.

Application Part II

Part II of the application requires students to type information within the PDF and print pages to be completed by the school counselor and principal.

The West Virginia Department of Education is not accepting paper submissions of applications. Once the student and school counselor have compiled the application and all required documents into one scanned PDF, students may upload the completed application to the file submission.

Application Part II Upload Folder (applications are closed)


Please reference Part II of the student application for all the requirements for auditions. The file submission folders are located within Part II.

Parent Information

Drop Off and Pickup

Please be advised, parents are required to drop off students on June 23rd and pick up students on July 13th at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV.

Handbook and Itinerary

The student handbook and daily itinerary are posted below. We share this information only to inform students and parents of expectations and what the experience may look like for the duration of the school.

Information and events within the documents are subject to change as the hosting college/universities/organizations prepare for the summer. Please only use the information as a guide to what might be expected during GSA.

2024 GSA Student Handbook
2024 GSA Itinerary

The West Virginia Department of Education maintains a Facebook page to showcase students during each school. Please visit the page to view all the exciting activities going on throughout the summer.


Faculty and residential positions for the GSA have been filled for 2024. These positions are hired through West Virginia Wesleyan College.

For more information, please contact the GSA deans: