Frequently Asked Questions

Click a link below to expand/collapse


Who is Eligible?

The brightest and most talented 10th and 11th graders currently enrolled in Tennessee's public and private high schools, students who will be juniors and seniors in the 2011-2012 academic year. To be eligible, students should rank in the top of their high school class in performance/capability or highly talented in the arts. Each student applying must also submit confidential recommendations from their guidance counselor and two teachers - references (one teacher reference for School for the Arts) that identify the applicant as talented, highly motivated, mature, and a high achiever. It is a special summer program for the gifted and talented - for the best students in Tennessee.

What Does It Cost?

Students who are accepted will receive a full scholarship for program expenses. The only thing students will have to pay for is their transportation to and from the campus, and personal items. Everything else - dorms, tuition, meals, special trips, lectures, and labs - will be provided. The program is funded by the Department of Education through funds appropriated by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. If transportation is a financial problem, students should contact the director of the school to which they are applying.

When Is the Deadline for Applications?

Applications must be postmarked no later than November 30, 2011. NOTE: Guidance counselors may set an earlier deadline for materials to be returned to them so they have time to complete and mail by our deadline. Guidance Counselors should send all application materials directly to the school(s) to which the students are applying. Applications received directly by students will not be considered.

How Will the Students Be Selected?

The selection for the academic areas will be made at the individual school level. Committees, appointed by the directors in consultation with the state Department of Education, will review each student's application material, transcripts, personal data sheets, and recommendations - looking for the most exceptional students in Tennessee. The review/selection committees will select the students who will attend each school. They will also select a number of alternates for each school. Students will receive a letter from each school to which they applied notifying them if they have been accepted, have not been accepted, or have been selected as an alternate. Selection for music, art, theatre, and ballet will be made as a result of an audition or portfolio.

Can Students Apply For More Than One School?

Yes. However, since the dates of the programs overlap, students accepted for more than one school will have to decide which program they would like to attend. NOTE: The School for the Arts does not encourage or discourage students auditioning in more than one art area. However, if a student chooses to do so, separate applications should be filled out for each area.

If a Student accepts One Governor's School, Will He/She Have A Chance To Accept Another One Later If Vacancies Occur?

No. Students need to make sure they are going to attend before they accept.

What Do Students Do If Invited To More Than One Governor's School?

Each school to which students have been invited needs to be notified one way or the other whether or not the student plans to accept. Since there are only a small number of total spaces available, the invitations that are not accepted will then be offered to applicants on alternate lists. Your cooperation here is greatly needed and is greatly appreciated.

If A Student Attended One of the Governor's Schools Last Summer, May He/She Apply to Attend This Summer?

No. No person who previously attended a Tennessee Governor's School will be accepted. Also, no-shows and/or drop-outs from previous year (without prior approval) will not be allowed to reapply.

What About Activities Outside of Class?

There will be lots of them - concerts, plays, movies, and special events scheduled for after hours and the weekends. Students will also be free to take part in any of the activities on campus - sports, swimming, running, etc. Bring tennis racquets and basketball shoes!

Who Are the Instructors?

Writers, language experts, historians, philosophers, artists, actors, conductors, expert musicians, scientists, distinguished professors, and career level teachers - the best in their fields.

Do Students Earn Any Special Credits?

All Governor's School students will be given the opportunity to earn six(6) hours of university credit upon successful completion of their enrolled courses. Also, all students who complete the program will be awarded a certificate of merit signed by the Governor.

Is Transportation Provided to/from Church?

Students may obtain this information from the directors of the individual schools.

Does an Up-to-date Transcript Need To Be Included?

Yes. Since the deadline for the return of the applications may be before the semester grades are distributed, schools should provide the most recent grades available.

If the School Requires Two Specific Types of Teacher Recommendations and a Student Has Had Only One, What Should He/She Do?

Students with this situation may obtain this information from the directors of the individual schools.

Can Students With Disabilities Apply?

Yes, if they meet the criteria.

Must a Student Stay for the Entire Four Weeks?

Yes. The program is intensive and highly individualized. Classes and special activities will be planned for the entire four weeks, INCLUDING WEEKENDS. Absences from scheduled activities will not be permitted except in the case of emergencies or religious activities, with permission from the director. Students will not be excused to attend other camps or seminars, to take family vacations, attend weddings, have senior pictures taken, etc. Come prepared to stay, study, and have fun!

How Many Students Will Be Selected?

Several hundred students will be selected for the programs.

When Will Students Be Notified of Selections?

Notifications will be sent to all students. Students will receive separate notification letters from each of the schools to which they applied.

Will Students' Home Schools Be Notified?

By the second or third week in April, lists of all students accepted up until that point will be submitted to Nashville for mailing to public and private school Guidance Counselors.

Are There Opportunities for Visitation by Interested Teachers and/or Counselors?

Yes, but we don't encourage drop-ins. Call the Governor's School ahead of time to make arrangements.

If Test Scores Are Not Available For Sophomores, What Should Be Used?

Indicate type of test taken and anticipated date of receipt. Include any available standardized test scores on the Test Data Form.

Are Students permitted to Bring Communication Devices, Such as Cellular Phones and Beepers?

Cell phones may be brought but are not permitted in classes or other programs. Laser pointers are also strictly forbidden.

Other Than Grades, Test Scores, etc., What Will Raters Look At In This Application?

The recommendations from teachers are very important. For instance, if two applications are otherwise given the same rating, what the teachers have said may result in a higher score. Extra-Curricular and service activities are also important.

Is this application confidential?

Yes, no personally identifiable information will be released.



All applications must be postmarked no later than December 6, 2014.

View Application >


General Information

The Governor's School for the Humanities is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Education.

View General Information >