The Oxbow School is accepting sophomore, junior, senior, and gap year applications for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters, and the 2024 Summer Art Institute.

Oxbow welcomes applicants who are motivated, curious, and excited to learn. APPLY NOW for a semester or summer like no other!


Applications for 2024/2025 opened on September 1, 2023 with a January 1, 2024 Summer Art Institute priority date and a February 15, 2024 semester priority date. Students that complete their materials by the priority dates are the most eligible for early acceptance and the largest need and merit-based scholarships.

After the priority dates, Oxbow begins rolling admissions and will continue to accept students until all programs are fully enrolled.

Questions? Email us at:

Semester + Summer Application Process

Part 1 - Online Application

Fill out and submit Part 1 (online form) of the application and select the Fall, Spring, or Summer program you are interested in applying for. We are currently accepting applications for Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and the 2024 Summer Art Institute.

Once Part 1 is completed, you will receive an email with details on how to create a login for the application portal. The Oxbow Admissions Team will contact you to help complete your application, assist you in applying for Financial Aid as needed, and answer any questions you might have.

Please feel free to reach out to us directly at

Part 2 – Semester Application Documents

Part 2 for the semester program includes:

  • Self-portrait in any medium (.jpg or .tiff file)
  • Parent/Guardian Statement
  • Student Questionnaire
  • A copy of your most recent official high school transcript (Official only if mailed or emailed directly from school)
  • Two teacher recommendations (teacher instructions pdf)
  • A 300-word essay on one of the following subjects (if applying for a Gap Semester, please use the Gap Semester prompt below):

1. “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” - Pablo Picasso

Choose one work of art or one artist that allowed you to realize a truth about yourself and/or the world around you. Discuss.

2. Choose a contemporary (Post WWII) work of art that you think best reflects a self-portrait of you. Describe.

3. Project yourself 50 years into the future. You have just finished your 250 page autobiography. How does the 3rd chapter begin?

GAP SEMESTER APPLICANT ESSAY PROMPT (Not required for students looking to attend Oxbow as sophomores, juniors or seniors)

  • Describe a project and area of interest that you would like to focus on during your semester as a Gap student. What open-ended question(s) would you like to explore in depth? Which studio(s) would you like to concentrate in? If you would like to pursue a leadership role within the The Oxbow School community or pursue an internship, please explain the skills you would like to develop during your semester as a gap student. Leadership roles might include: studio teaching assistant, culinary arts intern, elementary school volunteer, or residential life coordinator.

Part 2 – Oxbow Summer Art Institute Application Documents

Part 2 for the Oxbow Summer Art Institute includes:

  • Self-portrait in any medium (.jpg or .tiff file)
  • Parent Statement
  • Student Questionnaire

Materials can be submitted through the application portal or emailed to

In its consideration of applications for admission, The Oxbow School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.

Working With Your Sending School

At Oxbow, we are fully committed to working with you and your school to best support your experience on campus and return to your sending school. Oxbow regularly hosts students from some of the nation's top public and private high schools and has over twenty years of experience helping students stay on track with their academic needs. The first step in our application process is for families to meet with their sending school and review our Curriculum Guide with the counselor or advisor. This will allow your sending school to assist you in planning your class schedule. Please feel free to contact our Director of Admissions, Jason Tucker, with any questions about working with your sending school - we are here to help you with any questions that may arise.

Questions can be directed to Jason Tucker, Director of Admissions at or 707.363.0449.

Supporting Your Education Goals

Math and Language

For those students that will be taking math and/or language while at Oxbow, we suggest that you meet with your sending school math and/or language instructor to ensure that work completed at Oxbow will satisfy the sending school diploma requirements, and to collect books, syllabi and any other materials needed to support your work at Oxbow.

Online Courses

Some students have found that online courses can be a way to earn credit for coursework not offered at Oxbow. Credit for online coursework is at the discretion of the sending school. Please talk to your school and Oxbow's Academic Dean about online coursework to ensure that you will receive credit for any online courses before you arrive at Oxbow.

Advanced Placement Credit

Because integration between disciplines is central to academic studies at Oxbow, we do not offer Advanced Placement classes. However, we have several students each semester who choose to continue their A.P. studies by following along with the sending school curriculum or taking an online course in addition to the core curriculum at Oxbow. The ability to manage such a workload is very demanding; therefore, it is recommended that students limit their independent studies in A.P. to a maximum of two classes. Students who take Advanced Placement exams in Calculus, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, U.S. History, and Environmental Science perform very well on the exams each Spring. Lab sciences are not recommended as Oxbow does not have any lab facilities on campus.

Students who need to pursue A.P. while at Oxbow are urged to set up regular support with their respective teacher(s) prior to enrolling. It is important for A.P. students to understand that it will require additional work before, during, and after attending Oxbow. Students are encouraged to be self-directed in managing their A.P. workload on their own time. Oxbow alumni who took on the additional work enthusiastically say it was worth it to attend Oxbow.

If students plan on taking an A.P. exam in the Spring, they must register for this test through their sending school A.P. Coordinator in the Fall semester and sign up for the “late testing” date to be taken at home. Students may not register to take A.P. tests in Napa during the Spring semester.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs

It may not be possible for students enrolled in full IB (International Baccalaureate) programs to continue IB coursework while at Oxbow; students enrolled in full or partial IB programs should consult with their sending schools to ensure that they will receive credit for Oxbow coursework.


The Oxbow School is fully accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and a proud member of the National Arts Education Association (NAEA), the Arts Schools Network, the Semester Schools Network, and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The Oxbow School is a non-profit organization as designated under section 501(c)(3).