What is the ideal profile of a circus artist?  
A circus artist must demonstrate both a creative spirit and a great capacity to adapt to changing circumstances.  This person should be multi-talented, open to the world and able to function autonomously, along with being determined and disciplined. Since the labour market is international in scope, it follows that the artist should enjoy travel and be ready to adapt to the mobile life involved in touring.

Must I have previous training or experience in circus arts to be admitted to the School? 
It is not necessary to be experienced in a specific circus discipline. However, the School admits candidates who have practised at an advanced level martial arts or acrobatic sport disciplines such as artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, diving, figure skating, etc.

What are my prospects for employment when my studies are completed? 
Please consult the careers oppourtunities page.

Does the School offer a housing service for students coming from outside Montreal?
To augment the services it offers students, the NCS now provides 24 housing units on site. The residence for minor students is located adjacent to the School with a corridor connecting it to the main building. Each individual room is equipped with a bathroom and can accommodate two students. For older student, it is very easy to find affordable rent in Montreal especially near the School. Most appartments can be found on specified website or in the newspapers. Please note that in Quebec most leases are renewed on the first of July for a duration of one year, unless otherwise agreed upon with the landlord. Find out more.


During the Entrance Exam, must I be able to execute all the required exercises?
The candidate must execute only the movements that he or she has mastered previously. For more information, please visit the « admission » section of each program.

What advice do you have for me as I prepare for the Entrance Exam? 
To best way to prepare with the Entrance Exam is to first consult our website and read the exam description under the « admission » section. The ideal next step is to consult a physical education or sports training professional who will be able to advise you according to your capabilities.

If I want to take advantage of the Participation to the entrance exam by video, it is possible to forward a video after sending in the registration forms?
The complete file, including videocassette, must be mailed to us before the registration deadline. If the submission is found to be incomplete on deadline day, we unfortunately will not be able to accept your candidacy.

Examples of reasons given for participating via video:
- I live more than 1,000 kilometers from the nearest city in which an Entrance Exam will be held
- The date of the Entrance Exam in my region coincides with a national competition that I must attend
- I do not have permission from my School or Club to participate or to be absent on the dates of the Entrance Exam 


  • HIGHER EDUCATION Open or Close

    How many students do you accept each year?
    The number of students accepted varies, but the program is limited to approximately 25 per school year.

    How many hours of study per week are required for the DEC program?
    The DEC program comprises approximately 38 hours of study per week, distributed between theoretical and practical courses.

    If I already have a DEC, will I get credit for the compulsory courses?
    At present, courses in the subjects of French, English and Philosophy will be credited.

    Is it possible to pursue my studies and also hold a part-time job?
    Even though many courses are quite demanding physically and the school days tiring, some students are able to combine studies leading to a DEC with part-time employment.

    How many foreign students do you accept each year?
    The number of foreign students admitted varies between 8 and 10 per year.

    Is physical presence at the Entrance Exam preferable to sending a videotape?
    Being physically present is preferable to sending a recorded audition. During the School Entrance Exam, evaluations of dance and acting (theatre) abilities allow the candidate to demonstrate talents that may not be apparent on tape.

    Is there a way to obtain financial assistance in Canada for foreign students?
    Governments and institutions in Canada do not offer financial assistance to foreign students. To obtain financial assistance, the accepted pupil must apply directly to the government of the country of origin. Foreign students can ask a bursary of the Foundation of the National Circus School .

    Is it possible for a foreign student to work during the school year?
    International students may ask for an Off-campus work permit related to their student permit that can allow them to work up to 20 hours per week during the School year and with no hour-limit for the rest of the year and for working at the School. However please note that this work permit is not automatic and not all students may obtain it.

    Find out more about the programs: Diploma of Collegial Studies in circus arts (DEC) and Diploma of National Circus School Studies (DEE)

    This program is aimed at the candidate who demonstrates the potential to undertake advanced training but lacks the required physical or artistic skills. The Upgrade Program consists of skills and courses in basic circus techniques and disciplines. The student is able to participate in general training as well as the various courses specific to the higher education program. Conditional admission is granted for the period of one year, after which the student must re-take the Entrance Exam for final admission to the program.  

    How many students do you accept per year? 
    No quota has been set on candidates accepted to the Circus and High School Studies program. The number of students admitted varies depending on the candidates' potential and capacity to succeed in the program, on academic, physical and artistic levels. The School can accept a maximum capacity of more than 40 students in the Circus and High School Studies program.

    Can I be accepted at any point during secondary education? 
    Students may be accepted at the beginning of or during their secondary studies. A pupil admitted from Secondary V will benefit from using this year to prepare for the Entrance Exam to the college-level program.

    How many hours of study are required for the Circus and High School Studies program?
    A normal week’s schedule requires a minimum of 42 hours of attendance at the School per week.

    Find out more about the program: Circus and High School Studies 


    What does the Preparatory program involve?
    The Preparatory program (PFS) is an intensive and extracurricular training program. Young people between the ages of 9 and 17 years may undertake the program while at the same time pursuing a primary or secondary academic education at an outside institution in the Montreal area.

    How many hours of training does this program involve?
    The Preparatory program involves 13 hours of training per week. Regular instruction is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, as well as Saturday mornings. It is intended for young people between 9 and 17 years of age who wish to undertake circus arts training while pursuing their primary or secondary education at another academic institution in the metropolitan Montreal area. 

    Is there any way to participate yet train for fewer hours?
    As with other high-level sports, this program requires many hours of training per week. A candidate who aspires to become a circus artist must undertake the full training regimen as outlined in the program requirements. The School also offers recreational activities for young people between 4 and 17 years of age. Including an Acro-Cirque PLUS session, 5 hours, 7 hours or even up to 9 hours a week.

    Is it possible to apply to the Circus and High School Studies program after the session has started?
    Students in Grade 6 or any year of high school who are enrolled in the Preparatory Program may request admission to the Circus and High School Studies program to continue their high school education entirely at the School. The Entrance Exam for the Circus and High School Studies are held in the month of February, and students who are accepted begin their education at the School the following August.

    Find out more about the program: Preparatory program

  • SUMMER CAMPOpen or Close

    How many participants does the School admit to the summer camp?
    The School admits a maximum of 70 participants to each of the two camps (one for ages 9-12, the other for ages 13-17).

    What is Summer Camp like?
    Our Summer Camp provides participants with an introduction to a variety of circus techniques  such as aerials, acrobatics and juggling. They train for six hours each day, with one or two planned outings over the course of training. For those who have chosen the 24h/24 option, monitor-supervised activities are held after classes.

    Is it possible to enrol in camp if a candidate is not between the ages of 9 and 17?
    Because the School receives a large number of registration requests and because places are limited, the camp is open exclusively to young people between the ages of 9 and 17.

    When must I pay to attend the camp?
    Payment is due upon receipt of the contract indicating that your child has been admitted to the Summer Camp.

    Is there a meal program for candidates attending the day camp?
    It is possible to participate in a meal program for day camp attendees at an additional cost. 

    Is it possible to register for the Summer Camp after the registration deadline if another candidate drops out?
    Because of the high number of registrations the School receives, requests for admittance that are received after the registration deadline are not retained.

    For whom is the Summer Camp intended?
    Our Summer Camp is intended for candidates who wish to engage in intensive training in circus arts. A participant may have previously enrolled in a circus arts preparatory program or experience such training for the first time at the Camp. All participants must have a functional knowledge of the French or English language and be in excellent health.

    Must a participant have practiced some form of circus art previously to be admitted to the Summer Camp?
    Some form of circus arts practice is not a prerequisite for admission to the Camp. However, potential candidates who have not trained previously in circus arts should have practiced either dance or martial arts or an acrobatic sport such as artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, diving, figure skating, etc. They should also have developed several physical and psychomotor aptitudes: spatial orientation, flexibility and body awareness.

    Is it possible to specialize (a single discipline in particular)?
    Since the Summer Camp is an introductory program, the accent is placed on learning basic techniques such as floor acrobatics, trampoline, balancing, physical preparation and flexibility. The participant will have an opportunity to practice several circus disciplines—juggling and manipulation, aerials and acrobatics — rather than specializing in any one discipline.

    Find out more about the intensive summer camp.

  • E-learning Instructor programOpen or Close

    If I work full time can I still do the on line course?
    Yes, all the people who registered for this course so far, were working full time.

    I have limited experience in circus but I am interested, do I have a chance to be accepted?
    Any knowledge you have in circus, sports or arts that are related to physical activities is an asset that we take into account. 

    I can not perform most of the skills in some circus disciplines can I still take the course?
    Although we invite you to perform the basic skills in each technique during the live intensive week in Montreal, you are evaluated on your teaching skills and not on your physical performance.

    How does it work on a weekly basis?
    There are 5 courses spread out over 17 weeks. Each week, you have specific modules to study and you are free to do it any time you want throughout the week. At the end of the week, on Saturday morning 9:00am Montreal time, there is a video conference with a teacher to review the material of the week.

    What happens if I can not attend the Live Video Conference?
    Every video conference is recorded and sent to all the students.  

    How many hours of studies are required per week?
    More of less one day’s work spread out over 7 days so it is accessible.

    Do we have exams?
    There are written exams done via internet and all the instructions are provided at the beginning of each course which is on Moodle (Moodle is the platform used to provide all the content).Except for the Class Management course, all the other courses also have a practical evaluation which is done during a seven day extensive session in Montreal. (See the calendar).

    I have a lot of experience as a coach, can I be exempted of some of the courses?
    Only the Physical Educators with a University degree may be exempted for the Class Management Course.

    For the 90 hours internship, what are the qualifications for the local supervisor?
    The local supervisor is a person with teaching experience and with knowledge of circus. This person needs to be approved by l’école nationale de cirque.

    I don’t know any potential supervisor where I live, what do I do?
    This supervisor could be anywhere in the world, you simply need to send him / her short videos on a regular basis and be in contact via internet using the many tools available.

    What is the deadline to complete all the tasks?
    There is some flexibility within each course but you must respect the deadlines for the exams which are usually one week after you received your assignment.
    As for the 90 hour Internship, you have six months after your last course to complete all the tasks.

    I am a Teacher with a University degree, do I have to do the 90 hour internship?
    No as a Teacher, you only need to send a hour video of you teaching a circus class and fill out a Learning Assessment.


    Learn more about the Instructor in Circus Arts E-Learning program