Frequently Asked Questions


Our facility is in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Exceptional Minds offers both the Full-Time Program and Part-Time programming.
Part-Time programs include:

  • Private Lessons:
    • On-Site Private Lessons
    • Virtual Private Lessons
  • Workshops
    • Summer Workshops
    • Saturday Workshops
    • After School Workshops
  • Academy Extensions
    • Prep Program
    • Freelance Exceptional Artist Training (FLEAT)
    • PACE

For information about each program please head to the Part-Time Program section of the website.

The Full-Time Program is a 3-year commitment, September to June with weekday classes from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with a one-hour lunch break.

Before the assessment process can begin, the student must be over the age of 18, have a diagnosis of autism, and a high school diploma or G.E.D equivalent. The admissions assessment requires a review of the applicant’s art portfolio, so a student should have one or a plan to create one prior to applying. It is also recommended that the applicant has reviewed the program and has a thorough understanding of its purpose and offerings prior to applying. For further information, please refer to Full-Time Admissions on the Full-Time Program page.

Exceptional Minds is a nonprofit and receives very little government funding. We are not partnered with the Department of Rehabilitation or “vendored” by any California Regional Centers. Self-determination funding may be available for regional center clients.

We start accepting Full-Time applications October 16th (once the required intake form and family tour is completed). The potential student must go through an assessment process. The fee for the assessment process is $350.

We only accept 10-14 Full-Time students each year and give preference to students who have successfully completed one of our Part-Time programs.
For more information about the Full-Time Program please head to the Full-Time Program page.

We do not provide housing but there are numerous apartments for rent nearby.

To ensure a thorough and unbiased method of awarding financial assistance, Exceptional Minds offers financial aid through a third-party vendor, FAST (Financial Aid and School Tuition). All tuition assistance is financially needs-based. Please be aware that you must be accepted into one of our programs BEFORE you apply for FAST. The link is located on the Visit and Apply page.
We now offer our full-time families financing. Exceptional Minds has partnered with TFC Tuition Financing to offer our parents/families affordable monthly tuition payment plans.

The studio has visual effects, animation, and titles divisions. The studio has worked on dozens of motion pictures and television shows including Black PantherStar Wars: The Last Jedi, and Game of Thrones. The Animation studio has worked on projects for the Special Olympics, LA Zoo, and Sesame Street.

To qualify for the studio, all artists must graduate from the Full-Time Program. On the rare occasion that the studio needs more artists to complete a project, paid work can be offered to students outside of class hours, but they must be enrolled in Exceptional Minds programming.

All Full-Time graduates receive Employment Support Services including 36 hours of Job Coaching and 30 hours of Vocational Support. While we attempt to place graduates in internal and external employment, Exceptional Minds does not guarantee employment to students or graduates at any time.

If you are interested in any of our programs, please head to the Visit and Apply page to sign up for a tour.

Exceptional Minds is a 501c3 non-profit. Our donors contribute to tuition assistance and the many areas of our growth and development so we can serve as many young adults in need as possible.