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Graphic Design Requirements

BFA, MFA

BFA applicants

Submit a portfolio of your current work with a minimum of 20 pieces. These should include examples of graphic design, typography, conceptual visualization (drawing as examples of conceptual thinking) and your level of experience with technology. These examples may range from class assignments and self-initiated projects to professional work.

The following project is optional but highly recommended for applicants who lack examples of graphic design in their admissions portfolio.

Optional Graphic Design Project

Artist Statement

In your statement, we recommend that you specifically address your interest and knowledge of graphic design as a professional practice. In addition, please describe your design projects and any additional design related experience you have. When applying online, this statement should be submitted with both your online application and your online portfolio.

MFA applicants

Submit a portfolio of your current design work with a minimum of 20 pieces. Your artist statement should concisely address your objectives and goals as a designer in the context of current issues in design practice, as well as how these goals serve as a basis for graduate-level study. Candidates who have passed the preliminary selection process will be notified in mid-February. At this time, candidates will be invited to visit CalArts in March for an interview and to meet faculty and students. The interview is required of invited candidates and is an important component of the final selection process. Video chat interviews can be arranged, however attending the interview in person is highly
recommended.

MFA Motion Graphics Specialization applicants 

Submit a portfolio of your current design work with a minimum of 20 pieces. Both motion and static design work may be submitted.  Clearly state your role in each project (i.e. If you are the sole author, or if it was produced with a larger team). You may include a showreel, but please also include full versions of some of the work included in the reel. Please include self-initiated and experimental work, as well as commercial work. Your artist’s statement should concisely address your objectives and goals as a motion designer in the context of current issues in motion graphics practice, as well as how these goals serve as a basis for graduate-level study. Candidates who have passed the preliminary selection process will be notified in mid-February.  At this time, candidates will be invited to visit CalArts in March for an interview and to meet faculty and students. The interview is an important component of the final selection process and should not be missed. 

Online Portfolio Submissions

Please use our online portfolio system to upload your portfolio with digital files. The system allows you to create a corresponding inventory of works, listing for each image the following information: title, date, medium, dimensions and notes. You may upload still images or video works.

Once your portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. Please be advised that CalArts is not able to view your work until the final submission is made and your payment is received. Be sure to submit your portfolio to the correct degree level and program. If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an e-mail to support@slideroom.com for technical assistance.

Learn more about the program, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work 

Last edited by kachzet on Sep 20, 2013
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