Admission to CalArts is competitive and considered mainly on the basis of demonstrated talent, creativity and commitment. CalArts welcomes applications for admission from anyone committed to the visual, performing or writing arts. Students are admitted on a full-time basis only and commence studies almost exclusively in the fall semester. Applicants apply directly to a program of study and must follow the portfolio/audition requirements for their intended program.
Your application for admission will be evaluated only after the Office of Admissions has received all required materials listed below. It is your responsibility to be certain that all necessary materials have been sent. The requirements are as follows:
Transcripts, whether enclosed with the Application for Admission or sent under separate cover, should come in a sealed envelope. Official high school transcripts are required of all BFA1 and transfer applicants. Official college transcripts are required of all transfer and MFA applicants. College transcripts should cover all work undertaken and should be sent from each institution attended.
We recommend that you submit the requests for your letters of recommendation through the online application, as it will allow you to track when the letter is submitted. However, if this is not possible, you may also download the Letter of Recommendation Form  (pdf) and have your recommender send their letter by mail. Please choose only one method - either online or by mail - per recommender.
Two letters of recommendation are required for most programs. At least one recommendation should be written by a person who understands your artistic work. The MFA Program in Dance, the MFA Directing Program and the MFA Writing for Performance Program require three letters of recommendation.
An artist statement is very important in the admissions process and should answer the following three questions:
Some programs have additional specific requirements (please see Specific Program Requirements ). When applying online, this statement should be submitted with your electronic application.
In addition to the general application requirements, each school has specific admissions guidelines and portfolio or audition requirements. Please click on the links below to view the details for each school.