CalArts Returns - New Student Orientation, Sept. 1-13

This email was sent to all new CalArts students about the upcoming online orientation, which runs Sept. 1-13

Dear New CalArts Students:

On behalf of the staff of Student Experience, I am thrilled to welcome you to the CalArts community. I know the transition into our community will be an exciting time in your life, and that you are coming to CalArts with confidence in your ability and great hope for what you will accomplish.Yet we are also living through a disorienting time filled with uncertainty, and you might have some trepidation about what to expect. I would like to reassure you that the staff in Student Experience will be with you every step of the way to make sure you have all the support you need to be successful at CalArts.  

Our goal in Student Experience is to help remove obstacles so that you can focus on your art and academics, develop productive relationships with fellow artists, and get to know yourself better to ensure that you thrive in life and work after graduation.

This year, New Student Orientation will be fully online. Orientation runs from Sept. 1 to 13, with classes beginning on Sept. 14. Orientation sessions will be a mix of video and text content, with live online events interspersed throughout the two weeks.  

The online orientation platform will allow you to close the session and return without losing your place, so you can do it at your own pace. I encourage you to start right away, however, and do a little each day in order to take full advantage of all that will be offered without falling behind. Required sessions are timed, and therefore you will not be able to skip through without fully engaging with the content. 

To get a taste of what our online Orientation will be like, please see this excerpt from the School of Film/Video on how to access equipment from the Film Cage:  

Film cage video

New Student Orientation will kick off with a Virtual Move-In Day that will include an opportunity to meet with CalArts President Ravi Rajan. In order to accommodate global time zones, we’ll be holding the kick-off event at two times:

  • Monday, Aug. 31, 7  p.m. (Pacific)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1, 11 a.m. (Pacific)

Family and Friends will also have an opportunity to ask questions directly to President Rajan, Provost Tracie Costantino, and the Student Experience leadership team on the following dates and times:

  • Sunday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. (Pacific) – President & Provost
  • Sunday, Sept. 6, 1 p.m. (Pacific) – Student Experience Leadership Team
  • Sunday, Sept. 6, 6 p.m. (Pacific) – President & Provost
  • Sunday, Sept. 6, 8 p.m. (Pacific) – Student Experience Leadership Team

Please watch your email for reminders and links to these events. 

I look forward to meeting you all virtually during New Student Orientation, and of course, welcoming you in person on campus as soon as it is safe to do so.  If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Student Experience at  

Orientation Outline and Schedule of Events 




Brian Harlan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Experience
Associate Provost for Integrated Learning