Accelerate your creative education with an online course or certificate.

Open Learning at CalArts—a joint initiative led by CalArts’ Office of the Provost and Extended Studies—delivers high-quality, accessible learning opportunities for learners of different ages and backgrounds, at whatever stage in their life or career. 

Through partnerships with online platforms Coursera and Kadenze, CalArts currently offers several courses and certificates (called Specializations or Programs) in graphic design, game design, poetry, music technology, and more. 

All courses are developed by CalArts faculty and are non-credit offerings. Options for auditing courses, fee-based certificates or premium membership are available where noted—please refer to the individual platforms for information on registration and payment.

Critique Skills

The Language of Design: Form and Meaning will introduce a lexicon (or vocabulary) in order for you to demonstrate clearer and more considered ways of talking about graphic design in the context of critique. By refining this skill, you will enhance your ability to communicate about design with peers, colleagues, and clients. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

Game Design

Stemming from the principles of storytelling and design established in CalArts’ renowned Animation programs, this five-course series lays a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay—before programming begins. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is all around us, in a myriad of forms, both on screen and in print. This five-course series exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

Music Theory

Explore the relationship between the technical and aesthetic details of music. Marc Lowenstein, faculty in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, will guide you toward developing a meaningful theoretical vocabulary to help you think and talk about musical style, and expand your appreciation for music. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

Music Technology

Dive into the exciting and rapidly expanding field of electronic music! Learn fundamental programming and software skills to start creating compelling digital compositions. Premium membership and fee-based certificates available; see Kadenze website for details.


Douglas Kearney's wildly popular poetry class gives you a chance to stretch your poetic muscle. Learn key poetic terms and devices by studying poems by a handful of modern and contemporary poets, and then try your own hand at writing new poems. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

UI/UX Design

In this sequence of four courses, developed by faculty in the Graphic Design program, you will summarize and demonstrate all stages of the UI/UX development process, from user research to defining a project’s strategy, scope, and information architecture; to developing sitemaps and wireframes. Non-credit; fee-based certificates available through Coursera.

Web Design

A website is an essential tool for any artist to display, sell, or archive their work. Learn how to create and maintain a unique online identity through WordPress and customize your site with HTML, CSS, and PHP. Premium membership and fee-based certificates available; see Kadenze website for details.