We welcome your interest in our unique, creative community. 

Below is a step-by-step guide to applying to California Institute of the Arts. These steps can be completed relatively quickly or over the course of several months.

The Fall 2024 application deadline was January 5, 2024. However, we are still accepting applications for certain programs.

You can view a list of programs currently accepting applications at this link: CalArts Open Programs - Fall 2024. 

Programs may close to new applications at any time and without advance notice. For complete application review and financial aid consideration, you are best off applying as soon as possible.

If you have any questions along the way, please reach out to our Office of Admissions at admissions@calarts.edu or +1 800 545-2787. We’re here to help.

We encourage you to start your process of applying to CalArts by creating an application account. 

Create an Application Account

Create an application account to register your interest and to receive communication from us about your application-in-progress. 

The email address you use to create your application account will be the primary method we will use to communicate with you. You should select an email account you plan to check regularly throughout the application process.

When you apply to CalArts, you must select a specific program of study in one of our six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, or Theater. We do not offer a general program of study nor a “foundation year” program.

All Programs of Study

Research and identify the program or programs at CalArts you would like to join.

Not sure where to start? Check out the webpages for any CalArts School that matches your general area of interest:

You can also find out more about CalArts, our unique creative community, and your program of interest by attending an admissions information session, event, or visiting our Explore webpage for prospective students.

Your next chance to attend CalArts as a full-time student will be for the fall 2024 semester.

Application Deadlines & Fees

Note our application deadlines, in addition to associated fees.

Start an application for your program of interest. (It's okay to start one now and submit before the deadline.) Starting now will allow us to best help you as you prepare your application materials.

Start Your Application

It is also possible to apply to more than one program at CalArts. To do so, simply start two applications, one for each of your programs of interest. Please note, an application fee is required for each application.

A critical part of the application is the audition and/or portfolio of creative works, as well as the accompanying artist statement. Each program at CalArts has its own specific requirements: some programs require an audition, some a portfolio, and some require both. 

Portfolio / Audition + Artist Statement Requirements

It may take you some time to prepare these materials. You can find out more about preparing these creative and written materials by reaching out to your admissions contact or attending an event.

There are many ways to finance a CalArts education, and we encourage you to explore potential funding sources as you prepare your application.

Undergraduate (BFA) Financial Aid

Graduate (MFA, MA, DMA) Financial Aid

International Student Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form typically opens in October. If you are a US citizen or eligible non-citizen, complete the FAFSA to be considered for the most financial aid possible.

The CalArts Office of Financial Aid is here to help. For additional assistance, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@calarts.edu.

Within the online application, you will:

Access Your Application

Request, gather, and submit these materials well in advance of the application deadline.

You’re almost there! Take a moment to make sure that all of the information in your application is correct and that you have uploaded the final versions of any audition, portfolio, or writing pieces. Then send it to us as soon as you are ready! We look forward to receiving your completed application.

Finish & Submit Your Application

Complete your online application form and attach all required materials.

You made it! Thank you for your patience as our faculty review committee considers your application and supporting materials. Applications often take several months to process.

Check Application Status

After you apply, you can check your application status at https://apply.calarts.edu/apply/status. If you have any missing materials be sure to send them to us.

You are also welcome to connect with us on social media or to subscribe to 24700 for news from CalArts.

Thank you for applying to CalArts!


Contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@calarts.edu, 800-545-ARTS (800-545-2787).


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