Admission to CalArts is competitive and considered mainly on the basis of demonstrated talent, creativity and commitment.

Application Deadlines and Fees

Find out about specific application deadlines for Fall and Spring semesters, in addition to associated fees.

Step 1: Review Application Requirements

Students are admitted on a full-time basis only. As CalArts does not offer a non-declared option, applicants apply directly to a program of study and must follow the portfolio/audition requirements for their intended program. In addition to the general application requirements, some applicants will need to submit additional materials.

Step 2: Submit Your Application

Your application to admission will be evaluated after the Office of Admissions has received all required materials. Please use your legal first and last name when creating your Hobsons application and your Slideroom online portfolio/auditions account. CalArts is not responsible for the review of applications that are not matched with their portfolio/audition due to the use of different names.

Artist Statement

An artist statement is a very important part of the admissions process. The statement should be submitted with both your online application and your online portfolio. Please see Program-specific requirements in the portfolio/audition section.

Step 3: Submit Required Supplementary Materials

In addition to the general Online Application, the following materials must be sent before your application can be evaluated.

Portfolio and Audition Requirements

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. Please note that the Animation programs are housed within the School of Film/Video.


BFA Applicants

Graduation from an accredited secondary school or its CalArts approved equivalent is required to enter and graduate from the undergraduate certificate or the BFA program. Equivalence may be established by completing the General Educational Development (GED) examination or a comparable regional test such as the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE). High School students may send official interim transcripts during the admissions process but must arrange for final transcripts to be sent upon graduation.

MFA & MA Applicants

Official college transcripts are required of all MFA applicants. College transcripts should cover all work undertaken and should be sent from each institution attended. All transcripts must be official transcripts issued from the institution you attended. Please contact each issuing institution directly to request official transcripts.

DMA Applicants
Completion or the expected completion of a master’s degree is required for all DMA applicants. Official graduate school transcripts must be issued from the institution you attended. Please contact each issuing institution directly to request official transcripts.   

Transfer Applicants

Official transcripts are also required of Transfer Applicants. Be sure to review Transfer Applicant Requirements for additional transcript requirements.

Submission of Transcripts
Official transcripts can be submitted electronically using any credentialing service (Naviance, Parchment, National Student Clearninghouse, Scribbles, eTranscript) or by physical mail.  

Mailed transcripts should be sent to:

CalArts Office of Admissions
24700 McBean Pkwy.
Valencia, CA 91355

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required for BFA programs. At least one recommendation should be written by a person who understands your artistic work. Many MFA programs require three letters of recommendation (please see program-specific requirements in the portfolio/audition section).

Submission of Letters of Recommendation

It is required that you submit the requests for your letters of recommendation through the online application, as it will allow you to track when the letters are submitted. If this is not possible, you may also download the Letter of Recommendation Form (pdf) and have recommenders send their letters by mail to the Office of Admissions. Please choose only one method—either through the online application or by mail—per recommender. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted via credentialing services such as Parchment or Naviance.

Mailed letters of recommendation should be sent to:

CalArts Office of Admissions
24700 McBean Pkwy.
Valencia, CA 91355


Contact the Office of Admissions at, 800-545-ARTS (800-545-2787).