CalArts believes that transfer students bring with them a wide variety of life experiences and skills that enrich our educational community. Whether transferring to CalArts from a community college or university, or already holding a bachelor's degree, you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are at the forefront of expanding the landscape of the arts.


How to Apply

At CalArts year-level placement, that is, the year-level at which a student begins (BFA 1, BFA 2, etc.) is based on the level of work presented in the portfolio/audition as determined by a review from a faculty committee in conjunction with an assessment of transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution. 

Therefore, as a transfer applicant you must submit official transcripts of all of your previous college work. If you have not obtained an AA or BA degree, you must also submit official High School Transcripts and evidence of graduation or the equivalent. These records are needed to complete the admission process and to assist our faculty committee in their review of your application and in their determination of program-level placement.

Transfer Credit: Transfer credit will be considered toward a CalArts degree only if earned at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution (or at a foreign academic institution recognized by its government) and a grade of A, B, C, or Pass was received.

All transfer credit will be evaluated by the Registrar according to guidelines developed by the Institute's Schools.

Transfer credits submitted to fulfill the Critical Studies requirement will be measured against the CalArts component of 46 semester units. Students with previous bachelor's degrees do not have to fulfill the full 46-unit Critical Studies Undergraduate Requirements. They are required, however, to complete at least 8 Critical Studies units in order to obtain a BFA degree from CalArts. All students will be required to take at least 8 of the 46 credits total in Critical Studies at CalArts. Those students working toward a Certificate of Fine Arts are not subject to Critical Studies Undergraduate Requirements.


Transfer Guidelines 

Please view the Critical Studies Transfer Guide to learn which academic courses from other accredited institutions may be considered for transfer into the Critical Studies area of the BFA degree.

The transfer of studio courses into your program of study are determined by a faculty review of your incoming portfolio or audition. Accepted applicants will be told of their transfer level at the time of admissions.

Please view our Transfer Credit Policy for more information.


Credit by Exam

CalArts grants Critical Studies core credit toward the BFA degree for successful completion of examinations in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board and for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Students presenting scores of 3 or better on the AP exam or a 4 of better on the IB exam are granted 4 semester units toward the Critical Studies requirement for each examination, as they relate to the following Critical Studies core requirements and non-Critical Studies requirements:

Critical Studies

Critical/Intellectual Skills Credit

  • AP English Language and Composition

Computing & Research Skills Credit

  • AP Computer Science A

Humanities Credit

  • AP English Literature and Composition

Social Science Credit

  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States Government and Politics
  • AP United States History
  • AP World History
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics

Science & Math Credit

  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics B
  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2

Arts in Context Credit

  • AP Art History

Critical Studies Elective Credit

  • AP Chinese Language and Culture
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP German Language and Culture
  • AP Italian Language and Culture
  • AP Japanese Language and Culture
  • AP Latin
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture

Non-Critical Studies

Studio Credit

  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: Drawing