Jazz (MFA Only)

Before applying, please make sure to familiarize yourself with the Jazz Studies Program, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work.

Please note that you must complete all Admissions Requirements as well as the portfolio requirements to be considered for admission.

Portfolio Guidelines 

Applicants to the Jazz Program are evaluated by a recorded audition only. Your recording should include four selections: two that demonstrate your main area of musical interest (original compositions are encouraged, but not required) and two contrasting jazz standards of your choice, demonstrating how you interpret melody, form, time feel and improvisation over chord changes. Please include a title, composer, personnel and instrumentation, and running time for each track. The performances should be with a small group (2–8 musicians) of any instrumentation.

Please use our online portfolio submissions system. The online system accepts MP3s, documents, images and video. Once your portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. Be sure to submit your portfolio to the correct degree level and program.

Artist Statement

You must include a detailed Artist Statement that outlines your goals as a music artist, your background in studying music, particular interests in studying music at CalArts, and area of Specialization. In your Artist Statement, be sure to also include the following:

Describe briefly your main interests in music right now.

  • Describe other musical interests you are involved in.
  • Describe the materials you will submit in your digital portfolio and how they demonstrate your musical interests.
  • Describe what you would like to learn at CalArts.
  • List any combinations of Specializations that you might like to create for yourself while at CalArts.