Performer-Composer (DMA)

You must complete all admissions requirements as well as the program requirements below to be considered for admission. Before applying, please make sure to familiarize yourself with the School of Musicfacultyfacilitiescurriculum and student work.

You cannot make any changes to your application after it has been submitted.

Application Requirements

The application process for the DMA Performer-Composer Program consists of two sequential stages. Stage I comprises CalArts' standard application plus an online portfolio submission. Applicants selected to advance to Stage II will be notified in February and will be invited to the CalArts campus for an audition in March. Not all applicants will advance to Stage II.

  • A curriculum vitae
  • An artist’s statement describing your artistic practices, how you contextualize your work, and your overall artistic and professional goals. This should be no longer than 700 words and should incorporate a project proposal that describes what you would like to accomplish at CalArts, including topics of exploratory focus and proposed events/projects.
  • Documentation of at least three (but no more than five) works that represent your recent creative concerns and state of artistic development, in whatever media are most appropriate.
  • A sample of your analytical, theoretical, historical, philosophical, or critical writing that possesses a scholarly tone
  • If possible, you should upload a teaching portfolio incorporating representative instructional materials that you have used and a list of subject areas in which you would feel qualified to teach (including private lessons).
  • Three letters of reference addressing your potential for high artistic achievement as a performer-composer, aptitude for research, and promise as an educator (Letters of recommendation should be uploaded with your online application, not your online portfolio submission.)

Applicants who have advanced to this stage of the application process will be invited to visit CalArts’ campus during the month of March. Visiting applicants will participate in the following activities:

  • A performance, including substantial examples of the applicant’s original work as a performer-composer
  • A 40-minute teaching demonstration aimed at a sophomore (second-year undergraduate) audience and addressing a topic of their choice 
  • An interview with the DMA Admissions Committee