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School of Critical Studies Application Requirements

Prospective students must complete the Admissions application process and the program portfolio requirements to be considered for admission. After the regular deadline has passed, The School of Critical Studies continues to accept applications on a rolling basis until the programs are filled.  

The School of Critical Studies allows the submission of portfolios online through the general application. If you would like to submit additional media, above and beyond the required writing samples and statements, you may do so online via slideroom for a small additional fee.

Creative Writing Program (MFA only)

A portfolio of current work representing your best writing and your aesthetic sensibility is required of all applicants to the MFA Creative Writing Program. This portfolio must contain:

1) An artist’s statement that should address your writing/artistic practice, history, style/s, genres and current direction/s, and reference your creative and/or critical influences.

2) A creative writing sample up to 40 pages in length. Within the 40 maximum pages, applicants may submit any number of pieces in any number of genres; any prose should be double-spaced. While the MFA Writing Program encourages both multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work, including multi-media, prospective students needn’t submit additional materials / media above and beyond the writing sample and statement unless those materials are truly essential to the applicant’s practice. Please limit supplemental video material to 10 minutes and other supplemental visual material to 10 still images. All web sites should be submitted as PDF; do not merely supply us with a URL.

If you are mailing your materials, please include a completed Portfolio Information Form addressed to the Office of Admissions at CalArts. Do not send your materials directly to the School of Critical Studies. Doing so will cause a delay in the review of your work.

MFA Interschool Degrees

To pursue an interschool course of study in writing and another arts discipline, students must be fully accepted by both the MFA Writing Program and a second CalArts program. Prospective students interested in such a curriculum are required to submit separate applications to the MFA Writing Program and to the second CalArts program. Applicants should clearly state any interschool plans in their statement of intent.

Aesthetics and Politics Program (MA only)

A portfolio of current work representing your best critical writing is required of all applicants to the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program. This portfolio must contain:

1) A statement of purpose addressing your academic and/or artistic interests, the ways in which they relate to aesthetic and political concerns, and your goals in applying to the program.

2) A writing sample with a theoretical or political focus up to 20 pages in length. Within the 20 maximum pages, applicants may submit any number of pieces. While the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program encourages both multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work, including multi-media, prospective students needn’t submit additional materials / media above and beyond the writing sample and statement unless those materials are truly essential to the applicant’s practice. Please limit supplemental video material to 10 minutes and other supplemental visual material to 10 still images. All web sites should be submitted as PDF; do not merely supply us with a URL.

If you are mailing your materials, please include a completed Portfolio Information Form addressed to the Office of Admissions at CalArts. Do not send your materials directly to the School of Critical Studies. Doing so will cause a delay in the review of your work.

Last edited by sblake on Aug 31, 2015
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