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What to Expect your First Semester

Aesthetics and Politics Program

All first year MA students are pre-enrolled in their required courses, which are described in the course catalog. Any other elective courses in the School of Critical Studies are available for online signup.  Students may also sign up for elective courses in other schools, though this may require instructor consent at Course Advising Day.
Because of the unique low-residency tuition structure of the Aesthetics and Politics Program, first year MA students are limited to enrolling in 12 units per semester. Students may choose to enroll in more than 12 units, but will be charged a per unit fee for the additional units.
Mentors are announced to students at New Student Orientation. Assignments are based on student interest and faculty expertise, to the extent that a match is possible. Students often indicate in their statements of purpose whom they want to work with, or perhaps they have previously worked with a faculty who is a colleague of faculty at CalArts. Mentors become default thesis first readers, but often those assignments shift based on how a student's work develops.

Creative Writing Program 

First semester course requirements are listed in the course catalog, and students should also be on the lookout for a welcome letter from the program to be sent by email ahead of registration. This message will provide an overview of Program requirements along with important dates relevant to Program reading series, TAships, thesis proposals and other requirements and opportunities.
The Program Director of the MFA in Creative Writing assigns mentors mid-to-late July. Whenever possible, the Program Director attempts to match mentors to the writing practices and interests of incoming students. Mentor assignments will be announced to new students with the welcome letter sent prior to the start of the semester.