Fall 2020 Frequently Asked Questions (as of June 30, 2020)

This list will be updated in the upcoming weeks, so please check back.

Delivery Modes and Curriculum 

Now that there is a general plan from CalArts about fall, when will my school send me specific information about my metier courses?

CalArts has begun sending out information to students, and we anticipate you should be receiving about one or more communications per week ranging from housing and registration, to financial aid and special programming. Please check your CalArts email regularly for the latest updates.

Is there flexibility regarding the in-person or online classes?  

Most programs will offer a range of in person, hybrid, and fully online courses, so there may be some flexibility in whether you attend in-person or online depending on the courses you select. However, we do want to ensure that you continue to make progress toward your degree, so the schedule you choose should include the courses required for your program and your year level, and should be determined in conversation with your mentor or your program director. Depending on the delivery methods developed by your school, this may limit some of the flexibility regarding the makeup of in-person versus online components.

My program is going fully online, but I would rather be on campus. Can I add elective courses that will meet in person?

As in any normal semester, students are able to design a class schedule that works to support their degree progress as well as their individual artistic goals and interests. While we don’t recommend adding courses just for the sake of being on campus, you will still have the option to add elective courses to supplement the specific courses required by your program. Any decisions regarding your class schedule should be made in conversation with your mentor.

My program is going fully online. Why do I need to pay full tuition if I’m not going to be using campus resources?

The expense involved in offering online courses is comparable to offering campus-based courses, and in many cases is actually more expensive. Although students attending fully online may not use the physical resources available on campus, they will still have access to academic resources and student support services, ranging from access to reference services in the CalArts Library to counseling appointments through the Office of Student Experience. Whether in person or online, we are doing everything possible to ensure that you receive the complete CalArts experience in both the quality of your education and in the supplemental resources available to you.

My program says I need to be on campus, but I am immunocompromised and/or I live with immunocompromised people. Am I required to come to campus? Can I be excused from the in-person part of required hybrid courses?

Students who have medical conditions that may warrant further consideration or accommodations based on medical history should contact the Office of Student Experience to request academic accommodations.

I don’t have any health issues that would make me high risk, but I still really don’t want to get the virus and I don’t want to come to campus. Am I required to come to campus? Can I be excused from the in-person part of required hybrid courses?

CalArts is doing everything possible to make campus safe for students, staff, and faculty. Planning and preparations are being conducted in close conversation with the LA County and State of California Departments of Public Health, and in accordance with CDC guidelines. Unless you have a documented disability that necessitates special accommodations, you will likely need to come to campus if your schedule includes coursework with a required in-person element, but we encourage students to talk openly with their mentor and program director about any concerns related to in-person courses.

What if I’m unable to come back to campus for in-person classes?

CalArts is aware that some students may have difficulty returning to campus (international visas, medical issues, travel restrictions, etc.). Many of the classes have been designed as a fully remote or  hybrid model and not solely in-person. Our faculty are planning classes with these scenarios in mind, and we will work with students to ensure they can fulfill course requirements with access to all content and a robust CalArts educational experience.

If my program is fully or mostly remote do I need to move to California?

If your class schedule includes any in person coursework, you will need to come to campus to participate. All students coming from outside of the Los Angeles area will need to quarantine for two weeks prior to the start of class, so you will need to plan accordingly. All classes will move to remote delivery the week of Thanksgiving, at which point you can choose whether or not you wish to stay in the Los Angeles area.

Will classes accommodate different time zones, asynchronous, or via Zoom? If I’m not on campus and in another time zone, will I need to be present at the designated time of my class? 

Online classes will mix live sessions with faculty and asynchronous sessions (done at your own time). Faculty understand that due to location and time zone differences, some students may need more asynchronous content. They are evaluating their course content and will work with the students enrolled to provide the best educational delivery for their teaching.

How will mentoring work? Will faculty members still work in their offices and have office hours for student meetings?

Most faculty will work remotely when not on campus for in person courses. Mentors will continue to meet regularly with students, but most likely these meetings will take place by Zoom or other video conferencing software rather than in faculty offices. Some faculty will meet via pre-arranged appointments, while others will hold open office hours. 

When are mentors going to be assigned?  When and how will I meet them?

Mentors are typically assigned at the end of summer or in the first month of the semester. New students typically meet with their mentors during New Student Orientation, and returning students typically meet with their mentors during Course Advising Day or at other mentoring events coordinated by their school or program.

What will happen if/when there is another wave of coronavirus this winter? Will my hybrid and in-person classes move fully online?

The health and well-being of the CalArts community comes first. In anticipation of a potential “second wave,” CalArts is planning to move all courses fully online after Thanksgiving. The faculty also have plans in place in case they need to shift to remote learning sooner in the semester if there is an outbreak prior to the Thanksgiving break. We will follow the guidance from national and local health and government officials, and will make any necessary adjustments at that time.

Will performances still occur? Will they be open to the public? What about gallery night?

Performances and gallery openings will still occur, but in a manner that takes into consideration guidance from the state and the county regarding the health and safety of all participants and audience members. We anticipate the size of in-person audiences will be limited for all indoor events, and strict physical distancing will be required. We also expect that we will continue to expand our virtual event spaces and experiences, as we have done with our thurs.night events.