California Institute of the Arts

United States of America

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California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts was founded in 1961. It is a private art university in Santa Clarita, California. In 1961, it was the first degree-granting institution of higher education in the USA specifically for students of both the visual and performing arts.

University History

In 1961 California Institute of the Arts was founded. California Institute of the Arts was initially started as a merger of the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Initially the institution was under guidance of president Corrigan (formerly the founding dean of the School of Arts at New York University), he served the institute till 1972.  On December 13, 2016, Chair Tim Disney and the California Institute of the Arts board of trustees announced that Ravi S. Rajan will be the president of the institute from June 17. California Institute of the Arts was home to various interdisciplinary laboratories such as the Center for Experiments in Art, Information, and Technology, Center for Integrated Media, Center for New Performance at California Institute of the Arts, and the Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts out of which some are still working.

University Programs, Courses and Schools

California Institute of the Arts has 6 schools and colleges located in its campus. The campus offers wide learning opportunities and challenges to the students. The 6 schools and colleges of the California Institute of the Arts are;

  • School of Art
  •  School of Critical Studies
  • School of Film/Video
  •  The Herb Alpert School of Music
  •  School of Theater
  •  The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance

University Achievements

California Institute of the Arts is a well-known university in the USA. Forbes has ranked it among the top 410 regional universities. The institute is ranked #5 for fine arts programs by US News and World Report.  

University USP

California Institute of the Arts is known internationally as a game-changer in the education of professional artists. The institute provides the best program in the United States of America for animation. It offers a creative and extremely unique environment which allows students to explore their talent and passion and do their craft work freely. The Institute is ranked #51 out of #116 in California for quality and #77 out of #90 for California value.

University Notable Alumni

California Institute of the Arts’ alumni has expert alumni from different backgrounds who are there to serve based on their common passion and responsibility towards the university. Some of the alumni members of California Institute of the Arts are-

  • Tim Disney, Chairman 
  •  Jim Lovelace, Vice Chairman
  •  Ravi S. Rajan, President
  •  Tracie Costantino, Provost*
  •  Lori Husein, Treasurer*
  •  Kiara J. Brown, Secretary*
  • Joan Abrahamson, Los Angeles
  • Lyndon Barrois, Sr. 
  •  David A. Bossert 
  •  Troy Carter
  •  Don Cheadle 
  •  Melissa Cobb
  •  Clarissa Crawford 
  •  Caroline Cronson
  •  Jonathan Dolgen
  •  David Fisher
  •  Rodrigo García

University infrastructure & services


California Institute of the Arts’ campus has vigorous energy which draws strength among students and faculty. This is a place where innovative ideas are exchanged and creativity is honored at every corner of the campus. The center of campus life is spread across 500,000-square-foot buildings.  According to Walt Disney's original vision for the institution, different artistic disciplines share ideas at one place. This building is a home to classrooms, art studios, animation studios, music rehearsal rooms, dance studios, galleries, theaters for drama, and a music hall, computer and media labs, a digital recording studio; a library and a cafeteria for students to enjoy. Tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool are available for students to spend their free time.


 California Institute of the Arts’ Library is an important part of the educational experience and an invaluable resource for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, but also for the broad community. The library offers a wide range of books and other materials and services to support academic studies and enhance research work at California Institute of the Arts. The library has a vast collection of books, e-journals and e-books etc. University library is focused to provide high-quality library resources, programs, and services to the students. The library provides flexible and well-equipped surroundings to everyone’s research and learning needs. The library supports the student learning experience, creation and administration of knowledge, and also contributes to advancements in teaching and research programs.                                                                                                

Housing services

On-campus- California Institute of the Arts offers residential communities, where students from all over the country and the world live, learn and grow together. The Institute offers housing in two separate units: Chouinard Hall for undergraduate students and Ahmanson Hall for third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students. The California Institute of the Arts’ residential halls and apartments offer support and convenience, as well as opportunities for personal growth, cultural exploration, and interaction with all facilities and staff. The university’s residence halls are perfect for comfortable housing.  Students can select the room of their choice based on costs, hall facilities, location, availability. Through university’s affinity housing students can live in groups of like-minded students who share the same love for sports, literature, film and course. The various services offered in university’s residence halls are-

  •  Fully furnished rooms
  •  Large lounges with kitchens
  • All-inclusive utilities
  • Free Wi-Fi and cable TV
  • Free laundry facilities
  •  Residence Life staff support
  •  Programming created around a residential curriculum
  •  24-hour security and on-call housing staff

Off-campus- California Institute of the Arts assists students in finding off-campus housing near university’s campus. They provide convenient housing to students, faculty and staff nearby university.

Medical services

California Institute of the Arts’ Student Health Center provides medical services to students. The Health Services encourage students to live a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve their personal, academic and career goals. They also maintain an emergency response team which responds immediately to any accidents or injuries involving any person on campus. Primary and urgent healthcare, health clearances, routine women’s healthcare, emergency response and wellness education are all part of the services provided. The staff consists of certified physicians and nurses who are dedicated towards their work and provide high quality medical care to students. For more information or to make an in-person appointment or Telehealth appointment students can call the Student Health Center (661) 253-7830 Monday - Friday 8 am - 4 pm. In case of an emergency, students can dial 911.

Student’s clubs

California Institute of the Arts offers many students’ clubs and organization which provide wide range of opportunities for students to engross themselves. The university offers everything students need to stay active on campus. Some of the clubs at California Institute of the Arts are-

  •  Asian Student Alliance (ASA)
  • Chinese Cinema Club
  •  Meditation Club

University location

24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355, United States of America

Top Landmarks-

  •  William S. Hart Museum & Ranch
  •  Cryptic Escape Rooms
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  •  Westfield Valencia Town Center
  •  Valencia Lanes
  •  Arcane Escape Rooms
  •  The Canyon
  •  Mentryville

International student’s info

Courses Offered-

California Institute of the Arts offers Undergraduate programs and Graduate programs. Some of the courses are-

  •  AART - Art
  •  ACOM - Computing and Research
  •  ACSE - Critical Studies Elect
  •   AAIC - Arts in Context
  •  AGRA - Graphic Design
  •  AHMN - Humanities
  •  AINT - Internship
  •  APHM - Photography and Media
  •  Aspl - Art Special
  •  ATEK - Art and Technology
  • CCIS - Crit Intellect Skills
  •  CCOM - Computing & Research
  •  CCRW - Creative Writing
  •  CCSE - Crit Studies Elective
  •  CCST - Cultural Studies
  •  CHMN - Humanities
  •  CINT - Internship
  •  CMAP - Aesthetics & Politics

Student Support-

  The Office of International Students at California Institute of the Arts provides international educational exchange via its services. It serves as the primary international community. The office provides various services like-

  •  immigration assistance and support to international students and exchange visitors through advising, programs, workshops and events.
  •  serve as a guide for academic and administrative units in the collaboration, hiring and sponsorship of international students and exchange visitors.
  •  provides on-going orientation and support services in a welcoming environment designed to help students in cultural adjustment.

Visa and Immigration Support-

Only people who are enrolled full time in classes or are obtaining a degree are considered to be students for visa purposes. Individual will probably have one of two types of non-immigrant status:

  •  F-1 status: Most students are in F-1 status.
  •  J-1 status: J-1 status is primarily for students who come to the United States during an exchange program, generally for a year or less.

If a person's main purpose at California Institute of the Arts is to work or do research (this includes Ph.D. researchers and research interns), he or she will come to university on H-1B visa. Most nonstudents come to Louisiana in J-1 or H-1B status.

J-1 Scholar status for nonstudents may be used for professors and researchers (who may stay up to five years), specialists in a field (who stay one year or less), and short-term scholars (who stay six months or less). 

International Student Contact-

Office address- Laura Valenziano  

Assistant Director, International Students and Programs 

E-mail- [email protected]

Phone; 661-291-3406 

Student life

student society-

California Institute of the Arts’ student organizations or clubs are one of the best ideas to get involved in the campus. Organizations are assembled under an arrangement of causes, identities, and interests. Student organizations at the California Institute of the Arts put on some of the most highly awaited campus events and offer a wide range of opportunities for involvement and leadership every year. California Institute of the Arts has many student organizations, so there is something for each student.

sports and fitness-

 California Institute of the Arts provides activities that promote healthy lifestyles and fitness for a huge population of students, faculty and staff. The university provides various sports activities and fitness rooms to keep students fit and healthy.

Health & Wellbeing-

Health and Wellness at the California Institute of the Arts is to highlight the active process of change and growth that involves building resilience, persistence, and positivity in the phase of provocations. It is the initiative dedicated to help students incorporate in an overall well-being experience across campus. They allow students to actively indulge in well-being activities that provide support to a holistic lifestyle. Through this initiative, students will learn and understand resources and they will also learn how to help others in need.

Residential Life-

On-campus housing at the California Institute of the Arts can easily accommodate a huge population of students. The Institute offers housing in two separate units: Chouinard Hall for undergraduate students and Ahmanson Hall for third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students. The on-campus housing offers Residential Based Learning Communities on designated floors, areas or buildings where students request to live near others that share an interest in a particular social cause or academic area.

food & drink-

California Institute of the Arts’ Steve’s Cafe provides a dining hall in the heart of campus. Dining is open to students, faculty, and staff. Dining plan offers different dining options which includes special dietary menus such as vegetarian and low-fat food. The plans are designed to fit the busy schedule of students, the plan assists all dietary preferences by providing a wide range of dining options and healthy food options. There are a number of cafes and restaurants available on-campus in Tatum Lounge which provides a huge variety to students.

Short term getaways, weekend getaways

There are many short-term getaways near the California Institute of the Arts to have fun like-

  •  William S. Hart Museum & Ranch
  •  Cryptic Escape Rooms
  •  Six Flags Magic Mountain
  •  Westfield Valencia Town Center
  •  Valencia Lanes
  •  Arcane Escape Rooms
  •  The Canyon
  •  Mentryville

and there are many other options also available to spend holidays and weekends.

Part time jobs

The Student Employment Program at California Institute of the Arts provides employment opportunities to students who want to earn money while studying to pay their expenses. The Office of Student Employment helps students find part-time work that not only builds their bank account, it is also on or near campus, and gives them a relevant and meaningful career experience which enhances their resume.

Student Safety

Crime Around the area-

California Institute of the Arts keeps safety at priority. University’s Police Department provides 24/7 assistance to deter crime, and to increase personal safety and building security. A security desk is located in the lobby of each residence hall, which assists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure the safety and identification of those entering and leaving the campus buildings. Students can call an officer to escort them anywhere on campus 24/7. The University is committed towards providing a safe, secure living and learning environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Famous courses

The famous courses at California Institute of the Arts are-

  •  Art
  •  Computing and Research
  •   Critical Studies Elect
  •   Arts in Context
  •  Graphic Design
  •   Humanities
  •  Photography and Media
  •  Art Special
  •  Art and Technology

Campus recruitment


The Center for Life and Work at California Institute of the Arts has an award-winning placement team that is dedicated to supporting students throughout their placement search. The university hosts recruitment events to provide jobs to students.

Famous companies who recruit directly from California Institute of the Arts –

  •  Employment with a Disability - Resource guide and job board
  •  Arts for LA - Los Angeles Metier inclusive Job Board
  • Artstie - Nationwide Metier inclusive Job Board
  •  Creative Circle - Advertising, Marketing, Digital and Interactive Full-time and Freelance Job Search
  •  Artisan Creative - Digital, creative, and marketing recruitment
  •  The Art Career Project - Worldwide Metier inclusive Job Board
  • Working Not Working - Creatives Job Placement and Networking
  •  Actors Access - Postings for acting opportunities across North American 
  •  LA Casting - Postings for acting opportunities in Los Angeles
  •  Staff Me Up - Production jobs in TV, Film, Digital, Media, and Entertainment
  •  Mandy - Postings for auditions and Film, TV, Theater, and Music production jobs
  •  Entertainment Careers - Entertainment job and internship listings 
  •  Backstage - Film, TV, Theater, and Modeling audition postings 
  •  Playbill - Theatre jobs- acting, internships, administrative, design, technical, and other stage employment 
  •  Broadway World - Equity, non equity, and classifieds job and internship listings
  •  The Hollywood Reporter - Film, TV, Gaming, VR, and Advertisement job postings
  • - Source for dance auditions, workshops, and inspiration 
  •  Answers 4 dancers - Postings for dance auditions and networking (monthly membership fee)
  •  Musical America - Music job board and career resources
  • iHire Commercial Art - Nationwide commercial art job board

Application Requirements

  • Create a new account
  • Completed Application Form
  • Submit required support documents
  •  Academic Records
  • Pay the application fee 
  • Statement of Purpose
  •  Recommendations
  •  Standardized Test Scores


California Institute of the Arts Programs

Tuition Fees
Standard Test

California Institute of the Arts Application Requirements

Acceptance Rate

IELTS score requirements

A strong proficiency in the English language is essential for admission into universities in United States of America. To be able to get a successful admission in California Institute of the Arts in United States of America students need to complete IELTS with a minimum score of 6.5.

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California Institute of the Arts Cost of studies


Bachelors: $48,660

Masters: $46,830

Fees vary for each program. Please visit program page for specific fees.

California Institute of the Arts Deadlines

Fall- January 5, Spring- November 1

Deadlines vary for each program. Please visit program page for specific deadlines.

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Reach Out

24700 Mcbean Parkway,United States of America

[email protected]

(661) 255-1050