California Institute of the Arts

United States of America


Established in 1961, the California Institute of the Arts (also known by its nickname CalArts) is a private university located in ValenciaCalifornia, United States of America. It was incorporated as the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and performing arts. CalArts provides a collaborative environment for a diversity of artists. Students are free to develop their own work (over which they retain control and copyright) in a workshop atmosphere.

CalArts offers a variety of unique programs at the undergraduate and graduate level within its six world-renowned schools: School of Art, School of Critical Studies, School of Dance, School of Film/Video, School of Music and School of Theater.  It is one of the most prestigious art schools in the U.S.A. The school’s focus is in interdisciplinarycontemporary art, and the Institute's stated mission is to develop professional artists of tomorrow. The Institute encourages students to recognize the complexity of political, social and aesthetic questions and to respond to them with informed, independent judgment.

CalArts is a home to more than 1,400 students of which over 900 are enrolled in the undergraduate programs. The student to faculty ratio at the university is 7:1 and the acceptance rate is 24%. One out of every five students at CalArts is international, representing nearly 50 different countries. The school offers scholarships to international students, providing important support to ensure a high quality arts education.

Notable Alumni: Timothy Walter Burton (American film director, producer, artist, writer, and animator), John Alan Lasseter (American animator and filmmaker), Andrew Stanton (American film director, screenwriter, producer and voice actor based at Pixar)

Tuition Fees
Standard Test

All areas of advanced industry practice are covered from traditional drawing techniques to digital rendering and CAD. The Specialization is uniquely designed for students interested in pursuing careers in theater, film, television, themed entertainment, immersive design and other entertainment industry specializations where they ll work as creative thinkers, storytellers, scenic artists and art directors.

Portfolio/Audtion, Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

Set director, Filmmaker, Actor, Scriptwriter

5th Jan


The undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide comprehensive training for sophisticated actors and theater artists, to make strong connections between the physical and the mental. Graduate students are pushed to expand, innovate, and clarify their skillset. Students in both the BFA and MFA Programs learn how to analyze texts, understand acting methodologies and develop their bodies, voices, emotions and minds as instruments for performance.

Portfolio/Audtion, Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

Actor, Director, Acting professor

5th Jan


Encompassing both studio practice and theory, a primary concern of the Art Program is that every artist be challenged to develop a critical self-awareness about their work and to better understand the aesthetic, social and intellectual contexts that inform artmaking in today's globalized world.

Portfolio/Audtion, Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

Artist, Painter, Art professor, Creative director

5th Jan


The Program provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as a fully-fledged animation artist within both the traditional and computer-generated (CG) animation environments. The Program features a faculty of experienced professionals who work at the forefront of traditional, CG and independent animation.

Portfolio/Audtion, Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

Graphic designer, Animator, Cartoon animator, Director

5th Jan


Both undergraduate and graduate composers are provided with individual mentoring and guidance, coaching and instruction by a stylistically diverse array of world-class artists who are at the cutting edge of aesthetic and technical developments in the field. BFA composers are given the tools to establish a musical practice and find their voice, while MFA performers are given space to dabble and experiment within and beyond their individual practice. In keeping with the Institute's spirit of artistic exploration, the faculty encourages composition students to seek out interschool collaboration opportunities with filmmakers, directors, dancers, designers and other artists throughout the Institute.

Portfolio/Audtion, Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

Musician, Music professor, Composer, Music producer

5th Jan

a) University online application

b) $85 application fee

c) Official transcripts

d) Letters of recommendation and Portfolio

e) IELTS/TOEFL score if applicant’s native language is not English.

f) TOEFL- 80, IELTS- 6.5

g) Acceptance rate is 27.5%

Requirements vary for each program. Please visit program page for specific requirements.


Undergraduate: $48,660

Graduate: $46,830

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

Cost of Living

The annual cost of living California Institute of the Arts at $15,500 approx.


Yes, the University provides in campus housing facilities.

Fall- January 5, Spring- November 1

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

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* All cost are in USD