California Institute of the Arts

Overview

At a Glance

School type

Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Faculty

245 Faculty Members | 6:1 student faculty ratio

Religious affliation

Not applicable

Mission Statement

California Institute of the Arts educates professional artists in a unique learning environment founded on the principles of art making excellence, experimentation, critical reflection and independent inquiry. Throughout its history, Cal Arts has sought to advance the practice of art and promote its understanding in a broad social, cultural and historical context. CalArts offers students the knowledge and expertise of leading professional artists and scholars and a full complement of art making tools. In return, it asks for the highest artistic and academic achievement. Reflecting its longstanding commitment to new forms and expressions in art, CalArts invites creative risk-taking and urges active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.

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cost & financial aid

Annual tuition & fees

Undergraduate

In state

$53,466

Out of state

$53,466
Graduate

In state

$53,466

Out of state

$53,466

Financial Aid: Undergraduates

Received financial aid
98%
Did not receive aid
2%
Type of aid % of students recieving aid Average amount
Federal grants 34.0% $4,287
State/local grants 10.0% $6,786
Institutional grants 97.0% $12,435
Loans 43.0% $9,658

Financial aid resources

Paying for college

Learn about different ways to cover costs, incluing financial aid, GI Bills, grants and scholarships

Applying for financial Aid

Review this step-by-step guide on everything you need to do to complete your application.

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Academics

Most Popular Undergraduate majors

  • Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
  • Acting
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
  • Music Theory and Composition
Full List of Majors

Undergraduate Majors X

  • COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
    • Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
      • A program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. Includes instruction in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs. See other colleges that offer this major
  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES
  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
    • Dance, General
      • A general program that prepares individuals to express ideas, feelings, and/or inner visions through the performance of one or more of the dance disciplines, including but not limited to ballet, modern, jazz, ethnic, and folk dance, and that focuses on the study and analysis of dance as a cultural phenomenon. Includes instruction in technique, choreography, Laban notation, dance history and criticism, and dance production. Examples: [Dance Movement Studies] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Graphic Design
      • A program that prepares individuals to apply artistic and computer techniques to the interpretation of technical and commercial concepts. Includes instruction in computer-assisted art and design, printmaking, concepts sketching, technical drawing, color theory, imaging, studio technique, still and life modeling, multimedia applications, communication skills and commercial art business operations. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
      • A program that prepares individuals to apply artistic, technical and dramatic principles and techniques to the communication of dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through technical theatre methods. Includes instruction in set design, lighting design, sound effects, theatre acoustics, scene painting, property management, costume design, and technical direction and production and use of computer applications to support these functions. Examples: [Scene Painting] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Acting
      • A program that prepares individuals to communicate dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the achievement of naturalistic and believable behavior in imaginary circumstances. Includes instruction in voice and acting speech, stage dialects, movement, improvisation, acting styles, theatre history, script interpretation, and actor coaching. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
      • A program that prepares individuals to communicate dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the making and producing of films and videos. Includes instruction in theory of film, film technology and equipment operation, film production, film directing, film editing, cinematographic art, film audio, techniques for making specific types of films and/or videos, media technologies, computer image making, multi-media production, and the planning and management of film/video operations. Examples: [Cinema Production] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Photography
      • A program that focuses on the principles and techniques of communicating information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the creation of images on photographic film, plates, and digital images and that may prepare individuals to be professional photographic artists. Includes instruction in camera and equipment operation and maintenance, film and plate developing, light and composition, films and printing media, color and special effects, photographic art, photographic history, use of computer applications to record or enhance images and applications to the photography of various subjects. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Fine/Studio Arts, General
      • A program that prepares individuals to generally function as creative artists in the visual and plastic media. Includes instruction in the traditional fine arts media (drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, CAD/CAM) and/or modern media (ceramics, textiles, intermedia, photography, digital images), theory of art, color theory, composition and perspective, anatomy, the techniques and procedures for maintaining equipment and managing a studio, and art portfolio marketing. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Music, General
      • A general program that focuses on the introductory study and appreciation of music and the performing arts. Includes instruction in music, dance, and other performing arts media. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Music Performance, General
      • A program that generally prepares individuals to master musical instruments and performing art as solo and/or ensemble performers. Includes instruction on one or more specific instruments from various instrumental groupings. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Music Theory and Composition
      • A program that focuses on the study of the principles of sound manipulation as applied to the creation of music, and the techniques of creating and arranging music. Includes instruction in aural theory, melody, counterpoint, complex harmony, modulation, chromatics, improvisation, progressions, musical writing, instrumentation, orchestration, electronic and computer applications, studies of specific musical styles, and development of original creative ability. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Jazz/Jazz Studies
      • A program that prepares individuals to study and master the performance and composition of Jazz. Includes instruction in the history of Jazz and related musical styles such as the Blues, Jazz composition and theory, improvisation, Jazz instrument and ensemble performance, and related topics. See other colleges that offer this major

Most Popular Graduate programs

  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
  • Music Theory and Composition
  • Creative Writing
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Acting
Full List of Programs

Graduate ProgramsX

  • COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS
    • Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
      • A program that focuses on the development, use, critical evaluation, and regulation of new electronic communication technologies using computer applications; and that prepares individuals to function as developers and managers of digital communications media. Includes instruction in computer and telecommunications technologies and processes; design and development of digital communications; marketing and distribution; digital communications regulation, law, and policy; the study of human interaction with, and use of, digital media; and emerging trends and issues. Examples: [Digital Media] See other colleges that offer this major
  • COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
    • Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
      • A program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. Includes instruction in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs. See other colleges that offer this major
  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES
    • Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation
      • A program focusing on the principles of applied visual simulation technology and the application of quantitative analyses to human-computer interaction. Includes instruction in object-oriented programming, artificial intelligence, computer communications and networks, computer graphics, virtual worlds and simulation systems, probability, statistics, stochastic modeling, data analysis, human-performance evaluation, and human-behavior modeling. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Computer Software and Media Applications, Other
  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS
    • Creative Writing
      • A program that focuses on the process and techniques of original composition in various literary forms such as the short story, poetry, the novel, and others. Includes instruction in technical and editorial skills, criticism, and the marketing of finished manuscripts. See other colleges that offer this major
  • MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
    • Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis
      • An interdisciplinary program that focuses on the analysis and critique of culture in its varied forms, including values, ideas, belief systems, and expressive acts, and the relationship between cultural forms, everyday life, and structures of power. Includes instruction in anthropology, communications, history, literary studies, philosophy, political economy, and sociology, as well as recent theories and methodologies such as semiotics, deconstruction, postcolonial studies, gender theory, and ethnography. Examples: [Cultural Studies], [Critical Theory and Analysis] See other colleges that offer this major
  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
    • Dance, General
      • A general program that prepares individuals to express ideas, feelings, and/or inner visions through the performance of one or more of the dance disciplines, including but not limited to ballet, modern, jazz, ethnic, and folk dance, and that focuses on the study and analysis of dance as a cultural phenomenon. Includes instruction in technique, choreography, Laban notation, dance history and criticism, and dance production. Examples: [Dance Movement Studies] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
      • A program that prepares individuals to apply artistic, technical and dramatic principles and techniques to the communication of dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through technical theatre methods. Includes instruction in set design, lighting design, sound effects, theatre acoustics, scene painting, property management, costume design, and technical direction and production and use of computer applications to support these functions. Examples: [Scene Painting] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Playwriting and Screenwriting
      • A program that focuses on the principles and techniques for communicating dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the composition of creative written works for the theatre, film, and/or television. Includes instruction in creative writing craft, scene writing, script development, stage and/or camera instructions, line and moment analysis, script reading, script editing, and the creation of full productions. Examples: [Dramatic Writing], [Writing for Screen and Television] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Acting
      • A program that prepares individuals to communicate dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the achievement of naturalistic and believable behavior in imaginary circumstances. Includes instruction in voice and acting speech, stage dialects, movement, improvisation, acting styles, theatre history, script interpretation, and actor coaching. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Directing and Theatrical Production
      • A program that prepares individuals to manage the planning, design, preparation, and production of plays and other theatrical entertainment programs. Includes instruction in theatrical design, program management, dramatic production, rehearsal management, personnel management and casting, actor coaching, directing concepts and techniques, theater history, scene work, script interpretation, business management, marketing, public relations, and communications skills. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Costume Design
      • A program that prepares individuals to design and select costumes for characters in theatre and the performing arts and to serve as part of a production team. Includes instruction in costume design, script analysis, theory and criticism, period styles, history of costume, stage makeup, rendering, and costume construction. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
      • A program that prepares individuals to communicate dramatic information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the making and producing of films and videos. Includes instruction in theory of film, film technology and equipment operation, film production, film directing, film editing, cinematographic art, film audio, techniques for making specific types of films and/or videos, media technologies, computer image making, multi-media production, and the planning and management of film/video operations. Examples: [Cinema Production] See other colleges that offer this major
    • Photography
      • A program that focuses on the principles and techniques of communicating information, ideas, moods, and feelings through the creation of images on photographic film, plates, and digital images and that may prepare individuals to be professional photographic artists. Includes instruction in camera and equipment operation and maintenance, film and plate developing, light and composition, films and printing media, color and special effects, photographic art, photographic history, use of computer applications to record or enhance images and applications to the photography of various subjects. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Fine/Studio Arts, General
      • A program that prepares individuals to generally function as creative artists in the visual and plastic media. Includes instruction in the traditional fine arts media (drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, CAD/CAM) and/or modern media (ceramics, textiles, intermedia, photography, digital images), theory of art, color theory, composition and perspective, anatomy, the techniques and procedures for maintaining equipment and managing a studio, and art portfolio marketing. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Music Performance, General
      • A program that generally prepares individuals to master musical instruments and performing art as solo and/or ensemble performers. Includes instruction on one or more specific instruments from various instrumental groupings. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Music Theory and Composition
      • A program that focuses on the study of the principles of sound manipulation as applied to the creation of music, and the techniques of creating and arranging music. Includes instruction in aural theory, melody, counterpoint, complex harmony, modulation, chromatics, improvisation, progressions, musical writing, instrumentation, orchestration, electronic and computer applications, studies of specific musical styles, and development of original creative ability. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Jazz/Jazz Studies
      • A program that prepares individuals to study and master the performance and composition of Jazz. Includes instruction in the history of Jazz and related musical styles such as the Blues, Jazz composition and theory, improvisation, Jazz instrument and ensemble performance, and related topics. See other colleges that offer this major
    • Theatre/Theatre Arts Management
      • A program that prepares individuals to apply business management principles to the management of theatres and production corporations. Includes instruction in theatrical production, theatre design and planning, fund-raising and promotion, investment strategies, human resources management, theatre operations management, marketing, public relations, financial management and insurance, and applicable laws and regulations. See other colleges that offer this major

Types of Degrees Offered

  • Certificate
  • Associate's degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree
No Information for this section

Admissions

Undergraduate acceptance rate

Acceptance rate
27.42%
  • Apply 2,254
  • Accepted 618
  • Attend 153

Application Fee

Undergraduate
$70
Graduate
$70

Undergraduate application requirements

  • High school transcript

    Required
  • High school GPA

    Not applicable
  • Recommendation letter

    Required
  • Admissions test
    (SAT or ACT)

    Not applicable
  • TOEFL
    (international students)

    Required
  • Completion of college
    prep program

    Not applicable
  • Demonstration of
    competencies

    Required
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Student Life

Student Demographics

Female Students
54%
Male Students
46%

Student Ethnicities
  1. Caucasian38.08%
  2. Two Or More Ethnicities32.51%
  3. Hispanic/Latino13.21%
  4. Asian7.03%
  5. Black4.97%
  6. Not Specified3.86%
  7. American Indian/Alaska Native0.17%
  8. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander0.17%

Student body breakdown

Total students enrolled

1,558

Undergraduate students

1,051

Graduate students

507

Attendance breakdown

Full time
88%
Part time
12%

Student services

  • Meal plan
  • Counseling services
  • Remedial services
  • Work-study
  • Placement services
  • Study abroad
  • Weekend/evening classes
  • On-campus day care for student's children
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