CalArts Fact Sheet
Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first higher education institute to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. CalArts is dedicated to training and nurturing the next generation of professional artists, fostering brilliance and innovation within the broadest context possible. Admission to CalArts is competitive and considered mainly on the basis of demonstrated talent, creativity and commitment. Other important considerations include educational records, recommendations and artist's statement.
Total headcount enrollment: 1,449 students
- Undergraduate students (BFA, Certificate): 942 (65%)
- Graduate students (MFA, MA, DMA, Advanced Certificate): 498 (34.4%)
- Special non-degree students: 9 (0.6%)
Areas of Study (Métiers)
- 22.6% School of Art
- 2.8% School of Critical Studies
- 5.5% The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance
- 27.9% School of Film/Video
- 18% The Herb Alpert School of Music
- 23.2% School of Theater
- 57.97% Female
- 41.96% Male
- 0.07% Declined to State
Geographic and National Representation
- United States: 1,163 students (80.3%) from 47 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
- International: 286 students (19.7%) from 44 countries
- 0.7% American Indian/Alaskan
- 11.35% Asian
- 7.1% African American or Black
- 49.8% Caucasian
- 0.6% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 15.65% Hispanic or Latino
- 5.2% Two or more races
- 9.6% Other/undeclared
Admit Rate: 28%
Undergraduate 1st-2nd Year Retention Rate: 85.6%
- 340 faculty members (224.5 FTE)
- 6.4:1 Institute student faculty ratio
- Average class size: 8 students
Number of Students per Class 2-20 21+ Number of Classes 82.2% 17.8%
Costs and financial aid 2016-17
- $62 million annual operating budget
- $135.9 million endowment as of June 30, 2016
- $45,030 yearly tuition
- Students with financial need: 78%
- Students receiving CalArts Gift Aid: 83% (74% undergraduate, 87% graduate)
- In June 2012, the Los Angeles Times dubbed CalArts “the Harvard Business School of Animation” to describe the preponderance of industry leaders who studied there.
- In August 2012, Blouin ArtInfo listed CalArts’ School of Art among MFA programs offering “the most bang for your buck.”
- The 2012 Sundance Film Festival selected 12 “CalArtians” to screen their work.
- In 2011, Newsweek/Daily Beast ranked CalArts as the nation's number one college for students in the arts.
- In 2012, U.S. News & World Report names CalArts in its Top 10 rankings for: Fine Arts Schools, Graphic Design, Multimedia/Visual Communications, Sculpture and Photography. (Other programs offered by CalArts are not ranked by U.S. News.)
Campus and environs
- Located 30 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles in Valencia, California (in the City of Santa Clarita)
- The center of campus life is a sprawling five-level, 500,000-square-foot building—equivalent to 11 acres of square footage—which houses all six schools.
- REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, is CalArts' downtown center for innovative visual, media and performing arts.
Updated: March 2016