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International Applicants

CalArts Commitment to International Students

CalArts has a long and rich tradition of attracting and welcoming the most talented international students in the world. One out of every five students at CalArts is International, representing nearly 50 different countries. Many of CalArts distinguished faculty are also international, adding to the artistic and academic diversity of our community.

The executive order issued on January 25, 2017, by President Donald Trump, which put a temporary ban on entry from seven predominantly Muslim countries, has not changed or diminished CalArts’s commitment to international students.

CalArts declared itself a Sanctuary Campus on January 18, 2017, a week prior to President Trump’s order, to ensure that our students and community know that the Institute is fully committed to international and undocumented students.

CalArts’s president, Steven D. Lavine, issued a response to President Trump’s Executive Order, in which President Lavine reiterated, in very clear terms, that CalArts will continue to recruit and enroll the very best international students regardless of their country of origin or religion. 

The Dream Act

The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain provisions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.

Dream Act FAQs

International Student Application Requirements

In addition to the general application requirements, international students must submit officially translated international transcripts and proof of English language proficiency to be considered for admissions. See below for more information.

International students who are accepted to the Institute will receive additional instructions for completing the Declaration of Finances form which is required to complete the , and begin the student visa application process.

  • CalArts offers scholarships to international students, providing important support to ensure a high quality arts education.

International Academic Transcript

Credentials, diplomas and certificates of secondary-school and college-level work must be presented in official English translation. The records must clearly state the date of completion (or the anticipated date of completion) and the level of education received with notations as to the number of hours attended per week and the total number of weeks completed.

International students applying to MFA programs must submit evidence of receipt of an undergraduate degree or its equivalent.

New option for Spring/Fall 2017 applicants: Applicants from Chinese institutions may request and submit official transcripts directly through CHESICC. Requests are processed by CHESICC and will be sent electronically to the CalArts Office of Admissions. Do not submit a paper copy of your transcript if you have requested transcripts through CHESICC. Click here to get started.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants are expected to be proficient in the English language before applying for admission. Applicants with a native language other than English must take the internet based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) or the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores for admissions are 80 TOEFL ibt or 6.5 IELTS for undergraduates and 100 TOEFL ibt or 7 IELTS for graduates.  The TOEFL or IELTS score must be received by the Regular Application Deadline. Applications from international students with a native language other than English may not be reviewed if they do not include a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Please note that CalArts reserves the right to ask you to take the TOEFL at any point during the application process if your English proficiency is in question.

The Institution code for CalArts is 4049. The Department code is 99.

TOEFL/IELTS Scores should be mailed to the CalArts Office of Admissions

Office of Admissions
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355

For more information about the TOEFL, please contact:

Box 899
Princeton, NJ 08541 USA
Telephone: 609.921.9000

For more information about the IELTS, please contact:

825 Colorado Blvd.
Suite 221
Telephone: 323.255.2771
Los Angeles, CA 91104

Declaration of Finances

All students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. must complete this form after they have been accepted and before the May 1, tuition deposit deadline. 

This document is to verify that you have sufficient financial resources to pay all educational and living expenses while attending the California Institute of the Arts. The U.S. consular office in your home country or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (if you are already in the U.S.) will require this document when you apply for a student (F-1) visa. 

We encourage international students to be fully prepared to fund their education and living expenses for the entire length of their time at CalArts. International students coming to the U.S. on a student visa are expected to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available to them to support their living costs as well as their educational expenses while in the U.S. It is very important that international applicants plan for their overall financial needs for the entire length of the program.

Financial aid for international students is very limited and highly competitive. Since they are not eligible for federal or state financial assistance, international students are only eligible for a CalArts scholarship and/or CalArts workstudy, if they qualify.

Visit the Student Visa and I-20 page to learn more and to download the Declaration of Finances form and instructions.

Last edited by cziemba on Feb 15, 2017
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