Application Deadlines and Fees

Find out about specific application deadlines for Fall and Spring semesters, in addition to associated fees.

Step 1: Review Application Requirements

Students are admitted on a full-time basis only. As CalArts does not offer a non-declared option, applicants apply directly to a program of study and must follow the portfolio/audition requirements for their intended program. In addition to the general application requirements, some applicants will need to submit additional materials. Additional type of student information can be found here.

Step 2: Submit Your Application and Portfolio

Your application for admission will be evaluated after the  Office of Admissions has received all required materials. The online application is where all required materials and portfolio/audition submissions will be uploaded. 

Start your Application Today

Artist Statement

An artist statement is a very important part of the admissions process. The statement should be submitted with your online application. Please see Program-specific requirements in the portfolio/audition section.

Step 3: Submit Required Supplementary Materials

In addition to the general Online Application, the following materials must be sent before your application can be evaluated.

Portfolio and Audition Requirements

In addition to the general application requirements, each School has specific admissions guidelines and portfolio or audition requirements. Please click on the links below to view the details for each School. Please note that the Animation programs are housed within the School of Film/Video.


All transcripts should be uploaded to the application directly on the Academic History section prior to submitting. Applicants should plan ahead and request transcripts as soon as they decide to apply to CalArts.

Please do not mail your transcripts to CalArts. We will have limited capacity to process paper transcripts due to COVID-19. To ensure your transcripts get into your record quickly, please only send electronic copies through any credentialing service (Naviance, Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, Scribbles, eTranscript, SPEEDE network)​. Your school should be able to help you with sending transcripts electronically. 

If you have transcripts from the following countries:

  • Bulgaria
  • Colombia
  • Cuba 
  • India
  • Iran
  • Palestine
  • Russia
  • Kazakhstan

Please be sure to visit our International Applicants Page for further instructions.

Submission of Transcripts

Scan and upload copies of unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript, even if the backside is blank. Concurrent and optional submission of official transcripts can be sent electronically using any credentialing service (Naviance, Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, Scribbles, eTranscript, SPEEDE network).

Uploaded unofficial transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, the institution name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits, and grading legend. If no transcript is available, please upload a PDF document with a statement explaining the circumstances.

Do not mail hard copies.

BFA Applicants

Graduation from an accredited secondary school or its CalArts approved equivalent is required to enter and graduate from either the undergraduate certificate or the BFA program. Equivalence may be established by completing the General Educational Development (GED) examination or a comparable regional test such as the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE).

MFA & MA Applicants

College transcripts are required of all MFA applicants. College transcripts should cover all work undertaken and should be sent for each institution attended. Completion or the expected completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is required of all MFA applicants. We do not need high school transcripts from MFA & MA applicants. 

DMA Applicants

Graduate school transcripts are required of all DMA applicants. Transcripts should cover all work undertaken and should be sent for each institution attended. Completion or the expected completion of a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is required for all DMA applicants. We do not need high school transcripts from DMA applicants. 

Transfer Applicants

Transcripts are also required of Transfer Applicants. Be sure to review Transfer Applicant Requirements for additional transcript requirements.

International Academic Transcripts

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.

Upon Admission to CalArts

As soon as you learn of your admission to CalArts, please arrange to have your in-progress, official transcripts sent to CalArts. If you decide to join us at CalArts, you will be required to submit final official transcripts with degree conferral and graduation date. Official transcripts can be submitted electronically using any credentialing service (Naviance, Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, Scribbles, eTranscript, SPEEDE Network) or by physical mail.

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. Get started.


Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required for BFA programs. At least one recommendation should be written by a person who understands your artistic work. Some MFA programs require three letters of recommendation (please see program-specific requirements in the portfolio/audition section).

Submission of Letters of Recommendation

It is required that you submit the requests for your letters of recommendation through the online application, as it will allow you to track when the letters are submitted. Only if this is not possible, you may download the Letter of Recommendation Form (pdf) and have your recommender send their letters by mail to the Office of Admissions. Please choose only one method -- either through the online application (preferred) or by mail -- per recommender. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted via credentialing services such as Parchment or Naviance.

Mailed letters of recommendation should be sent to:

CalArts Office of Admissions
24700 McBean Pkwy.
Valencia, CA 91355


Contact the Office of Admissions at, 800-545-ARTS (800-545-2787).