Art and Technology

You must complete all admissions requirements as well as the program requirements below to be considered for admission. Before applying, please make sure to familiarize yourself with the Art and Technology Program, faculty, facilities, studios, curriculum and student work.

Important: If you are interested in character design and storytelling in animation, please consider applying to the Character Animation and/or Experimental Animation programs instead. CalArts does not offer a program in Illustration nor in Comic Book. 

You cannot make any changes to your application after it has been submitted.

MFA Application Requirements

Submit approximately 20 examples of your current work. The submitted work needs to be representative of a graduate level student and an informed creative practice. No class projects will be considered.

The works do not need to be solely technology based; we are interested in a wide variety of artists with cross-disciplinary and experimental creative practices that can be supported and/or enhanced by the program’s curriculum. We recommend that you emphasize two or three bodies of work. Portfolios may represent more than one media type (digital video, photography, VR, AR, AI, image processing, sound, text, performance, extended reality, interactivity, creative computing, immersive spaces, web sites,  Moving image/sound work that is longer than 15 minutes, should be edited to 3 to 5 minute excerpts that best represent the work. Longer versions can be included in the portfolio as well.

Please use the portfolio section of the application, to upload your portfolio with digital files. The system allows you to create a corresponding inventory of works, listing for each image the following information: title, date, medium, dimensions and notes. You may upload still images or video works.

  • We are not able to zoom-in on the images. Please submit detail shots on a separate slide.

  • Acceptable file formats: jpeg, png, gif, mp4 and mov

  • Acceptable external links: Vimeo, YouTube, personal website. We discourage Google Drive and zipped files. The links must be shared for public access until you receive a decision. Files that demand a password for access or that do not have public access will not be reviewed.

Once your portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. Please be advised that CalArts is not able to view your work until the final submission is made and your application fee is received.

If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an email to the Review Coordinator, Ani Kazandjian, at

The artist statement for the Art and Technology program must explain in detail the critical basis of your work in regards to the use of technology within a creative and cultural practice. The statement needs to outline the creative goals you would like to achieve while in the program, along with your interest in exploring art and technology within a cross-disciplinary context. It is recommended that your statement be between 500 and 1000 words.

Students are required to submit a video introduction. As we look at your work, we would very much like to meet you. Since this would be impossible in practical terms, we ask that you send a brief video introducing yourself.

  • Duration: minimum of 30 seconds, maximum of 90 seconds.

  • Speak directly to the camera.

  • No edits.

  • No special effects or on-screen overlays.

  • File should be uploaded directly in your portfolio.

  • Does not require professional-level equipment; cell phone camera or consumer cameras are okay.

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one recommendation should be written by a person who understands your designer work, such as a performance instructor or art teacher.

All letters of recommendation should be received by the application deadline, so it is highly recommended that you contact your recommenders months before. We request that you submit the requests for your letters of recommendation through the online application, as it will allow you to track when we receive your requested letters.

Only if this is not possible, you may download the Letter of Recommendation PDF Form 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
United States of America

Please note, letters of recommendation must be written in English or accompanied by a certified English translated document.

Applicants who have passed the preliminary selection process will be notified in mid-February. At that time, candidates will be invited to visit CalArts in March for an interview and to meet faculty and students. The interview is required of invited candidates and is an important component of the final selection process. Video chat interviews are available in exceptional cases, however we like to emphasize the importance of having an in person interview as part of the application process for prospective students. Additionally, it gives you an opportunity to see the school and meet and talk to the faculty.