Audition/Portfolio Guidelines

Prospective students must complete all Admissions Requirements as well as the specialization portfolio or audition requirements to be considered for admission.

General Portfolio Guidelines

To be considered for admission to CalArts’ School of Music, you must submit a portfolio containing examples of your artistic work. The faculty are interested in seeing and hearing portfolio materials that offer a sense of who you are as an artist. Don’t ask what we want to see—show who you are. Applicants from a wide range of backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

To view requirements for each specialization, please click on a link from our list of specializations down below. 

Artist Statement

Your portfolio must include an Artist Statement of 250–500 words that includes all of the following:

  • Your background in the study of music.

  • Your main musical passions right now.

  • What you hope to learn and accomplish at CalArts.

  • What attracts you to the particular Specialization to which you are applying.

  • Your long-term goals as a professional musician.

Audition Guidelines

After submitting an application and portfolio, all Instrumental Arts, Performer-Composer, and VoiceArts applicants may schedule an audition in your choice of location. Live auditions will be hosted in New York City, Dallas, Chicago, and on-campus. The audition is a chance for our faculty to get to know you and to ask and answer questions. It is all right to present materials from your portfolio at the audition.

Jazz, Experimental Pop, Composition & Experimental Sound Practices, Music Technology, and our World Music specializations do not offer live auditions. Some applicants may be contacted for an interview with faculty. 

Undergraduate Applicants

Graduate Applicants

Doctorate Applicants