Music Technology (BFA & MFA)

Due to its specialized and highly selective nature, students interested in the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence, & Design Program (MTIID) should read the Program’s description and qualifications on the website carefully and, before applying, email a brief description of their musical and technical background to

This process helps potential students understand the direction of study undertaken at CalArts in the MTIID Program. A strong preference is given to applicants with previous experience in mathematics, computer science, physics or engineering. The focus of the MTIID Program is not in sound engineering or recording, although students have the ability (and are required) to pursue some classes and opportunities in that field.

More information (including student work) is available on the MTIID Program microsite.

Portfolio Guidelines

Via the portfolio section of the CalArts Application, you are invited to submit a portfolio containing 3–5 examples of your artistic work. Please number your examples beginning with what you consider to be your strongest ones—reviewers will examine them in the order that you indicate. 

The faculty are especially interested in reviewing work that emphasizes:

  • Your own original compositions documented through scores or other appropriate media, improvisations, and/or interdisciplinary work.

  • Performances demonstrating strong technical skills.

  • Innovative and unique musical practices.

  • Proficiency with music technology, including novel and innovative uses.

  • Any original artwork other than music that informs your musical practice.

  • BFA (optional): Please submit an example of Computer Science Code (python, chucK, C++, or other languages with which you have experience).

  • MFA: Examples of software projects (code) or hardware (schematics) of past projects.

  • MFA: A drawing and write-up of a creative, futuristic new musical interface of your own design (see proceedings of the conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression for examples).

Materials to upload might include recordings, videos, scores, writings, and/or other relevant materials. You may link to media hosted on external websites, but please ensure that reviewers will have permission to view this media. For all media, please clearly indicate (in a separate PDF if necessary):

  • The title, composer, personnel, instrumentation, and date of creation.

  • How did you make this? Did you record and produce this yourself or in a professional studio? If you recorded and produced this yourself, please tell us about your process.

  • For each track/part/instrument, please answer the following questions: Is this a recording of an instrument that you (or someone else) played / a sample or pre-recorded loop / or a midi-generated performance? If it is a sample or pre-recorded loop, did you create it yourself? If so, how?


The Music Technology BFA and MFA programs do not hold required auditions or virtual interviews. Instead, if needed by our faculty, we will contact you about scheduling a virtual interview.