Experimental Pop (BFA Only)

Before applying, please make sure to familiarize yourself with the Experimental Pop specialization, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work.

Please note that you must complete all Admissions Requirements as well as the portfolio requirements to be considered for admission.

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.

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 Experimental Pop BFA program does not hold required auditions or virtual interviews. Instead, if needed by our faculty, we will contact you about scheduling a virtual interview.