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Photography and Media Requirements


Submit approximately 20 examples of your most recent work, or a presentation of your practice that is complete and cohesive, and represents what you believe to be your best work. The works you submit need not be purely photographic; we are interested in a variety of media practices and integrations. Edit and sequence works carefully.

BFA and MFA Artist Statement

An artist statement is very important in the admissions process and should answer the following three questions:

  • What issues and concerns inform your artmaking practice?
  • Why are you applying to your program at CalArts?
  • What are your artistic goals?

BFA Portfolio Requirements

Submit examples of personally directed work, not class assignments. We want to know what your interests are and how you represent them in your practice. Photographic works can be originally shot in any format (analog, digital, etc.).

MFA Portfolio Requirements

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 can be arranged, however attending the interview in person is highly recommended.

Letters of Recommendation

BFA and MFA applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation. We recommend 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.  However, if this is not possible, you may also download the Letter of Recommendation Form (pdf) and have your recommender send their letter by mail. Please choose only one method - either online or by mail - per recommender.

Online Portfolio Submissions

Please use our online portfolio system 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.

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 payment is received. Be sure to submit your portfolio to the correct degree level and program. If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an e-mail to support@slideroom.com for technical assistance.

Learn more about the program, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work 

Last edited by mryan on Dec 17, 2015
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