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California Institute of The Arts

Los Angeles, United States


Art, Critical Studies and dance

Popular Courses

Fall, Summer & Spring



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History, Affiliations and Rankings

California Institute of the Arts, commonly known as CalArts is the first one of its kind universities. Founded by Walt Disney himself in 1961, CalArts offers degree programs in the field of visual, performing, media, and literary arts through its six schools. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). Situated in Santa Clarita, surrounded by the five main communities, the location of the university is closer to both California and Los Angeles. According to the QS world university ranking, CalArts was under the top 10 universities for Art & Design and CalArts is among the higher education institutions cited.

Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses

Offering more than 70-degree programs under Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts. All the students develop their own work, over which they retain control and copyright, in a workshop atmosphere. CalArts campus is home to more than 1,500 students, where approx 1,000 pursue undergraduate programs and the rest masters and doctoral programs. The location of the university, close to two major US cities, makes CalArts popular among the aspirants of Arts, Drama, Design or Theater. There is Walt Disney Modular Theater for the indoor performances and in 2003, CalArts established a performance theater in downtown Los Angeles called REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. CalArts provides graduate programs through its six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater.

Accomplishments and Alumni 

The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts together award a $75,000 fellowship to five artists in the fields of dance, film and video, music, theater, and visual arts. In 2011, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast listed CalArts as the top school for arts-minded students that offer an exceptional artistic atmosphere. Lists of notable alumni, faculty and visiting artists of the California Institute of the Arts are very long. To name a few: Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Alison Brie, etc. CalArts is considered one of the truly successful experiments in American arts education.

Student Diversity and Visiting Companies

CalArts student’s union is always there to help students and to provide information related to student needs and it is headed by elected representatives of each of the six schools. The organization with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1  provides an open forum for students to discuss the institute, the requirement for grants, and funding around the campus. Over the years, the school has also developed on-campus, interdisciplinary laboratories, such as the Center for Experiments in Art, Information, and Technology, Center for Integrated Media, Center for New Performance at CalArts, and the Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts. Top employers include Netflix, Upwork, Fiverr, Starbucks, DreamWorks Animation, Universal Studios Hollywood, Titmouse, and Output Inc.

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